Miramax, Good Machine bail out of mart

LONDON — Miramax Intl. and Good Machine Intl., two important sales companies in the indie marketplace, have pulled out of the upcoming Mifed mart in Milan.

Move is a huge blow to Mifed’s organizers, who are struggling to keep their event, skedded for Oct. 27-Nov. 2, on track.

Miramax and Good Machine, both Gotham-based companies, will attend the London Screenings, which run Oct. 22-26, and then return home.

Decision by two cornerstone sales companies to skip Mifed could have a domino effect on other sellers and buyers as they decide in the next few days whether to make the trip.

Universal Pictures has already canceled plans to send its acquisitions execs to Mifed.

Other major sellers including Summit, Intermedia, Capitol and Cobalt are currently committed to attending the Milan mart in full force. Sources report, however, that many U.S.-based companies are having a hard time persuading their staff to make the trans-Atlantic trip at this time.

It’s no coincidence that the first two big companies to pull out of Mifed, Miramax and Good Machine, are both based in New York, still recovering from the Sept. 11 tragedy.

“It’s clear that everyone’s preference, both buyers and sellers, is to spend as little time away from home as possible,” said David Linde, president of GMI.

“GMI had a large presence in Venice, Deauville and Toronto, and we’re fortunate to have both initiated and completed a lot of sales at those festivals. As London precedes Milan, it just makes sense to focus our efforts there.”

But confirming his long-term support for Mifed, he added, “We have every intention of attending Mifed 2002.”

GMI is not canceling its Mifed screenings of pics including “Buffalo Soldiers,” but simply will not have any execs present at the event.

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