New projects from Gillian Armstrong, John Maybury and Sally Potter [pictured] will be talked up to financiers at this month’s PFM.
The Film London Production Finance Market (PFM) brings together financiers with reputable producers whose projects are packaged properly and with directors attached.
This year, more than 60 financiers will attend, among them Summit, Ingenious, Entertainment One, Film4, Focus, Newbridge Film Capital and Prescience as well as some new arrivals, including IM Global, The Fyzz Facility Ltd (the new financing outfit run by Robert Jones and Wayne Godfrey) and Exponential Media.
Nearly 60 projects are being presented, about half from the UK. They include John Maybury’s Lee Miller biopic, Atomic Blonde, which Norma Heyman is producing; Sally Potter’s new drama Elsewhere, produced by Christopher Sheppard and billed as a love story in the vein of Y Tu Mama Tambien; a road movie about two elderly ladies called The Time Of Their Lives, from Sarah Sulick and Roger Goldby’s Bright Pictures; and The Mapmaker’s Wife from Spanish producer Antonia Nava, based on the novel by Robert Whitaker.
The PFM is extending its international reach through partnerships with the Rome and Melbourne film festivals as well as the Ile de France Film Commission and Toronto’s Financing Forum. Among the projects coming to London as a result of the alliance with Melbourne’s co-production event 37ºSouth is Gillian Armstrong’s The Great, a post-modern take on Catherine the Great, which has Mia Wasikowska and Annette Bening attached and is being produced by Marian Macgowan.
Since 2007, the PFM has coaxed various projects to life, among them Jim Loach’s Oranges And Sunshine and Miranda July’s The Future. According to research carried out last year, 25% of the financiers who attended in 2010 were intending to offer finance to projects and 75% of the financiers had follow-up meetings.
London-based Felix Vossen of Exponential Media, which provides both equity and debt financing to UK and international projects, has attended the last two co-production markets. In 2009, he was there as a producer, looking for funding for Barnaby Southcombe’s I, Anna — produced through Exponential’s sister company Embargo — and last year, it was as a financier that he decided to board Still Life, which is being produced by Uberto Pasolini.
“The PFM is unusual [in that] you’re able to meet with other financiers,” Vossen says. “We’ve found something every year.”
Adrian Wootton, the chief executive of Film London, which backs the event, points out the London Mayor’s Office, the BFI and MEDIA recognise the value of the PFM. The two-day event costs around $203,000 (£130,000) to stage.
This year, producers have to pay a new administrative charge of $430 (£275) to cover costs. Even so, applications have increased. “We haven’t heard a single person saying, ‘What are you doing charging us?’” claims Wootton.