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Mifed market on mend

More films, exhibitors confirmed this year

VENICE — Buoyed by the decision of many U.S. and international vendors to skip October’s London screenings, Milan’s Mifed film and television market will make its 69th bow Nov. 3-7 with a record number of films, exhibitors and office space.

Mifed prexy Giuseppe Zola, presenting the mart at the Venice Film Fest Wednesday, admitted he was surprised at the large number of exhibitors in a year of economic troubles. “Their response to the recession has obviously been to spend more to sell their product,” he told Daily Variety.

Italian seller Adriana Chiesa, a longtime Mifed booster, had no doubt that the increase was in large part due to the resolve of many major companies to lower their costs and their clients’ costs by eliminating a pre-Mifed stop in London.

444 films confirmed

According to Zola, 222 companies (90 of them from the U.S.) have already registered for exhibition space at Mifed, with 444 films confirmed — a much higher figure than last year’s 370 as of Sept. 3.

“Last year’s 460 films will be easily topped by November,” he said. Many companies cancelled last year following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

A novelty this go-round will be screenings on the Saturday before the market opens. Twelve companies, including Focus, Miramax, Intermedia, Lions Gate, Overseas Film Group and Adriana Chiesa Enterprises, have already registered to show their more important films on that day.

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