Discop has int’l flair

Trade show attracts 750 buyers, sellers

TV sales mart Discop began with a bang Thursday as 750 buyers and sellers braved roadblocks and tight security for President Bush’s Hungarian visit and ensconced themselves at Budapest’s Sofitel for the two-day trade show.

Despite launching after communism’s fall 16 years ago as an East Euro market, buyers from around the world are attending, including from the Americas, Western Europe and Asia.

NATPE prexy Rick Feldman, who oversaw that org’s purchase of Discop in January, said the markets’ affiliation reflected NATPE’s desire for “a global footprint.”

“We are and always will be the biggest market in the U.S.,” Feldman said. “But the programming market has become much more global in recent years.”

Discop organizer Patrick Jucaud added that the focus of this market is “innovative distribution for programming” while keeping the event as intimate and informal as possible.

The hottest product so far is Russian-made, and two of that country’s top producers, A Media and Central Partnership, are on hand to hawk two dozen titles.

“This is the first time Russian shows are available on the international market,” said A Media’s Bill Peck, “and the reaction by buyers has been positive and gratifying.”

Literary adaptations are in, including “The Master and Margarita,” “Dr. Zhivago,” “Golden Calf” and “Hero of Our Time.”

The classics have been so popular, “more are to follow,” said Central Partnership sales manager Anastasia Bankovskaya. “We are inspired by this success.”

Even if sales are light, Peck expects Discop will have been worth it.

“In selling you are up against certain reservations from clients because Russian product hasn’t been in the markets until now. But we’re changing that. We’ve embarked on the campaign to show that Russia is producing great quality titles.”

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