Events to cover financing, sales companies, 3D

Independent film financing, the vital role of international sales companies and 3D mania are among the hot topics at this year’s European Film Market Industry Debates.

Panelists for the indie film debate include Stuart Ford of IM Global, Christian Grass, prexy of international production and acquisition at Universal Pictures Intl., Paul Brett of Prescience Film Finance, producer Jens Meurer of Egoli Tossell and Daniel Baur of K5 Media Group.

They will look at the state of financing for indie film, from co-production and soft money to sales, distribution guarantees, equity and gap. The panel will explore new opportunities at a time when producers are facing great difficulties in securing financing.

Panelists have yet to be confirmed for the debate on the role of sales companies, which are now, more than ever, having to put up capital as well as market and sell films.

Examining 3D are director Gareth Maxwell Roberts, Erwin M. Schmidt of Wim Wenders’ Neue Road Movies, Sam Taylor of Film and Music Entertainment and Christian Gisy, CEO of German exhib Cinemaxx.

The debates, running Feb. 11-13, are organized in cooperation with Variety and other trade magazines.Attendance at this year’s EFM is expected to surpass that of 2010. The market has seen nearly 250 more attendees than last year register so far, with 6,698 participants accredited by Jan. 31.

Buyers make up 1,421 of that total, compared with 1,365 last year. The EFM will screen 723 films, 57 more than last year.

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