Several projects in Venice’s inaugural European Gap-Financing Co-Production Market are on the verge of completing their financing.

Venice industry head Pascal Diot expressed satisfaction at the progress achieved at this year’s third edition of the Venice Film Market.

Several projects in Venice’s inaugural European Gap-Financing Co-Production Market are on the verge of completing their financing.

Diot appears to have found a niche in a crowded calendar for the Venice event. “Most markets and festivals are focusing on development money,” the industry boss noted. “I would like to focus much more on completion and distribution. That’s why we have gap financing, the final cut [screenings of work in progress titles], the meetings between sales agents and independent exhibitors, and the Biennale College.”

Dutch outfit Lemming is reporting strong interest on its Chinese-based vampire film Dead & Beautiful from David Verbeek. Producer Leontine Petit is in “serious” negotiations with sales companies after presenting the project in Venice and is also in talks with two British based gap financiers/equity investors to come on board the film (which arrived in Venice with €955,500 of its €1,365,000 budget in place).

“All in all, it was good for us to have the project on the market,” Petit commented of the film, co-produced by Les Petites Lumiere (France) and China Blue (China), and has already received support from the Netherlands Film Fund and MEDIA.

Another feature in Venice’s gap finance market that caught investors’ eyes was Renzo Martinelli’s The Missing Paper. The film explores the mystery that still surrounds the crash of Itavia Flight 870 into the sea in 1980. In the film, a journalist whose daughter died in the accident and a politician attempt to discover the truth about the tragedy. Intramovies looks set to handle world sales on the film.

“The experience [at the Venice market] was great because you had the opportunity to meet someone you would never meet otherwise,” said Federica Martinelli of production company Martinelli Film Company International.

Also liked by delegates was Laura Bispuri’s Sworn Virgin, produced by Vivo Film. The film, in post-production, already has a range of big name partners attached, among them The Match Factory, Pretty Pictures and RAI Cinema.

There were 15 projects in the co-production market. 186 one to one meetings were arranged to discuss the films. Among the 56 companies attending were Cofiloisirs, Creativity Capital, Dogwoof, Fandango, MK2, Senator, Wild Bunch and TF1.

Asian presence

There were some major Asian companies to the Lido, among them Chinese online giant iQiyi. “To be affiliated to one of the biggest video platforms is important [for Venice],” Diot said of the ongoing relationship with iQiyi. “I would like Venice to be a bridge between Europe and Asia and especially the Far East.”

Diot has also now negotiated a new partnership with umbrella company Asian Film & TV Space, run by Victoria Lu, which, Diot said, will have “a big space in the market next year welcoming several companies from Asia”.

Another idea Diot is mulling over is introducing a genre element to the Venice Film Market.

“For the market, why not?” Diot said, pointing out that many festivals already have midnight movie sidebars. “I think genre movies are also a way to attract young audiences to come to a festival… genre films have different producers, different kind of distributors and different ways of financing. All those films are really targeting the audience. VOD platforms and television are much more involved. Crowdfunding is also very important.”

The first step, Diot suggests, would be to have a panel or workshop at the market to give Venice industry delegates a better idea how the genre business works.