Denmark Scales Down AFM Buying Presence

The Danish majors are definitely attracted by AFM, but few of the nation’s indies will be represented there.

This year the need for joint Scandi acquisitions seems more distinct than ever, thus AFM is favored by majors with solid partners and/or subsids in other Scandi countries.

Foremost among Danish majors is Pathe-Nordisk, but whereas Nordisk last year turned out in force with a contingent of 12 buyers, head of acquisitions Jesper Boas Smith now finds that AFM doesn’t warrant such heavy involvement.

Therefore, Smith will be the sole participant this year, and among his prime objectives will be the maintenance of contacts. Smith thinks that most deals will be initiated well before the market, but still he’ll be scouting for pics showing promise.

Another big player that seems well established in Scandinavia is Copenhagen-based Egmont Audio Visual Group. Its team will consist of Ole Timm and Mats Kaneman. However, acquisitions will primarily be taken care of by Goran Sjostedt and H.P. Lundh, working out of Egmont’s Swedish division.

Previously, Egmont has at AFM secured pics like Kevin Costner’s “Dances With Wolves” and Rob Reiner’s “Misery,” and will be scouting for a fair amount of features sold with all rights for Scandi. These will primarily be A pics, but solid B pics for direct homevid release will also be discussed. Egmont might also be inclined toward pre-buys of major releases.

As in previous years Anne Fabricius-Bjerre, Henrik Fabricius-Bjerre and Jan Thielsen of Metronome will make an effort to pick up good product in L.A.

Already commanding Copenhagen multiplexes Dagmar Bio and Scala, Metronome will also run an imposing nine-plex, under construction in the Copenhagen suburb Taastrup.

Pan-Scandi deals

Metronome is part of an inter-Scandi cooperation that makes acquisitions on behalf of Sweden’s Sandrews, Norway’s Norsk Film Distribution, Finland’s EuropaVision and Iceland’s Haskula Bio, and will be looking for theatrical, homevid or tv rights of strong features. Metronome will also be looking for pre-buys supported by promising scripts and attractive casting.

Homevid distribber A.B. Collection will be represented by managing director Anders P. Jensen together with Kurt Wellejus and Kim Peschardt. A.B. Collection has felt the stagnation of homevid rentals, and now puts its money on the booming Danish sell-through market. Thus, A.B. will be scouting for packets of solid action fare, and it won’t be adverse to an occasional pre-buy if the pie has an action-packed script.

Karl Emil Knudsen of Sonet Film & Video will be part of a joint Scandi team of buyers looking for theatrical features and vidpics in the mid-price range. The Sonet buyers won’t make any pre-buys.

Mini-major Dansk Filmindustri, a subsid of Sweden’s SF, won’t be found at AFM. Acquisition/distrib topper Torben Villesen states that Dansk Filmindustri can get desirable product without attending the market.

Peter Philipsen of small but active distribbery Constantin Film likewise sees no need to go and will skip right to Cannes. However, Constantin will, in a manner of speaking, be represented at AFM via owner Pathe-Nordisk.

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