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You are in: Home > 2008. 56th Edition  > Festival Diary > The tough get going once again
Festival Diary » SALES OFFICE
The tough get going once again
Thursday, September 18th, 2008

San Sebastian biz has got off to an early start, weeks before the fes­tival began.

Late August, Ramon Colom’s Sagrera TV bought Spain on Frozen River, sold by France’s Rezo.

A week ago, also goosed by San Sebastian Competition place­ment, Jose Maria and Miguel Morales’ Wanda Vision closed Spain on Michael Winterbottom’s Genova.

San Sebastian, the Spanish­speaking world biggest fest, can deceive. All those menus de de­gustacion.

But more business is done, and far more varied in thrust, than is most often thought.

Take its ever-lengthening litany of industry events.

Tomorrow, CESyA presents cinema aids for the deaf and blind; Saturday sees a Spain-Germany co-pro forum, Sunday a Mercosur-E.U. conference, a Copenhagen Think Tank meet, and a Sales Office Objectivo Canarias Happy Hour.

Cinema in Motion unspools Monday, Fapae and Colombia’s Proimagenes and RCN host a co­pro meet, promotors tubthump new Madrid studios, Las Palmas fest hosts a cocktail, Blighty’s Screen South unveils initiatives.

On Tuesday, Andalusia holds an Audiovisual Day in the mor­ning; Films in Progress begins.The Basque Cinema Day rolls Wednes­day; the E.U. Media Mundus sets out its stall. There’s a Trans-Pyre­nean Co-Pro Forum,Thursday.Fri­day week sees EFP/Sales Office’s Europe Distributors: Up Next!, and a Europa Distribution meeting, which runs through Saturday.

Most events observe the same rationale.

Barring A-list auteurs, the art film market’s ever tougher.

“Thanks to TV market frag­mentation, there are more outlets. But in general deal prices have dropped. You have to sell more simply to maintain sales figures,” says Imagina Intl’s Beatriz Setu­ain.

When the going get’s tough, the tough run up their air miles.

Germany’s emerging as Eu­rope’s new film finance star; Cen-tral and Eastern Europe, featured in Up Next, it’s major growth mar­ket.

The developing world and Spanish regions are emerging. Nowadays, they don’t exactly come to the table cap in hand. Galicia has a new risk equity fund SempreCinema, investing around $1 million a pop in pics. Brazil’s thrashing out dedicated intl. co­pro finance. Colombian films tap tax breaks.

These rising powers rep one future for an ever more intricate intl. film financing biz.

In festival flora, one distin­guishing Donoztia mark is that people have time to meet - en masse or sans masse - for more than Cannes’ wham-bam-hows­your-father-oh God-I’m-so-sorry half-an-hour.

“In film, you need confidence in partners. San Sebastian gives you the time for such meetings,” says Funny Balloons’ Peter Dan­ner. It also gives you the context. If you catch producers in the sensorial salones of Nicolasa, Aquellare and Arzak, they’re really doing business. Little wonder so many come back again.
Douglas WILSON


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