TIFFCOM 2010: Market of two halves
By Patrick Frater
Fri, 29 October 2010, 10:32 AM (HKT)
On the first day of TIFFCOM, the Tokyo International Film Festival 東京国際映画祭's film rights market, there was a busy throng of visitors which organisers estimated at over 1,000 executives.
After three days, completed transactions were scarce, but most companies attending expressed satisfaction with their attendance and described the Tokyo market as a stepping stone in the sales continuum.
"Japan is not an easy territory to close deals, it takes forever. I've been here in June and August and we still have not closed deals," said Luna H.Y. KIM 김희연 from Korean independent sales house Finecut Co Ltd 화인컷. "Unless they are a DVD distributor, Japanese buyers have to team up and find partners in order to make a deal."
Korea's CJ Entertainment Inc ＣＪ엔터테인먼트 revealed that it had struck deals on Finding Mr Destiny 김종욱 찾기 (2010) and its Japanese remake of Ghost ゴースト もういちど抱きしめたい (2010) to Thailand's STG. It also sold Ghost to Catchplay Inc 威望國際股份有限公司 for Taiwan.
While some companies suggested that the size of the feature film market in Tokyo was deceptive as TIFFCOM also spans TV and animation, there may be considerable overlap.
"The Japanese companies buying animation for TV have stopped buying quantity and are now cherry picking finished product in the same way as the theatrical buyers."
Japanese sales companies, on the other hand, appeared to be having a strong market.
Toei Company Ltd 東映 said that it had completed deals on doggie drama Wasao わさお (2010), erotic drama Flower and Snake 3 花と蛇３ (2010) and that it is in advanced negotiations on Strangers in the City 行きずりの街 (2010), Zebraman 2: Attack on Zebra City ゼブラーマン ゼブラシティの逆襲 (2010) and its revamped 3-D version of Battle Royale バトル・ロワイアル (2000). It expects to close deals at the American Film Market next week in Santa Monica.
Booths for Gaga Corporation ギャガ and Pony Canyon Inc ポニーキャニオン were similarly busy until close to the end of the market although both chose not to publicly announce sales. "I've been so busy I could not breathe," said Ko MORI 森浩太郎, principal of Eleven Arts Inc.
"As a sales company we found Tokyo interesting this year. We found Japanese companies that are increasing their production activities and are looking at using outside sales companies like us to take their films to the overseas distributors," said Esther YEUNG 楊慧蘭 of Hong Kong's Fortissimo Films.
Strangers in the City
Intriguing but over-long mystery drama whose complex storyline lacks tension and atmosphere.
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