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Rome Business Street Mart Kicks Off With New Italo Distribution Fund

Post AFM mart's accent is on Asia, Europe, Latin America, and also the Arab world

ROME – The 8th Rome Film Festival’s Business Street mart kicked off Wednesday with some 200 buyers and 70 world sales agents from 45 countries flocking in for the informal Eternal City bazaar held in the Via Veneto’s Hotel Bernini Bristol where the accent is on Asia, Europe, Latin America, and also the Arab world.

Italo motion picture association ANICA welcomed execs to the post-AFM bazaar with the launch of a $240,000 government fund to push Italo pic penetration in Latin America, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan by covering up to 20% of P&A and some subtitling and dubbing fees, among other costs.

China is the guest of honour, with two dedicated China days, Nov. 16 and 17, spearheaded by the fest premiere of Tsui Hark’s Chinese box-office megahit 3D high-wire act “Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon” (pictured).

It will be followed by a China-Italy co-production panel, closed-door meetings and pitching sessions, and the world preem of Hong Kong cop thriller “The White Storm,” helmed by Benny Chan, which is the fest closer. “Storm” just scored gangbuster sales at AFM.

A European Day, on November 15, will focus on opportunities to tap into European soft money within the EU’s changing financial framework. While on Nov. 16 EU co-production fund Eurimages will announce the winner of its Euros 30,000 ($40,000) prize for best European co-prod project within those at Rome’s New Cinema Network (NCN) co-production mart this year.

There are 25  projects at NCN, two of which from the Sundance Feature Film Labs, with which NCN has a longstanding collaboration. They are: Palestinian helmer Bassam Jarbawi’s “Solitaire King,” and Saudi duo Faiza Ambah and Karim Bensalah’s “A Reverence for Spiders.”

Panels and workshops range from new distribution models and the financial aspects of making web series to literary adaptations and remakes. Remakes have a dedicated focus this year called “Re-make it!,” with selected titles on offer in a “High Concept Remake” section of the Rome mart’s video library.

The 8th Rome fest ends November 17.

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