London Film Fest gets down to business

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LONDON -- The London Film Festival is growing the business side of the event this year, adding a Production Finance Market to the roster of events.

A first for the event, the two-day market will take place Oct. 22-23 and focus on new private forms of investment, film finance and fresh distribution avenues, the festival's industry office said Tuesday.

The industry office said it expects 120 international and U.K. financiers and established producers to participate in more than 400 face-to-face meetings. In addition, 11 emerging producers have been selected to pitch their projects and attend training seminars at the market.

The Production Finance Market is set up by the LFF and Film London with support from the U.K. Film Council, U.K. Trade and Investment, Skillset, the London Development Agency and financial advisers peacefulfish.

The festival also is programming several seminars including discussions on whether there is such a thing as a creative producer and the emerging digital distribution marketplace.

The U.K. Film Council has signed up to co-host a series of events with the festival. One highlight will be an event with the German Federal Film Board on the topic of co-productions. The groups will look at how German rebates can work with U.K. tax relief as well as other sources of production finance.

And last year's nascent Meet the Buyer session and the industry screenings program are returning to this year's festival lineup at the same cozy West End venue, the Curzon Soho.

Other panel discussions and events will see festival organizers working with a wide range of established partners including the Script Factory, the Directors Guild of Great Britain, the New Producers Alliance, Film London, B3 Media and the National Film and Television School.
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