Magazine article Variety

Industry Weighs in on Mart

Magazine article Variety

Industry Weighs in on Mart

Article excerpt

Industry players heading for the European Film Market see it as a must-attend event, and being in a lively, bohemian city such as Berlin is an added bonus.

Mister Smith's CEO David Garrett says the European Film Market plays "a very important role" in the movie business, as one of the top three markets, alongside Cannes and the American Film Market.

He says it is "a question of timing" as to which event hosts the launch of a project, as it depends when the project is ready to go, but, he adds, "I've always really, really liked Berlin. It's well-organized, well-focused." The screening facilities, he says, are "fantastic, probably better than Cannes, in terms of the quality of the cinemas."

He adds: "Berlin has had its detractors, but even its detractors still go every year because I think they can't live without it."

Most of the buyers Garrett needs to see are in Berlin, although a lot of the Asian buyers don't go, which may be because it sometimes coincides with the Chinese New Year.

Arclight Films chairman Gary Hamilton says: "Berlin is a very good market and is well-positioned in terms of being at the start of the year." The AFM, on the other hand, is at a disadvantage being in November. "We are always pleasantly surprised by Berlin. We probably have higher expectations of Cannes, and sometimes it does OK, but sometimes it doesn't."

He adds: "Toronto is giving everyone a run for their money because people are launching packages there, too. …

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