Film mart lures more exhibiting companies

The Ibero-American Film Market may come at time when financial doom and gloom is rampant, but the Guadalajara confab is bustling.

The mart, a parallel component to the Guadalajara film fest, is luring more exhibiting companies, and it’s emerging as a panregional co-production and sales hub.

“We’re growing across the board,” festival topper Jorge Sanchez says.

Alejandra Paulin, the market’s industry director, reports that exhib space has doubled over that of 2008. “We have 10 confirmed stands with a lot of movement, more floor space and government agencies from Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and Argentina.”

Though the number of stands may seem low, each is a hub for multiple exhibitors. Mexican film commission Imcine’s stand, for instance, will house reps from 28 Mexican states.

Overall, the seventh annual market has registered 500 industry execs, compared with about 450 in 2008. More than 100 buyers are set to attend.

Sanchez says he expects overseas players, including Miami-based producer-sales agent Ondamax and Venezuela’s Telesur, to have a strong market presence.

“The market’s first years were more about attracting distributors,” adds Paulin. “Now we’re also seeing more producers.”

This year’s Ibero-American Co-production Meeting will give the producers of 20 fiction and five docu projects the opportunity to pitch potential co-production partners in one-on-one settings. Organizers say the number of entries rose from 118 in 2008 to 168 this year. Previous meeting projects include Julio Hernandez Cordon’s “Gasolina” — winner of San Sebastian’s 2008 Horizontes Latinos section — and Alberto Cortes’ “Heart of Time,” which screened at Sundance this year.

There also will be a new short-film section to connect filmmakers with buyers and other industryites. Following the screenings of four shorts programs, there will be a pitch market for short filmmakers on March 21.

Meanwhile, the confab’s fourth annual Made in Mexico section will showcase 19 recently produced Mexican pics at market venue Fiesta Americana.

Among the other biz-related events, there will be a conference on digital distribution, and Cannes Market’s Producers Network returns to Guadalajara for a two-day event. The Producer Network will draw 80 industry participants — a 60% jump in attendance over last year — for breakfast Q&As hosted by pic biz veterans.

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