Rome fest's Street to be longer, busier

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ROME -- The RomaCinemaFest's market will increase its focus on four major territories this year and extend the length of the event in a second edition that's expected to attract even more players than last year.

Sylvain Auzou, director of the festival's Business Street, said that this year's edition will see increased participation from buyers and sellers from Japan, Germany, France and Spain. Altogether, about 300 industry players are expected from about 40 countries.

"Japan, Germany, and France are important because they are the three main markets where art house films have the best chance for wide release," Auzou said. "And then Spain, because it is another big market and because there are regional ties between the country and Italy."

The Business Street will take place from Oct. 18-21, the first four days of the RomaCinemaFest, which concludes Oct. 27. The length this year is one day longer than in 2006, though the overall budget remains about the same.

The difference, according to Auzou, is that there is an increased interest from companies eager to participate.

"We sent out about the same number of invitations as last year, and this year, a higher percentage have accepted so far and there are more inquires from people we did not invite," Auzou said.

The Business Street is not a traditional market but rather a forum where buyers and sellers can meet. The festival provides about 10 screening rooms, facilities for meetings and minimal infrastructure along the Italian capital's picturesque Via Veneto. There are no booths, no news conferences and -- significantly, according to Auzou -- little pressure.

"I think there are people who are particularly attracted to the cozy and informal atmosphere of the Business Street," he said.
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