CANNES — The upcoming Melbourne film fest is to launch a film market and a production support operation (July 26-28). Titled 37 South: Bridging the Gap, the linked events are backed by a A$2 million ($1.65 million) two year grant from the Victoria state government.
Fest has long operated informal industry events, but 37 South initiative seeks to give scale and structure. Some eight to 10 sales agents and financiers from abroad will be invited to participate, with fest underwriting flight, accommodation and speaker fees.
“We will match people and projects, but do it with the usual laid-back Ozzie atmosphere,” said fest’s new exec director Richard Moore.
Majority of the coin will go to providing finance for selection of local features and docus.
“We see this as useful start-up money for Victorian films and ultimately hope that we can secure films for our festival,” Moore said.
Financing operations will be complemented by series of special industry screenings and book launches.
Complete Melbourne fest runs July 25-Aug. 12.