Although London's pre-MIFED Screenings was undone by the power of a handful of US sellers, dislodging MIFED could depend on persuading one group which has traditionally found the Milan event a hit, Asian buyers and sellers.

However, there appears to be no consensus among the Asians who were at MIFED and indeed many of the biggest Japanese buyers were in Los Angeles on a targeted buying trip just prior to the market.

"Cannes and AFM work best for the A-list American titles. MIFED is particularly efficient for TV and video sales," said E-Pictures' Paul Yi. Judy Ahn of Korea's KM Culture, said: "there is little difference between the markets. But we do meet the buyers we need here. MIFED's organisation is a big issue."

"I'd prefer to go to the AFM. In general, sellers prefer AFM and buyers prefer MIFED over either AFM or Cannes. They appreciate the proximity here between the screening rooms and the offices," said Jennifer Muhn head of sales at Korean studio giant Cinema Service. "I think the Italians are having their revenge for Korea beating them in the World Cup. They have mislaid our prints and there have been other organisational mistakes. And security issues. Our office was broken into on Monday night and the doors had to be levered open this morning by Mifed staff."

Ricky Tse, sales executive at Hong Kong's Media Asia said: "Three markets - MIFED, AFM, Cannes - in so few months is plenty already. Losing one might not be a bad thing. But MIFED cheaper than AFM."

Elena Koutsenko of Russia's Ruscico, who struck a major DVD deal with France's Films Sans Frontieres, covering its 120-title library, said: "This is better for us than the AFM. There is a better Euro flavour. And that is where the prime market is for our kind of film."