Companies cite expense compared to Cannes or Berlin; AFM notes that other French companies still work out of Loews.
In a breakaway move likely to cause friction at this year’s American Film Market, seven French sales
companies in Santa Monica under the Unifrance umbrella are not working out of the Loews and cut official ties (at
least for this year) with the market.
The companies (MK2, Memento, Coach 14, Le Pacte, Bac Films, Rezo and Other Angle) have set up their
own offices and screening facilities at Hamilton Galleries on Ocean Avenue.
“We wanted to find a space that we could share and that would be more friendly for buyers,” a spokesperson for the French sales companies commented. “We do not want to be aggressive against the Loews or the general organisation (of the AFM).”
The spokesperson added that the French companies were not trying to “generate a war” with the American Film Market but that the AFM was “too expensive” compared to the Berlin European Film Market or Cannes. The spokesperson said that the Offices in the Loews were not “welcoming.”
“Sharing a small hotel room with a small table for meetings is not the best option and it’s not the way
in which we are used to meeting distributors.”
In response to this mini French revolution, AFM Managing Director Jonathan Wolf pointed out that many French sales companies still do have offices within the Loews and are carrying out business as normal at this year’s AFM.
“There are many French companies with offices at the AFM actively selling
new and exciting films,” Wolf commented. “They are utilizing all of our services, including theatres and our buyer contact information.”
Wolf also said that for the companies under the Unifrance umbrella, the AFM could offer “options that
will meet their needs at costs no different than the Riviera (in Cannes) or Martin Gropius Bau (in Berlin).
I hope to have the opportunity to present these options while everyone is in Santa Monica.”