Venice shakes up film market

Lido offers more venues, networking opportunities

After launching the Lido’s first bona-fide bazaar last year, Venice Film Market topper Pascal Diot is looking to expand it by offering more space for screenings, plus networking opportunities and matchmaking initiatives within the Lido’s relaxed setting, which is fast becoming VFM’s trademark.

Last year, market screenings were mostly via its digital video library, with just one 15-seat screening room available. This year, Diot has the 100-seat Sala Pasinetti and two other venues at his disposal for market screenings of pics world-preeming in the official selection and in Venice Days and Critics’ Week. This is fresh fare that “sellers want the buyers to see on a bigscreen,” Diot says.

Diot last year invited about 70 buyers from all over the world. This year he’s inviting 60 buyers and 40 producers in an effort to diversify his networking strategy. He expects the overall number of attendees to be at least on a par with last year when VFM welcomed 1,100 registered industryites, including at least 250 international buyers.

In terms of networking, VFM will have a day dedicated to meetings between sales companies and arthouse exhibitors, capitalizing on a big meet the Intl. Confederation of Art Cinemas is holding in Venice at the start of the fest.

It’s an effort on Diot’s part to create a direct bridge between sales companies and indie exhibitors who may be interested in pics that haven’t been picked up.

“I want the Venice Film Market to become a place to network and do deals in a casual setting,” Diot says.

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