ON THE BLOG: Acing CineMart @ IFFR

CineMart is a Creative Europe-funded initiative which takes place at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). The event offers a selection of carefully curated independent arthouse films with market potential to potential co-producers, sales agents, distributors, broadcasters and financiers.

This year’s event kicked off with a panel presented by Creative Europe-funded training providers ACE Producers. Panellists included Amra Bakšić Čamo from Cinelink in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Emily Morgan from Quiddity Films in the UK, and Marleen Slot from Viking Film in the Netherlands: Three producers who had been through both the ACE Producers training scheme, and had been on both sides of the table at various pitching forums and co-productions markets.

Here are some of their top market tips from the session:

  • Prioritise who you want to meet with in advance - have a goal, know your strategy.
  • But also stay open to surprises - sometimes a meeting that looks bad on paper can prove to be one of your best.
  • Think long term – the person you are meeting with might not be right for your current project, but you never know if it could lead to something useful in the future.
  • Managing expectations in terms of the outcome of the market for newer talent is important - you're not going to come away with your project fully financed.
  • If you think you’ve found the right partner for something, triple check before committing - call others that have worked with them before you follow up on your meeting.
  • Be realistic and open about your timeline i.e. don’t promise a date for script delivery if it won’t be ready on time.
  • Tell people what you need for them rather than wait for them to tell you what they have to give you.
  • Be careful to not overexpose your project - strategise on which markets you want to attend. 
  • Timing is key - often the best time to attend a market is when you have already entered financing.
  • A market can help you get properly acquainted with your film - pitching over and over allows you to develop a benchmark as to where the weaknesses are in your project.
  • Think about how you will stand out - even your clothing should be considered if you want to be remembered in a sea of back-to-back meetings!
  • Networking events can help you connect with co-producing partners on a more personal level.
  • Make sure you read up on the other projects selected - there are potentials for collaboration there too.
  • Don’t get hung up on market awards - they shouldn’t be your main focus, and just because you're not selected for one, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a good project.
  • Listen to feedback and suggestions, but be selective on what you take on board. One side to co-producing is that you get many more opinions - you need to be able to manage this - it’s a fine art!
  • When following up after the market, give specific action points in order to get a response.
  • Don’t rely just on email and phone - if you are really considering working with a potential co-production partner, make sure your follow up meeting is a face-to-face one.