Mart to add TV, focus on developing markets

MILAN — Italian Culture Minister Giuliano Urbani jetted to Mifed on Monday to pledge his support for the Milan mart and unveil plans to focus it on developing markets in Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America and to add TV to the event’s purview.

Mifed’s new strategy to counter AFMA’s decision to shift the American Film Market’s dates into its November timeslot next year will be carried out by a new entity comprising Mifed parent company Fiera Milano, Rome’s Cinecitta and the Venice Biennale.

As previously announced, the joint venture will reshape Mifed, develop the Venice fest’s nascent film market and promote Italian pics internationally.

“One of our main goals is to make Mifed more international partly thanks to the Italian government’s bilateral agreements for film distribution incentives in China, India, Russia and Brazil,” Urbani said.

Attendees at this year’s Mifed came from 68 countries, with organizers boasting a 40% increase in newcomers from Asia.

Sitting alongside the minister were Cinecitta managing director Ubaldo Livolsi; Francesco Alberoni, head of the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia Film School; and Fiera Milano managing director Piergiacomo Ferrari.

“We are responding to a declaration of war,” Ferrari lamented. The Fiera chief underlined that Mifed’s aim was to become more international and transform itself into a hybrid market where movies, TV product and advertising content can be hawked.

The joint venture will likely be headed by Mifed director Carlo Bassi. Giorgio Gosetti, director of Italy’s film promotion body Italia Cinema, will be chief of its promotional unit, to be modeled on France’s Unifrance.

Under its new structure, Mifed will benefit from $2.5 million a year in government funding.

Bassi is expected to announce more competitive rates for sellers for next year’s 71st Mifed and also to raise the number of free flight and accommodation vouchers for buyers who choose Milan over the AFM in Santa Monica next year.

As for the Venice Screenings, they will be linked to Mifed but will not compete with the Milan market, being geared specifically to arthouse product.

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