Italy's autumn film market, Mifed (Oct 28-Nov 1) is set to be a heavily US and Asian dominated affair, according to the latest registrations.

The market's organisers also hit back at suggestions that it is an expensive market to attend. Rassegne, the semi-private company that replaced the Fiera Milano as the event's operator, said that 218 companies have already signed up as exhibitors. Of these 97 are from the US. Some 26 Asian companies have signed up, as have 26 Italians, 22 from the UK, 15 from France and 11 from Germany.

"The large number of Asian buyers is now being joined by production and distribution companies," said operations secretary Andrea Vaiani. The Korean Film Commission (KOFIC) will host five of the six Korean exhibitors on its new umbrella stand. A total of 15 Hong Kong companies, including newcomers Emperor Movie Group, Star East and Teamworkx, will operate from individual stands.

"We have not changed our prices in the last three years and that increase was merely in line with inflation. And our admission fees are also lower than those for other markets," said Vaiani. "We have heard about complaints from Germany, but interestingly German exhibitors have been the most vocal at the five other fairs we run in completely other business sectors. The impact of the Euro may be a factor."

Under Rassegne's management since Spring this year, Mifed has concentrated its efforts on improving facilities within the Fiera site. It has added a VIP buyers' lounge, improved office facilities and dropped the Milan Selected Screenings, which for the last two years have taken place in downtown Milan.