Dynamic market proves boost for producers

The Producers’ Forum sixth annual Film and Television Marketplace was hailed as a major success, despite being disrupted by transport issues.

The event was held this year at the Genting Hotel in Resorts World at the National Exhibition Centre, bringing together more than 30 film-makers, screenwriters and producers and a range of leading financiers and commissioners, including:

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  • Lionsgate

  • Artemesia

  • Ingenious

  • Animus Pictures

  • Film4

  • Bankside

  • Starline Entertainment

  • Iron Box

  • Film Wales

  • Unstoppable

There were also representatives from the BFI Network, the London Film School and Performance Film And Media Insurance.

The event was disrupted by a major incident on the railways but the programme ran seamlessly.

Among the highlights of the programme was a new feature in the ‘icebreaker’ speed-pitching sessions, run by Ian Kennedy, of WriteMovies and chair of the Screenwriters’ Forum.

One participant, Kenilworth-based Anthony Etherington, who is developing a television project based on returning soldiers from Afghanistan said the pitching practice was invaluable. “Although, I have been to other workshops, it is not that common to get such clear and practical advice.”

The icebreaker helped set the tone for a strong day of meetings and pitches in the venue’s Highline Lounge.

The growing reputation of the marketplace also attracted interest from outside the Midlands. London-based writer Zam Naqvi said the event offered a rare opportunity for serious discussion about projects with ambitious producers. “It was really great to get one-on-one time with experienced people, who took time to look at my project in detail.”

And there was universal praise for the friendly but business-like atmosphere. “It was an immensely positive environment,” said Andrew Bullas, of Pepwell Films

Ffilm Cymru Wales production executive Adam Partridge said the event had reached a high level of professionalism: “It was the kind of meeting place that you would expect to see at places like Berlin (International Film Festival).

This year’s marketplace was supported by the West Midlands Screen Bureau, alongside Film Birmingham and the Birmingham International Film Festival.

WMSB Senior Project Manager Michael Gubbins also joined the programme to offer an overview of the UK and international screen markets.

Photographs by Phillip Parnell Photography