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Euro Aim breaks record

SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain — A record-breaking 343 new European productions were presented at the fifth Euro Aim Screenings June 25-29 in San Sebastian, Spain, a rise of almost 50% over last year.

Event, organized by the EC MEDIA 95 offshoot Euro Aim, is regarded as an increasingly important cross-border sales showcase for independent Euro producers and distribs.

A record 90 buyers were in attendance from the U.S., Canada, Japan and Australia, for a program spanning all genres and including more than 100 features. The split between genres was 31% fiction, 58% documentary, 11% other.

All EC and EFTA (European Free Trade Assn.) countries were represented except Norway, with the largest growth in screened product recorded by France.

New this year was a Works in Progress section, aimed at stimulating co-finance and co-production, as was a special selection of 31 productions supported by other MEDIA 95 projects such as BABEL, SCRIPT, EVE, DOCUMENTARY, MAP TV and the European Film Academy.

According to Euro Aim general manager Nicolas Steil, productions on show at the fifth screenings “represent European archetypes with national or regional dressing. This makes it just exotic enough to be interesting for buyers from all over Europe and will help build toward a true single market for programming.”

The number of producers present also had more than doubled to 85, an aspect Steil saw as “particularly encouraging. With the recession it has become critical that broadcasters and producers understand their mutual needs. The underlying aim of these screenings is to develop and solidify the dialogue between the end users and the product suppliers.”

A range of buyers praised the quality of the product on view. One of them, Michael Carrington of Discovery Channel Europe, said: “Euro Aim allows me an access to independent production that it’s very difficult to find elsewhere. The product here has been more varied and more vibrant than ever, underlining why this market is developing into a key event.”

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