Eurasia Film Market finds its place


ANTALYA, Turkey -- Having a film market leading directly into the American Film Market would normally be considered a recipe for disaster. But the second edition of the Eurasia Film Market seems to have avoided pitfalls by presenting itself as a bridge between East and West.

"In spite of the AFM, let alone coming right after Pusan and Rome, we did exceed our expectations," said market director Deniz Temeltas, pointing out that of the 70 stands at the Hillside Su hotel, 60 are from companies outside of Turkey.

"We have a strong presence from the Far East, especially Hong Kong and China, including the China Film Promotion International and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council," Temeltas added.

Fortissimo, Freemantle, Kinowelt, Celluloid Dreams, Studio Canal, the Israeli Film Fund, and local buyers Alparslan Yapm and Bir Film are some of the companies in attendance and, while buyers and sellers alike complain about the lack of major foot traffic, they all point out that the less-frantic pace leaves time to develop or deepen client relationships.

"I came with high expectations and am very impressed by the organization. We had many talks with buyers we normally don't spend so much time with at other markets," said Stelios Ziannis of Kinowelt, adding that Kinowelt is in negotiations with buyers and sellers from China, Taiwan, Korea, France and Turkey.

Mylene Cayol-Cythere of Studio Canal said she also has two deals in the works here.

There were a handful of deals done, with the Jordan Movie Channel buying a package of five Turkish feature films and Turkey's TRT selling programming to Hungarian and Greek TV.

The market also managed to put filmmakers and possible backers together.

"The Eurasian Production Platform with 23 projects, with three having found financing so far, was a big success," said Temeltas, who has reason to look forward to next year's market.

"Next year, Fortissimo will increase its market space by 100%," he said, adding that he has extracted a promise from festival president Mederes Turel to double his budget.

"Mederes Turel always delivers what he promises," Temeltas said, emphasizing that the Eurasia Film Market is happy to assist smaller companies with limited budgets. "We tend to sponsor companies that, because of monetary restrictions, don't always find it easy to travel to markets."