The VideoSoftware Dealers Of America (VSDA) and the Had To Be Made Film Festival(HTBMFF) have teamed up to launch a new video/DVD mini-market at this year's2003 VSDA Home Entertainment convention in Las Vegas (July 29 to 31).

"VSDApartnered with Had To Be Made to bring industry professionals together toconnect and find new ways to promote independent film to the public," saysBo Andersen, president of VSDA, in a statement. "Recognizing the abundanceof high-quality independent films being made today, Had To Be Made hasdeveloped a special FilmMaker Programme to suit the present needs of theindustry."

As part of theprogramme, each film-maker is enabled to screen trailers and meet and networkwith the retailers and distributors directly. Participating films are alsoincluded in the film-maker catalog and have the opportunity to screen in theFilmMaker Showcase.

"By bringing together the nation's leading videoretailers, distributors, acquisition professionals and filmmakers to sharetheir ideas, comments and most importantly, buying power, the programme isgeared to provide networking, learning and sales opportunities," said HTBMFFexecutive director Mike Kyle in a statement. "We hope to create a marketplacefor video that is what AFM and Cannes are to theatrical and what MIP and MIPCOMare to television and cable."

Among theindustry panelists participating in the FilmMaker Programme seminars are JereHausfater, Joe Amodei (Hart Sharp Video), Jon Gerrans (Strand Releasing) andDavid Straus (

The event willalso see the winners announced for the first Had To Be Made Film Festival, ayear-round US film festival which was founded by Kyle, Richard Green and DonnaDuBain.