Focus –The Meeting Place for International Productions is coming back to London, next December 3 and 4 2019, with a reinforced and promising fifth edition that pays greater attention to the post-production, gaming and animation industries.
“We are going to try to cater more for all these parts of the industry, while keeping on doing our film financing and legal strands” reveals Focus Director, Jean Frédéric Garcia, “we will also have an increased number of sessions on advertisement which is getting closer to film and technology than before since this industry is not essentially led by the will of clients nowadays, but much more by the possibility of how content is distributed (I am thinking of all the big tech companies, like Google Amazon Spotify, Snapchat, Instagram). Ultimately we are going to balance our content even more for the whole creative screen industry.”
The Italian presence will also be stronger compared to last year with the stand managed by the Italian Film Commissions and by Cinecittà, supported by ICE-ITA (Italian Trade Agency), and two VIP lounges for meetings reserved for the individual film commissions and the studios.
The ‘institutional’ new entries include Montenegro, Uzbekistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Lithuania and the Philippines.
“We realize that our visitors are very interested in networking, so we are doing a couple of pilots this year to see how peer to peer networks can be fostered, managed and promoted, plus we are trying to have some additional lounges specifically for meetings.”
This edition of Focus will also be the first to have Netflix as its neighbour: in fact, at the beginning of July, the streaming giant announced the opening of its second European hub (after Madrid), in London.
“I think this is great news for the country which is going to be even busier with studio space even more difficult to access” continues Garcia. “However, with regionalization there will be more studio spaces opening elsewhere: there is a political will in the UK to move productions outside London as well, so the regions and the government are pushing in this direction through funding and infrastructures.
By the way, this is also something else we are looking at doing as a strand. Last year we did a lot of regional focuses but within the UK (Wales, Yorkshire….).
This year we want to take that to a European level and see how regionalization outside the usual production poles works in Europe and what are the benefits for producers, using the example of France that tries to decentralize. And of Spain that not only has two big production poles, Madrid and Barcelona, each one with its own specificity, but also other locations with their tradition of international production.
I’m thinking about Ridley Scott filming there almost regularly.
And now, also with Netflix setting up this big base that will probably resonate throughout the whole country.