For many market players MIFED this year has been as much about putting together next year's films through international financing partnerships as it has been about selling the ones on their current slates.

Former Das Werk boss Stefan Jonas was in town with his new company Playground. Nothing very striking in that except that his outfit is not strictly a production and sales entity like so many doing business in MIFED, but a Munich-based post-production and effects company able to put up production finance.

"To succeed we need to complete the circle from development, through production, post and sales," said Jonas. The company is building a network of partners in leading soft money and co-production territories including Canada and South Africa. It is already involved in Austrian-UK co-production Russel and Canadian-based Hemingway adaptation The Old Man And The Sea.

Paul Yi of Korea's E-Pictures also sees MIFED as rather more than just a sales event. "We are looking at setting up international projects. That has to be the next step for Korean and Asian cinema. A European event is much more useful for that. European systems are so much more open to that than the US."

This was echoed by another Korean independent, Jason Chae of Mirovision. "As budgets for Korean films get bigger we are going to be more involved in international co-production. That starts here."

Nik Powell of the UK's Scala said: "MIFED is great for a producer. Foolishly, perhaps, I've always recommended it to my competitors like Marc Samuelson, who I've seen here. I've been here supporting the sales of two of my films, putting together the final financing of two that are in production and introducing next years' films."

A number of government delegations have also found MIFED a useful platform. "For us the priority is not simply sales, but also explaining the changing shape of the Taiwanese industry, that the government is no longer content to be a simple subsidy provider, but wants to support those films with the strongest international potential. Animation and co-production are our new focus," said Peggy Chou, of the Taiwanese Government Information Office.

Chou continued: "We have already seen this happening with films like Blue Gate Crossing, which was co-produced with Pyramide of France and Double Vision, which was made with Columbia TriStar's Hong Kong division."

Sue Bruce-Smith, formerly head of sales at Film Four, was always wearing a co-production hat here as she worked the market for producer Little Bird. She was seeking potential financing partners for Trauma, a horror project at script stage with hot director Marc Evans.

"I'm so pleased I came here. There is an amazing amount of interest in working with producers like us. I am enjoying going to buyers who are the most effective co-producers for the projects we have. Having come from a sales company, where I felt I had to be fair to all the distributors, now as a producer I can really target co-producers and partners."

As for whether she would rather do this in Milan or the American Film Market, should that event ever switch to an autumn date, Bruce-Smith said: "It seems a little perverse to go all the way to the AFM to set up a European co-production.