The Apulia Film Commission was the only Italian film commission at the American Film Market’s Location Expo and it was very popular with participants at the market. “This was probably also thanks to our home page that refers to Wonder Woman, shot in Puglia last summer”, reveals Cristina Piscitelli, the film commission’s project manager. “We were happy to see that people got to know us and look out for us. However, the AFM is a market whose focus is predominantly on the side of the buyers and sellers rather than that of the producers: film commissions are not so central and therefore I think it could be useful if it were made more visible, perhaps with a Location Expo launch event inside the AFM. Depending also on this we are considering the idea of taking a booth next year.”
Likewise Samuel Castro, head of the Madrid Film Commission says: “I would like the film commissions to be more widely distributed on all the Loewes floors, on the fourth floor as well, for example, close to the lobby, where there is more concentration, or that more information were provided to producers about our presence. I came back to the AFM after five years, the market is still interesting but I found the attendance was lower than I remembered.”
It was the first time, instead, for the Moscow Film Commission which was launched last August: “We were here to introduce ourselves, and we found quite a lot of interest among professionals. Important movies have been shot in Moscow like “Mission Impossible”, and we would like to have more productions, also because now, with the favorable exchange rate, shooting in Russia is twice as convenient as shooting in Hungary, for example, that so many times is substituted for Moscow!” says Leila Salieva of the Moscow Film Commission.
“The professionals are not here for us, but we wanted to be present and in fact we are having pretty interesting meetings with American producers”, declares Teija Raninen, of the West Finland Film Commission and head of Film in Finland that reunites the six Finnish film commissions. “We are also here to present our new production incentives scheme, Fast & Simple that, with a lot of effort, we set up at the beginning of 2017 and that refunds 25% of the expenditure carried out in Finland. Our budget is € 10 million which is confirmed for 2018 and that we would like to increase”. “Also because”, adds Kristiina Werner of the Lapland Film Commission, “we have reason to believe that the growing number of productions we have had in the last year is due to these new incentives: at the moment, we have six international feature-length co-productions being filmed in our region alone, and four series.”
Relatively recent (2016) are the tax incentives offered by Georgia that is working hard to promote its locations among international producers: “the AFM is important because it gives us access to independent producers and the so-called mini majors, whilst the AFCI Location Show in April is more useful for meeting the majors”, says David Vashadze, head of Film in Georgia.
The Malta Film Commission is another habitué of the Film Market which film commissioner defines as “a very useful platform for networking with American and international producers.”