Far from being dead, London's pre-Mifed film market is attracting increased interest from buyers. That is the verdict of londonscreenings.com, a buyers' rep acting for the London Screenings (the market organised by Fusion Events), the Raindance independent film festival and the Kodak Vision Screenings.
"We remain convinced the market will be a success especially for those sellers that see the non-attendance of a couple of major sellers as an advantage," said Alexis Bicat, co-founder of londonscreenings.com. Bicat added that most of the companies that had made a play about not attending as sellers will in fact hold private screenings in London during the pre-Mifed week.
Led by a group of AFMA activists, an effective boycott of the London market was announced in July. Many of the biggest US sales companies outfits including Miramax International, Summit Entertainment, Intermedia, Focus, New Line, MDP, Lakeshore and Pandora decided jointly not to exhibit product in London in a bid to cut the cost of attending both London and Mifed (Screendaily, July 11).
Bicat says that some seventy films are already confirmed to screen in London. Separately, Fusion has indicated that the number of screenings it organises this year will exceed one hundred.
"Early indications this year are showing renewed confidence from buyers coming to London from the Orient as more Chinese, Japanese and Korean buyers show an interest in the market," said Bicat. " londonscreenings.com knows of only one buyer who has confirmed that they are not coming this year. Buyers already on our pre-notification page include: Icon Distribution, BBC Programme Acquisition, Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures Classics, Gaga Communications, Buena Vista International, TF1 TV, BBC TV and Rai Cinema."