Bangkok Film Market has everything but buyers

The third frame of the Bangkok Film Market got off to a slow start Tuesday.

Now housed in the palatial new Paragon complex alongside the 4-year-old Bangkok Film Festival, the mart was shiny and neat but rattled around in such large premises.

The event officially opened Monday, with Tuesday its first full day. But by that afternoon, many buyers and sellers had headed off to take advantage of the city’s excellent shops and the ubiquitous spas and massage parlors.

“Where are the buyers?” was a regular refrain from the sales and production companies filling the free booths.

What buyers there were came mostly from the Asian region, with only a couple of French acquisition agents making the trip. Some of the biggest Japanese companies, including Toshiba and Shochiku, which both came last year, had not been spotted by Tuesday afternoon.

“Buyers are here from territories we’ve already sold to,” Thailand’s De Warrenne Films prexy Tom Waller said. “There are hardly any Europeans.”

Office space was predominantly occupied by companies from Thailand. Malaysia also had a strong presence. But, falling so soon after Berlin’s European Film Market, companies from further afield were scarce and several booths remained conspicuously empty.

Some business was being done. “I’ve done some sales with smaller territories, but generally it is very quiet. I’m leaving for Tokyo now,” Nu Image’s Danny Dimbort said.

“We’ve done sales and pre-sales on both days on our time-travel picture ‘Siyama’ and action film ‘M4,’ ” said Jirun Ratthanaviriyachai, managing director of Thailand’s Mono Film. “We’ve got a better lineup this year and we’ve done more business this time around.”

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