Film London expects the new Production Finance Market it is launching at this year’s London Film Festival to forge closer links between producers and private financiers while beefing up the fest’s industry elements.
The Oct. 22-23 mart, focusing on new private investment, film finance and distribution avenues, welcomes 120 international and U.K. financers and producers who will engage in more than 400 hours of face-to-face meetings arranged by project manager Angus Finney and staff at Film London.
The pilot edition is packed into two days to avoid “event fatigue,” Finney says. Most of the producers at PFM will be established players, but emerging producers from across the U.K. are taking 11 slots.
Financers from hedge funds, private equity groups, tax funds and banks will attend, as will film companies Working Title, Focus Features, the Weinstein Co., Paramount, Pathe and StudioCanal.
“London is one of the financial capitals of the world, and yet there is no dedicated event in the U.K. that acts as a catalyst for the development of relationships between the production community, the independent and large-scale independent film producers and the financial community,” says Film London CEO Adrian Wootton.
Wootton says the Film London board feels that “there are (many) more opportunities out in the commercial center than perhaps British producers have had the opportunity or inclination to exploit,” though he adds that there are notable exceptions, such as producer Jeremy Thomas, who has a proven ability to attract private finance.
“Given that $9 billion of private hedge and equity has recently been tapped by Hollywood, I see every reason why London’s new market can act as a lightening rod for investment in the U.K. and European film industry,” says Wootton.
Finney stresses that what will differentiate PFM from other European co-production marts, such as those at the Berlin and Rotterdam film fests, is that the London market will focus on private finance rather than broadcasters, regional funds and national public subsidy bodies.
Wootton insists that PFM will be no “wannabe market,” a point reinforced by Finney, who points out that the average budget level of each of the 70-odd projects is $7 million-$8 million.