Less is not more for Asian mart attendees

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The consensus around Busan's Asian Film Market was that it was a good place for buyers and exhibitors to meet, get to know each other and lay the groundwork for deals. But the cool atmosphere at this year's confab left some calling for change and, of all things, asking for more.

"The market is too short," said art house film agent Maren Kroymann from Germany's M-appeal. Her company closed a deal for the Polish drama "Trick" with Korea's Coral Pictures, but that deal was set up before AFM opened.

"In Cannes, where we're present for eight days, we have more time for negotiation, screenings and to close deals," she said. "Three days in Busan is too short."

In large part because of that short window, many marketgoers were more inclined to use AFM to set up deals that they will close next month at the American Film Market in Santa Monica. First-time exhibitors said they were happy to have the opportunity to meet Asian buyers at the market.

Sellers of larger-scale films with blockbuster potential held back from closing deals at the four-day market because of not enough buyers or two-day buyers.

Smaller films also suffered here because buyers were too busy in meetings to go to see the films. "Too many screenings are scheduled at the beginning of the market, when people are busy with meetings," Christian Were of Australia's Madman Interactive said. "To have some more scheduled on the last day, when the market is closing, would have been nice." (partialdiff)
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