The Times bfi London Film Festival (Oct 20-Nov 4) is set tostage its own, unofficial mini-market.
Fortissimo,Celluloid Dreams, Wild Bunch, Bavaria Film and Trust are among theinternational sales agents already confirmed to attend the festival, which willbe organising industry screenings at London's Curzon Soho from Oct 25- 27. Thesales agents, all of which have titles in the LFF, will be in London as guestsof the festival.
The move comes just months after the London Development Agency (LDA) announcedthat it was investing £100,000 in the LFF. £65,000 of the new money is beingchannelled into expanding the festival's industry activities.
The industry screenings are aimed predominantly at UKbuyers. 30 films will be shown, most without British distribution and some insearch of sales agent representation. Titles range from Kenny Glenaan's Yasminto Manuel Poirier's Chemins De Traverse and Paolo Verzis's CaterinaIn The Big City.
There will be a range of social events for industry delegates, including a buyersand sellers' party on Oct 25 at Soho House. "The idea is to make thefestival far more friendly for industry people in the UK - to make it a bitmore fun and festive," Sarah Sulick, buyers and sellers facilitator at theLFF, told ScreenDaily.com.
The organisers insist that there is no overlap between the new industryevent and the London UK Film Focus (also co-funded by the LDA) which took placein London earlier this summer. The Focus, which consisted entirely of Britishfilms, was an "export" initiative for the benefit of internationaldistributors. The LFF's industry activities are predominantly aimed at"import."
"Neither the Film Focus nor the Festival are trying to be 'marketsproper,' but compared with some other countries, the UK has lagged behind inits export strategies for film and inward investment. There is a recognitionthat these are areas we need to be developing," the LFF's artisticdirector Sandra Hebron commented.
A decision on whether the London UK Film Focus will be repeated next summer isexpected shortly.