DIFF Daily 2011

The Art Of The Deal

Dec 10,2011 - 07:54 PM

BY RANIA HABIB

Gone are the days of complex technical equipment that filmmakers had to lug around for hours to shoot a single scene. Today, even a Flip camera can accompany a director throughout his shoot. The relative technical simplicity of filmmaking will bring projects to completion; but where do these films go once they’re done and dusted?

At the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), they’ll go to Filmmart – the meeting point for industry professionals and those who will buy and sell their films. ‘Since its launch in 2008, Filmmart has fielded more than 750 films, documentaries and shorts and facilitated over several millions worth in trade deals for around 200 films,’ says Pascal Diot, manager of Dubai Filmmart. ‘From the beginning, we’ve always aimed to facilitate contact and deals between filmmakers and our industry guests and Filmmart is now recognised as such, by the regional industry.’

More than 5000 feature films are produced every year in the world, and the challenge for newer filmmakers is to get a foot in the door. In the Arab world, the battle is even harder, as Diot explains that there is a dearth of producers. ‘Once the film is done, they have to reach and find the right audience through sales agents who will submit their films to festivals, and will take them to the right distributors.’

‘The main thing is really to give filmmakers an accurate connection with the industry,’ Diot says. And in this regard, Filmmart and the Dubai Film Connection have set up ‘How To’ sessions on topics such as financing, selling a film, and distribution. Additionally, Filmmart offers a one-on-one matchmaking service with international consultants and sales agents, distributors, and festival programmers.

Filmmart also gives industry professionals Cinetech, a digital video library of more than 200 films that delegates can view in private screening booths. ‘It’s an instant interface between the buyers and the sellers, and I know that professionals like the informal atmosphere of our lounge,’ says Diot. ‘Last year, Cinetech recorded almost 3,200 screenings - and a lot of deals were finalised’.

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