Magazine article Variety

Continental Shift to Asian Screens

Magazine article Variety

Continental Shift to Asian Screens

Article excerpt

European Film Promotion once again takes a full slate of pics to eager Busan industryites and cinemagoers

European Film Promotion is back at the Busan Film Festival this year with 18 filmmakers and actors in tow as part of its wide-ranging efforts to boost European cinema in Asia.

EFP, which comprises film organizations from 37 countries, has been promoting European film at the Korean fest for nearly two decades through its aptly named Opening Doors program. The organization, which promotes European cinema and talent around the world, sees Busan as one of the main gateways to the Asian market.

EFP president Martin Schweighofer says: the "program has been fine-tuned over the years and proven very helpful for the participants. With EFP's many years of experience and profound knowledge of the festival and the Asian Film Market, Opening Doors provides a very stimulating environment for the introduction of new film talent at the festival as well as for films on the market."

The 18 filmmakers and actors attending the event this year hail from 13 different countries and are attending the event with the support of EFP's respective members. In addition, 36 European sales agents will set up shop at EFP's expansive European Umbrella at the mart.

As part of its events this year, EFP will introduce European film talent to Korean auds, hold a dinner for participants and selected journalists and organize networking meetings between sales reps and Asian buyers.

In addition, EFP's Film Sales Support (FSS) initiative provides financial aid to European sales companies to market their films internationally, from producing promotional material to organizing market screenings. According to FSS project director Susanne Davis, it covers 50% of marketing costs, averaging euro2,500 ($2,792) per film for a maximum of two films per company.

Among the 13 filmmakers joining EFP at Busan with their films are German helmer Johannes Naber, Greek director Yannis Sakaridis, Virgil Widrich of Austria, Britain's Bill Clark, Caterina Carone of Italy and Lithuania's Andrius Blazevicius.

Making its world premiere in the Open Cinema section is Naber's "Heart of Stone," the latest adaptation of Wilhelm Hauff's fairytale about a poor charcoal burner who sells his heart for great wealth. German helmer Paul Verhoeven's 1950 classic was East Germany's first color film. …

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