JFL unveils new comedy marketplace


MONTREAL -- Just For Laughs on Thursday unveiled plans to expand its industry offerings by adding a dedicated comedy marketplace to its annual comedy festival starting next year in partnership with Achilles Media, the producer of the Banff World Television Festival.

Just For Laughs gurus Gilbert Rozon and Bruce Hills, as well as Robert Montgomery, CEO of Achilles Media, unveiled the plans for The World Comedy Conference here.

They said their hope is to expand industry turnout from currently about 1,000 attendees, allow a more focused discovery of the hottest comedic ideas and really bringing together talent and industry folks from around the world.

The World Comedy Conference is planned as a two-day event for broadcasters, TV and film producers, studio executives, agents, writers, digital content aggregators and creators, financiers and others.

Programming will include networking sessions, a conference program, people's choice-style awards and a marketplace, including open and one-one pitching sessions.

The companies said the conference will also feature a "customized VIP tour of the hottest acts to appear at Just For Laughs," a dedicated pilots' market, as well as Comedia, the Just For Laughs film portion, which Hills said is now in its 11th year and deserves to be taken to the next level.

"I have been very impressed by Achilles Media and the work they have done re-invigorating the Banff World Television Festival," said Rozon, JFL president and founder.

Montgomery added: "Just For Laughs is by far the world's most important comedy event," adding his team hopes to use their expertise to take JFL's industry offerings to the next level.