I am only 0.01cm away from Théâtre Lumière at the very moment-BJIFF takes you into world film market
Masterpieces drawing the greatest attention from filmmakers
Behind a variety of awards and masterpieces, film markets that are strange to viewers support film festivals like "leaf veins". In February, the Berlin International Film Festival opened on the Central European Plains where ice and snow had not melted. The European Film Market came hot on the heels of the festival. Founded in 1978, the European Film Market was originally a small business place during the Berlin International Film Festival and has developed into one of the world's three major film markets after 30 years of development. In July or August, the 72-year-old Locarno International Film Festival opened in Locarno, a beautiful Swedish city to embrace outstanding works from across the world. Though in Europe, unlike the Berlin International Film Festival, the Locarno International Film Festival, born almost in the same period with Italian neorealism, gives off a flavor of wild freedom.
The Pusan International Film Festival has regained its glory after overcoming the depression in recent two years in 2017. The Asian Film Market is also prosperous. A record number of companies participated in the 21st Asian Film Market, up 38 percent over last year. As the world's largest film market, the American Film Market bathing in the sunshine of California attracts over 7,000 producers, directors, screenwriters, distributors and investors every November to contribute to the film industry.
But film festivals are not accessible to all. Fortunately, we invited EnterMode Corp, a frequent invitee to global film markets with tens of years' experience in international film copyright trading, to share the secrets of film markets.
Q: "Is there anything interesting about film festivals?"
Entermode: "I got the copyright for Dances with Wolves in the American Film Market a dozen years ago. It was a hit at that time. We attended a party in Los Angeles hosted by Kevin Costner (actor/director) that night. He answered a call from his wife during our chat. Right before that he joked, ‘You can never miss two calls in the world: your wife and producer'."
Q: "Could you share your understanding of key global film markets?"
Entermode: "Apart from the Film Market of the Cannes Film Festival which may be the world's largest film market, the European Film Market to the Berlinale, the Locarno Film Market, the American Film Market and the Pusan Film Market are distinctive. 20 years after the disappearance of the Milan Film Market, the European Film Market to the Berlinale has become increasingly active. I have to say that the American Film Market is ambitious. It became the world's largest film market intentionally or unintentionally by taking place once or twice annually (the Milan Film Market ran into depression because of this). Due to the need of the European Film Market and the gradual recession of the Milan Film Market, the European Film Market to the Berlinale has developed rapidly. It is the balloon effect: press down one and the other bounces up. But the Berlin International Film Festival is undoubtedly still a leading European film festival. As for the American Film Market, it is always viable and meets the need of many areas for American films (Hollywood films).
The Locarno International Film Festival, home to Western Europe films, has reached out to Eastern Europe and the rest of the world. I like the high-grade art theatres and wide-range films of the festival, which plays a central role in Europe."
Q: "What advantages do you think the film markets of the Berlin International Film Festival, the Locarno International Film Festival, the Pusan International Film Festival and other major film festivals have?"
Entermode: "With different geographical locations, focuses of film selection and time of hosting, they naturally show respective advantages. As the first key film market every year, the European Film Market to the Berlinale has a wide selection of films. As a more friendly summer film market, the Locarno Film Market has a tight co-producer and producer network. The American Film Market, where American films are mainly traded, focuses more on the film market rather than the film festival.
And Pusan Film Market has a foresight to introduce new Asian films."
Q: "As a copyright owner, how to predict if a film will achieve box-office success among various films in the market?"
Entermode: "It is very difficult. I think you should intuitively decide whether to distribute the film after watching a fair film or screenplay. Personally, I think a good film must have a good narration, a good film production team (director, screenwriter and producer) and a good cast. The three are just like trinity in filmdom. As for film genre, different countries have slightly different preferences: some are inclined to action films and thrillers, some like feature films, comedies and even horror films. I feel horror film is the most popular genre in the world. But the final point I will make is that well-produced films are popular everywhere."
The interviewee Bruce said he grew up watching Hong Kong films between the 1960s and the 1980s, and Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Zhang Yimou are outstanding filmmakers influencing his views of Chinese films. He has seen the great progress of Chinese films since the 1960s from Assembly, Wolf Warriors II, The Wandering Earth and other successful films. Entermode will participate in the Beijing Film Market of the Beijing International Film Festival as a buyer for the first time and take this opportunity to contact more Chinese companies. They previously purchased a lot of outstanding foreign films, as well as films starring Jackie Chan such as Little Big Soldier, Kung Fu Yoga and Paradox for screening in South Korea.
We are trying to reproduce Théâtre Lumière in Beijing bit by bit. This time a number of outstanding copyright owners including Entermode will be waiting for you here to enjoy films.