Sunday, June 7, 2009

Spanish Buyer/ Seller Event: Who's Buying?

Madrid de Cine Spanish Film Screenings (4th edition) were held June 7, 8, and 9. This international showcase's objective is to create a unique business space where international buyers, Spanish producers, sales companies and international media have the opportunity to see the latest releases of Spanish Cinema as well as the chance to interview Spanish film directors, actors and producers.

There is an industrybeyond the familiar names of Pedro Almodovar and Alejandro Amenabar.
"It was very important that Isabel Coixet whose "Map of the Sounds of Tokyo" was in Competition at Cannes," said Beatriz Setuain of Imagina Sales, which will screen its thriller "25 Karats." "That generates more interest in the industry from abroad and we can show how international and varied our productions are." (A note here by Sydney: I saw "Map of the Sounds of Tokyo in Cannes. It is a hauntingly sexy cross cultural story...I especially liked the sex scenes in the hotel room which looked like a French subway car and how much the star Sergio Lopez enjoyed himself, smiling as he aroused not only the beautiful Rinko Kikuchi and probably every woman in the audience. The picture is sold to Alta for Spain.)

Organized by Spain's Producers Federation, FAPAE, this year's screenings include more than 50 recent Spanish productions and will be seen by 132 buyers from 31 countries, including 11 confirmed acquisition executives from the U.S. Some of the buyers confirmed to attend are U.S.'s Venevision International, Magnolia Pictures, Lionsgate, TLA Entertainment, Strand Releasing, Outside Pictures, LAPTV, Sundance Channel and Regent; France's Indie Circle, MK2, Ocean Films, Rezofilms and TF1; Germany's Kinowelt International, Kool Film distribution, Senator, Arsenal and Universum Film; Japan's Nettai Museum, Only Hearts, Tokyo International Film Festival and Cetera; and, the U.K.'s Skyline-IFE, Soda Pictures, Dogwoof and Spafax.

What remains to be seen is which companies actually buy which films. With increasing cost cuts, the high cost of flying out buyers and putting them up in expensive hotels, even if rooms are less expensive and with Spain's economic meltdown, inviting buers will become more and more targeted to those who actually buy films.

Even though the dates might be better in winter rather than right after Cannes, at least this way the buyers are already in Europe. In January, after Sundance, between Rotterdam and Berlin there are already other market screenings in Hungary, Tehran and several other countries and it's cold.

"It's a great occasion for buyers to focus on some of the better Spanish movies that were not highlighted in Cannes and will definitely appear in other festivals," said Latido chief Massimo Saidel, who will be screening the possibly San Sebastian-bound erotic drama "Paper Castles," directed by Salvador Garcia Ruiz, and the boxoffice hit "Sex, Lies and Party." "Sex Lies and Party" already sold to Only Hearts for Japan, G2 for U.K. and K and Planis for South Korea.

Dygra Films
has organized an event to screen a trailer of its digital 3D "Holy Night." The film, which uses the same technology as "Monsters vs. Aliens," is Spain's first digital 3D animation.
"It's very important that people can see the trailer in a theater in the best conditions," said Dygra's Lucas Mackey, whose company is on the hunt for an international distribution partner. "This is a very high quality product that speaks for itself when you see it in person."

The event, which is held in Madrid's Princesa theaters, is sponsored by Spain's Foreign Trade Institute, the Culture Ministry's Film Institute, the Producers' Rights Management Entity EGEDA, Madrid Film Commission and Madrid Chamber of Commerce.

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