Rotterdam revs up

Fest's financing sidebar to feature 47 pix

ROTTERDAM — Intl. Film Festival Rotterdam has selected 47 projects, including John Sayles’ “Honeydripper,” British director Nicolas Roeg’s “Puffball” and Chinese helmer Jia Zhangke’s “Still Life,” for the 22nd Cinemart, the world’s largest co-production and financing confab.

Some 800 buyers and financiers, from sales agents and bankers to broadcasters and production outfits, make the trip for the Rotterdam sidebar each year, and 85% of the projects end up with complete funding, Cinemart director Ido Abram said.

The Cinemart projects come with at least 25% funding and are in treatment or synopsis phases; some even have footage. But basically, Abram said, “they are on paper and looking for the rest of their funding.”

“What I like is there is a balance between acclaimed directors, among them Peter Greenaway, as well as promising new projects by first- and second-time filmmakers such as France’s Laurent Achard,” he added.

This year’s market includes South African helmer Teboho Mahlatsi’s “Scar.” Mahlatsi earned his credentials as a director of “Yizo Yizo,” a controversial 13-part TV series that won South African kudos.

It also includes several projects from Africa, as well as South Korean Jang Sun-Woo’s “A Thousand of Plateaus.”

The 34th IFFR will unspool Jan. 26 to Feb. 6, with special sidebars on Southeast Asian cinema, called Sea Eyes, and Russian film, titled Near Past, Near Future.

The fest will be under the sole directorship of former co-director Sandra Den Hamer for the first time. Simon Field, who had been a topper for eight years, stepped down last year.

The Tiger Awards nominees for the main three Rotterdam fest prizes — each worth E10,000 ($13,279) — will be announced early next month.

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