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VENICE 2019 Venice Production Bridge

Film professionals “find the real DNA of the market” at the Venice Production Bridge

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- VENICE 2019: Attendance levels at the Italian industry hub increased by 9% this year, with 2,672 professionals passing through its doors

Film professionals “find the real DNA of the market” at the Venice Production Bridge
The Mastercard "See Life Through a Different Lens" master class, held as part of the Venice Production Bridge (© Daniele Venturelli)

This year’s Venice Production Bridge (VPB) was attended by 2,672 professionals, representing close to a 9% increase compared to the 2,453 participants in 2018. “With the Venice Production Bridge, we have found the real DNA of the market because our main targets are producers,” says Pacal Diot, head of the Venice Production Bridge (see the interview). “We are offering a lot of different services with the various initiatives that we have.” Furthermore, the event is totally in sync with the programming masterminded by Alberto Barbera, which attracts more distributors and sales agents because Venice represents the first opportunity to see the films that are subsequently shown at the Toronto International Film Festival. While the first edition of the Venice Production Bridge back in 2012 welcomed just under 1,000 participants, the industry event is now firmly on all of the professionals’ agendas.

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“With the Venice Production Bridge, we offer almost the complete chain,” says Diot. At the Book Adaptation Rights Market, 25 publishers had 313 one-to-one meetings, which constitutes an increase of more than 46% compared to 2018. The Book Adaptation Rights Market in Venice is different from the ones in Berlin and Cannes because the publishers present their entire catalogues. “Their aim is to meet the producers and get to know them better in order to know exactly what they are looking for. This year, we even had to decline some requests because we didn’t have the space. A lot of publishers have come to understand that this is a unique opportunity to meet producers from all over the world.”

Among the buyers at the Venice Gap-Financing Market were various representatives of big streaming platforms, such as Amazon, Netflix, Apple and Disney. In total, 270 projects were submitted to the event, and 40 were selected. “The Venice Gap-Financing Market is a success,” underlines the head of the Venice Production Bridge. “Every year, we receive more and more projects.” The slew of international projects included eight Biennale College Cinema virtual-reality ones, which generated a huge amount of interest. In total, 965 one-to-one meetings took place at the Venice Gap-Financing Market, which comes down to an increase of almost 14% on last year.

“The fact that we organised the Book Adaptation Rights Market and the Gap-Financing Market in the same room created even more of a synergy between the two of them. Whenever a publisher had a free slot, he or she could meet with producers.” Furthermore, a selection of six works in progress was presented at Final Cut in Venice. The first rough cuts were shown not only to the 13 partners who were giving out cash prizes or offering investment, but also to distributors, post-production companies, financiers and festival programmers. In addition to the screenings, the filmmakers behind the six selected projects had 38 one-to-one meetings. In the digital video library, which is operated in conjunction with Festival Scope, professionals could also watch some of the previous works by the directors who had a project in the Gap-Financing Market and, sometimes, the works in progress.

“We also had more panels on different topics at our venues,” concludes Diot. Among the industry associations that organised events in Venice were the European Film Forum (see the news) as well as the European Producers Club. Besides the Hotel Excelsior and the Hotel Des Bains, for the first time, the Venice Production Bridge also hosted several events on the so-called “VR island”.

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