Exhibitors also up from last year, with overseas exhibitors including BBC Worldwide, Telefilm Canada, Gaumont.

Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF)’s content market TIFFCOM kicked off its 8th edition today (Oct 24) at the Roppongi Hills complex with a 12% increase in buyer numbers.

“We have 226 exhibitors this year and 222 last year, so that’s just four more. But as of yesterday, the number of buyers was up to 800 while last year it was only 715. So that’s a good increase,” said TIFFCOM head Mika Morishita.

Buyers this year include Sony Pictures, Walt Disney, Buena Vista, Golden Scene, Encore Film and Golden Network. Foot traffic was visibly better than last year’s first day and stands were relatively busy with meetings.

“We are also welcoming the biggest ever British booth. Last year, we had maybe one or two British companies, but this year we have around ten. We’ve had good collaboration with the British embassy in Japan. We’ve also started with Canada – the Canadian embassy also supports them,” she added.

Overseas exhibitors this year include BBC Worldwide, Hat Trick International, Telefilm Canada, Gaumont, Eleven Arts. Japanese exhibitors include Asmik Ace, Happinet, Kadokawa Shoten, Nikkatsu, Pony Canyon, Shochiku, Toei, and Toho.

“Maybe TV content is stronger at the market than last year, but we have a stronger relationship with TIFF as well this year. TIFFCOM has also set up an international sales lounge so that films that have not yet decided a distributor can meet with potential partners,” said Morishita.

The new incarnation of the Tokyo Projects Gathering, the TIFFCOM 2011 Project Market, will be held Oct 26-27 with a Masters Category for international coproductions and a New Talent Category which targets up-and-coming filmmakers and projects with international and local market potential.