German Biz As Usual

This year’s German NATPE film producers contingent will be 30% larger than last year, with 20 film companies and 50 television companies participating.

Furthermore, industry sources report that two bigger groups, Leo Kirch’s Beta Group and producer Dieter Geissler’s CineVox, decided late in the going to join the fray.

NATPE has otherwise been home to Germany’s smaller filmmakers, like WDR, Bavaria or Granit Film, who sometimes only show up with a few films.

One participant said that despite increased participation, Germans aren’t necessarily looking to raise their overall profile at the trade show. An initial informal cocktail hour is planned as a welcome, in addition to the traditional Bavarian reception.

This is the first year that the Germans have collectively engaged an American public relations agent, Sheila Morris, to handle their affairs. The major theatrical players participating include: Barbarella Entertainment, Bavaria Film, Cobra Film, Diwa Film, DMB Filmproduktion, Erasmus Film, Granit Film, Hermes Film, Julian R. Film, Kick Film, Medias Res Film und Fernsehproduktions GmbH, MTM Cineteve, Ottifant Prods., Studio Babelsberg, Babelsberg Film und Fernsehproduktion, Telepool, TeleTime Fernsehproduktion, Tristar Film, UMI Unimedia Intl. Filmvertrieb, VTTV Camera Group Berlin, WDR-NDR Intl., WDR Intl., NDR Intl.

Germany’s most successful commercial network, RTL, is dispatching its chief executive, Helmut Thoma, and its entertainment head, Marc Conrad, to Las Vegas, but one source described the mood of anticipation as “business as usual.”

“One can’t necessarily mark success at NATPE in dollars and cents,” another veteran of the event said.

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