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Festivals & Markets Consolidate Position In the Value Chain As The Independent Community Simultaneously Shrinks & Expands Fuelled By The Ambitions Of Entrepreneurs The Backbone Of Our Worldwide Business

The American Film Market, Home of the Independents - AFM 2016 Official Poster
The digital era of production and distribution has triggered a game change not seen since the advent of the video back in the 80s. Its greatest challenge is that with the speed of technology the game changes almost by the minute – propelled forward at breakneck speed by the technology companies that 'control' the flow of both software and hardware.

Festivals and markets are increasingly adapting to the new order and carving out their niche - whilst driven by market trending such as the influx of the fiscal power and the potential audience from China – dubbed the new West.

Nonetheless, the markets are adapting to the realisation that they can no longer just be 'real estate' for the independent companies to take meetings in. To offer pop-up expensive real estate for maximum four days in today's economic climate to take arranged meetings and wait for the traffic from buyers perusing the corridors - isn't happening - hasn't happened in the last three year - so how are they adapting?

Pretty much the same way savvy independents have survived and are now adapting - carving out their individual niche - mining their experience and knowledge to adapt to meeting the knowledge base as technology and the market trends demand - proactive rather than simply reactive. Reactive is too late.

TBOF's observations are the following:
The American Film home of the independents is underpinned by its members: 60% to 70% of the sales companies that make up ANY of the annual markets are American companies. The AFM evolved and bedded in its Conference series - Conferences that dominate the film market space in this regard.

The Berlin & EFM strategy is based on the careful curating of films of quality which in many instances are represented by the global independent film sales companies – with a natural lean towards the European films and unreserved pride in promoting and supporting German Films. Berlin and the EFM is the one combined Film and Market that truly blends the art of filmmaking, the 'humanity of our collective group' with the commerciality of selling films. The Berlinale also curates for the Festival the art form in many dimensions (the art of painting on canvas, the art of sculpting) and the first mainstream festival to comprehend the raising of the question of gender – through its Teddy awards.

Cannes Film Festival dominates the concept of film as a high art. The Marche du Film with its international tents provide the platform for countries to demonstrate, illustrate and promote their individual countries.

The MARCHE DU FILM leads the markets in adaptability with the innovation of the NEXT pavilion - an adaptation that was a game changer for the market. The NEXT technology will determine how we make, produce, distribute and consume content.

Toronto has firmly established its original mandate to bring international films to the PEOPLE of Canada. In the past, Toronto was considered a launching pad for American films - that is no longer as relevant. Toronto, buoyed by the TIFF Lightbox that curates programming from around the world in all to fields of art, not just the moving image, has satisfied its stakeholders and fulfilled its mandate - it's a market where after the hectic months leading up to Toronto, buyers enjoy being able to gauge the audience reaction to a film they have brought or were thinking of buying from an independent or from a major film company.

The independent community simultaneously shrinks & expands, fuelled by the ambitions of entrepreneurs. The backbone of our worldwide business is STILL based on relationships stretching from production through to distribution. A careful analysis of the releases and stories in the various trade publications including TBOF, regarding films in both production and distribution, are built solely on relationships and of course access to the money.


Nu Image - Millennium AFM 2016
Loews - Office 537

Day 1 - NOVEMBER 2nd
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