Philippe Bober's Berlin-based The Coproduction Office could claim the accolade of "buzz title" at last week's European Film Market (EFM) for Chinese director Lou Ye's Suzhou (pictured) which has sold to 12 territories and is expected to clean up the rest of the key territories at this week's AFM.
With 14 invitations from international festivals also in his pocket, Bober sold the film to Germany (Bayerischer Rundfunk), Japan (Uplink), France (Goutte D'Or), Austria (Polyfilm), Switzerland (Filmcooperative), Benelux (Contact), Finland (Cinema Mondo), Sweden (Triangel) and Korea (CNP).
"We had three screenings instead of the originally planned two and had to send 20 people away from the third because it was packed out," said Bober, who produced the VPRO Tiger Award-winning film with Dream Factory . "One buyer said Suzhou was better than anything in the competition.'
However Lou Ye's film was one of few to create any market excitement at the EFM, which along with the festival experienced a change of venue this year. Indeed, festival-goers were so involved in getting their bearings at the new venue, that the films on offer took something of a back seat. One French buyer reportedly said at the end of 12 days that "I still have all my cheques in my pocket" and there wasn't the kind of buzz that past markets had generated around such films as Mifune or Beautiful People.
However several international pick-ups were made at the market including:
Among territory sales at the market: