The newly launched Venice Film Market (Aug 30-Sept 3) has announced that it is to show promo reels and footage from selected films.
Among the titles buyers will be able to get an early glimpse of are My Name Is Hmmm, the debut feature by fashion designer Agnes B. Films Boutique handles sales, and their slate also includes competition title The Fifth Season.
“It will be will be more a ‘mood reel’ than a proper promo reel as the film is only expected to be ready in spring next year,” commented Films Boutique’s Jean-Christophe Simon of the Agnes B movie. Starring Sylvie Testud, Jacques Bonnaffé, the video artist Douglas Gordon and the Italian Philosopher Toni Negri, the film will also include music by regular Agnes B collaborators including Sonic Youth and Brian Molko from Placebo.
During the Venice Market, footage will be shown from Tom Sholonik’s The Comedian and Carlos Sorin’s Gone Fishing (sold by Celluloid Dreams)
Pascal Diot, the veteran sales agent and producer recruited to head up the new market, invited more than 100 leading buyers, among them Hopscotch and Palace Films from Australia, Lumiere from Belgium, Angel Films from Denmark, Diaphana, Le Pacte, Pyramide and Wild Bunch from France, Prokino, Universum and Concorde from Germany, Artificial Eye, Dogwoof, Revolver and StudioCanal from the UK, Gaga and Kadokawa from Japan, and The Weinstein Company and Universal from the US.
The invited distributors have been offered four nights of accommodation. They will also be given access to press screenings.
“I have put the dates from the 30th to the 3rd. That means there is no overlapping with Toronto,” Diot said of the decision to hold the market at the start of the festival. “Up to now, we have double the distributors from last year and double the number of sales agents.”
The increased attendance, Diot believes, underlines the desire of sellers and buyers to come back to the Lido…as long as it is affordable. “We have tried to reduce their costs as much as possible when they are here.”
Invited delegates, who will have their own space (The Industry Club) in the Excelsior Hotel, will be given breakfast, a drinks service and discounts in restaurants on the Lido. Those delegates staying away from the Lido on San Marco will have free water shuttle access to the festival.
The sales companies won’t be setting up booths. However, national organisations (including INCAA, The Israel Film Fund, Eurimages, Roskino and the Italian Film Commissions) will have their own stands.
The Venice market boss wouldn’t disclose his budget. However, he said that he had a long-term plan for the event. “I am more confident that this first edition will work and that it (the market) will go for years,” he commented.
Extra screens are promised for future editions and Diot hopes to build the festival’s industry profile further. “What is important that the market has its own logic with the festival.”
Asked how he saw the state of the international film market, Diot (who is also the director of the Dubai International Festival Film Market) expressed quiet optimism. “I would say the buying mood is back again. All the distributors are more than cautious before buying a film…but at the same time, most are passionate. They are always looking for interesting films,” Diot said. “Venice is complementary to Toronto. Of course, the prices aren’t what they were a few years ago but there is still an appetite.”