MIFED wound down to a virtual halt by midday on Thursday(Oct 15), one and a half days before its official end, leaving those remainingto reminisce about the market's good old days, and many more utterly confusedabout what will happen next year.
Several sellersreported that sales have been good. Rai Trade sales chief Sesto Cifola saidthat although there were obviously fewer buyers around, "the quality of thebuyers has been really high."
"There have been a lot of buyers from Asiaand all the Europeans were here, and those have always been the main buyers ofour films," he said, pointing out that one of the biggest buyers of Italianfilms are Eastern European territories, who this year were in Milan en masse.
But otherswere more cynical. "The problem is that everyone started announcing months agothat buyers and sellers would be deserting MIFED, and the market shot itself inthe foot by announcing before this market started that they would have threedays in Milan next year and three days in Venice. They should have concentrated instead on supporting this year'sevent. So it's just been incredibly quiet," one seller said.
Meanwhile,Italian sellers will not be heading to AFM next month. They decided to boycottthe Santa Monica event when AFMA organisers announced that they would hold asecond market in MIFED's regular slot.
Still,most international industry members wandering around the Fiera's semi-desertedhalls this week said they would support a MIFED in Venice next year, butthought that the idea of the market starting in Milan and then moving to theLido was "just ridiculous."
ManyItalian industry executives also said that despite MIFED's announcement of itsmove to Venice, "nothing has been confirmed. It's still all up in the air."
Mifed deals included:
- Korea's Cinema Service licensed its military horror film R-Pointto Britain's Tartan Films for the UK and US. The film, which is set in Vietnam,was filmed in Cambodia and directed by Kong Su-chang, and was also sold toE-M-S New Media for Germany.
- In another deal that underlines the increasing penetrationof Asian films into the bombed out Spanish market, Cinema Service also licensedfour recent titles to Manga. The package was headed by R-Point, and alsoincludes Face, Arahan and Silmido, the action adventure film thatthis year passed the eight million spectators milestone in its native Korea.
- France's MK2 confirmed that it had acquired atToronto the anti-Rupert Murdoch film Outfoxed from specialistdocumentary agent Films Transit. Jean-Francois Deveau struck the deal withTransit's Jan Rofekamp and will get the picture into French theatres with analmost unprecedented turn of speed. Outfoxed will be released on Oct 22.
-Hong Kong's Golden Network had a busy Mifed wrapping up more than ten deals bymid-Thursday, a total it expected to push to 15 by the bitter end.
Highlights included the sale of all French rights on GoldenNetwork's new Thai action vehicle Born To Fight to StudioCanal. The dealis technically a pre-sale as the film gets its first market screening only nextmonth at the AFM. StudioCanal is expected to give the film a strong theatricalpush, following the success earlier this year of the Luc Besson-championed Ong-Bak,which Golden Network also represented internationally. Turkey's Medyavizyonalso pre-bought Born To Fight.
-Golden Network also sold a four picture library package to France's Pathe,including Korean horror The Quiet Family, Korean thriller Phantom TheSubmarine and from Thailand Killer Tattoo and Norchor The Business.Germany's I-On Media also bought Phantom and Quiet Family.Japan's New Select was a buyer of library title Body Jumper.
"This has been a strong market for France, Italy andSpain," said Golden Network chief Carrie Wong. The company also has offersfor other titles on the table from Spain, the Middle East and India.