The third edition of theBangkok Film Market (BFM), which wrapped today (Feb 24), failed to generatemuch buzz with the event being described by most visitors as either "very quiet"or "very slow".

The new post-Berlin slot hasproved difficult for the market. "The festival thought it could get fresher titlesafter Berlin and Sundance and didn't want to clash with the Golden Globes,"explains market director Christine Rush, who is confident that the slot will beput back to January next year.

However, with no major dealsannounced at the market, there is the question of whether exhibitors are comingback next year. Takaaki Ezaki, vice president of international sales andlicensing of Japan's Kadokawa Herald Pictures, says he may have to prioritise Filmart overBFM, even though the Hong Kong market is moreexpensive. The company secured a single sale of one title to India in Bangkok.

The poor ratio betweenbuyers and sellers is another issue for sales companies. Shay Wilson,distribution coordinator for Horizon Entertainment, points out: "The market had50 listed buyers, many of whom were no shows, served by 80 exhibitors." Horizonhad also made only one sale by the fourth day of the market.

The general consensus is thatexhibitors are only coming back if all costs are again met by the organisers togetherwith the promise of more buyers in attendance. This year, the market only had abudget to fly in 50 buyers, according to Rush.

Anont Asvanund, CEO of Thailand'sM Pictures, believes more sellers are needed. "Maybe more buyers should be invited.With more buyers, more sellers would come." M Pictures acquired three titlesfrom Nu Image at the beginning of the market.

Despite the glitches, themarket is perceived as a good launch pad for Thai films. Singapore's Golden Village picked up Black Night, a Japan-Thailand-HongKong pan-Asian co-production (now in post-production) unveiled at the market.Assistant distribution manager Nora Mediana Agoes, who is fresh from Berlin, says: "It's necessary to come here to meet Thaicompanies. Bangkok is not too far from Singapore after all."

Another hot Thai title isGMM Tai Hub's latest horror Dormwhich received its world premiere at the festival and opened nationwideyesterday. "I'm glad to have a market in Bangkok because it's important for the local film industry,"says Phailin Amnuaiporn, senior sales and marketing manager, adding that shehas received initial interests in Dormat the market and expects to close deals in Cannes.

Thai companies such as FiveStar, Right Beyond and Mono Film have each closed five to six deals, mostly to South Asia.

For the first time thisyear, the market has moved away from the Shangri-La Hotel to the new SiamParagon shopping and entertainment complex, which is also the venue for theBangkok International Film Festival. According to the festival organisers,approximately 30,000 tickets have been sold, representing 50% capacity. Localaudiences are thought to have shied away from the festival because of the lackof Thai subtitles. Organisers are understood to be trying to put in subtitlesfor Rent, which closes the festivalon Feb 26.

A new hotel within the SiamParagon complex is due to open before next year's edition, which will make the festivaland market even more centralised than this year.

Stephen Cremin contributed to thisarticle