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BFI fund topper to speak at PFM

Roberts to share vision for future of U.K. biz

LONDON — Ben Roberts, the new director of the BFI Film Fund, will deliver the keynote address as the Film London Production Finance Market on Oct. 17.

Roberts, who is responsible for coin for development, production, distribution and international activity, will share his vision for the future, following the launch Oct. 3 of the BFI’s five-year plan, “Film Forever: Supporting U.K. Film.”

The PFM is a two-day annual event launched in 2007, which connects international producers and financiers to encourage financing relationships, secure investments in companies and individual projects, and helps producers attach international sales companies to their projects. The event facilitates 800 face-to-face meetings, and an additional 300 financier-to-financier meetings over the course of the two days.

The only event of its kind in the U.K., the PFM runs during the London Film Festival. The PFM takes place on Oct. 17 and 18.

“The PFM offers a very real and successful solution to getting new independent film financed and into production,” said Adrian Wootton, chief executive of Film London, which organizes the event. “It is a unique forum for international financiers and producers to do business and forge new cross-territory relationships. Year on year, we have worked hard to make this event truly international, believing better engagement outside of the U.K. will only strengthen our domestic industry.”

The event will also include a senior producers panel, which will look at the challenges producers face making films for the international market, and how the U.K. can develop stronger international relationships under the new U.K. funding system. Participants will include Stephen Woolley of Number 9 Films, David Parfitt of Trademark Films, Peter Watson of Recorded Picture Company and Andrea Calderwood of Slate Films.

This year’s edition has attracted more than 52 producers presenting projects with Euros 305 million ($394 million) of production value, up from $317 million in 2011. The 54 attending financiers include leading private equity firms, tax-structured financiers, sale companies, distributors and broadcaster reps.

Earlier this year the PFM announced new partnerships with the Nordic Co-Production Market at the Norwegian Film Festival in Haugesund, and Primexchange’s Film Bazaar in Goa adding to existing international partnerships with the Melbourne Film Festival’s 37ºSouth Market, Ile de France Film Commission and the Toronto Film Festival’s International Financing Forum.

The event is supported by the BFI, the Mayor of London, MEDIA, and U.K. Trade and Investment.

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