Brits bullish as market booms, Paillard says

Mart schedule overlaps with L.A. Screenings

Films and projects unveiled at the market here have more than doubled to 730, while the U.K. presence in particular has exploded, with new Brit product up 40%.

U.K. participants are up 20%.

Jerome Paillard, the film mart’s executive director, tells Variety, “We are seeing the effects of the sales and leaseback system, which is really boosting U.K. production.”

Producers account for most of the 7% increase in overall attendance at the market, which is up to 7,700 — despite the fact that the overlap with the L.A. Screenings is hitting the number of TV buyers on the French Riviera.

Mart organizers have asked the MPA to lobby the major studios about keeping some space between the two confabs, Paillard says.

“This is the only film or TV market in the past year where attendance has gone up, not down,” Paillard says. “But the clash with the L.A. Screenings this year is a nuisance. We hope something can be done to prevent it happening next year.”

Paillard estimates that about 40 buyers stayed away. “Sellers have noticed their absence,” he says.

Overall U.S. attendance was down 7% in a “post-conflict” effect, Paillard adds.

As expected, the number of martgoers from SARS-hit Asian countries also fell. The Chinese delegation was down from 30 to only five individuals. However Japanese and South Korean presence grew 6%.

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