While the second edition of The Business Street at the Rome Film Festival is catalyzing the interest of sector operators who are confident in its excellent growth potential, the American Film Market is slipping and becoming less attractive to our exporters who have great hopes in the capital’s new event for selling quality movies, although they still have confidence in the consolidated commercial event in Berlin.
“We have attended the American Film Market for many years”, explains Roberto Di Girolamo of Filmexport.
“There have been good and no so good times, but over the last 15 years, at least, it has seen a fall in independent movies whilst the majors are getting stronger and stronger.
On the other hand, 60% of the Italian market is in the hands of the majors.
Basically it is all a question of product, of quality movies, but unfortunately the US market is continuing to decline.
It is suffering from considerable market weakness despite massive attendance.
Now all it does once a year is to show that it is still surviving”.
Di Girolamo shows a cautious interest in the second edition in Rome of The Business Street whilst continuing to lament the passing of Mifed: “I am worried that the Rome Film Festival market will not be able to truly take off .
We have been damaged by the AFM’s date change and by the fact that we allowed them to cancel the best market in the world.
Mifed may not have been very attractive but it was extremely convenient and it was a unique opportunity for businesses. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much interest in saving it, even on a political level”.
Much more enthusiastic is Sesto Cifola, head of sales at Rai Trade, which is also The Business Street’s technical partner.
The public TV division will, in fact, be digitalizing all the titles to be proposed at the market and will organize screenings of its products on film and in digital in two locations specially set up by the organizers of the Roman market.
“Now that Mifed has gone, the Rome Film Festival market is even more important for covering the second half of the year”, says Cifola, “and we will do all we can to help it grow.
We have not attended the American Film Market for several years now. We didn’t go last year and are not intending to go this year.
For Italian companies, the only markets for European movies are Berlin, Venice and now Rome, which started well and will be even more structured at this second edition”.
Paola Corvino, head of Intramovies and president of Unefa, is slightly more cautious.
She says: “This second edition will be a turning point that will help us understand whether, on a commercial level, Rome can function in the long term.
We need to understand whether last year it worked so well because of the novelty factor or if it has the makings of an important market, to be what Venice could have become.
We will be watching with interest for nationalistic reasons as well.
It would be very important for our movie industry if the world’s attention was concentrated on the Roman market”.
In her capacity as leader of the Exporters’ Union, Paola Corvino is pleased about the recent participation of Istituto Luce but is also looking forward to an important objective that Unefa has set itself for the near future:
“We want to strengthen our institutional role by obtaining the recognition of the Ministry of Culture.
We are planning to work with the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade to fi nd new markets.
We will self-finance ourselves in order to do this.
We will explore new markets and decide whether to enter them with our companies.
Only after carrying out these tests will we ask for any institutional financing”.
Cinema&Video International n. 10-11 October/November 2007