Thursday, February 15, 2007

To market, to market…

As if 373 films isn’t a few too many to take in over 10 days at the Berlinale, pity the poor punters a few block away at Martin Gropius Bau, where this year’s European Film Market is being held concurrently. With the rights to 702 films on the block, the euros are flowing fast as distributors and financiers scoop up next year’s hits and flops.

I slipped into the 19th century museum, designed by and named for the uncle of Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius, with Melbourne International Film Festival director Richard Moore. Moore, as regular readers will know, is currently producing The Foundation, a film focusing on the art and life of Johann Dieter Wassmann and the efforts of MuseumZeitraum Leipzig to repatriate his works from Washington.

This is truly the business end of film; fat-cats lurk in every corner negotiating with affable film-makers hoping to pay off their debts and find a screen to show their dreams on. Better you than me, Richard.

For what it’s worth, one unlit-cigar-chomping English exec told us the big buzz is as follows: a culture clash romantic comedy by Julie Delpy, the latest project from Park Chan-wook, a new top secret documentary by Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) that The Weinstein Company scooped up and David Mackenzie's Competition entry Hallam Foe.

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