Film Office update
Film Office chief Rik Vermeulen reported brisk business since the festival opened last week. The Office, based in the Film Centre in De Doelen, is designed to promote the interests of filmmakers and professional guests, and advises on the how best to exploit and promote current and future projects.
‘The Office is working as well as we thought it would,’ he told the Daily Tiger. ‘We have had intensive meetings with almost all of filmmakers. Now we are talking with the sales agents and directing them towards the films. They [the sales agents] are already telling us that the competition is rather surprising, very eclectic – a wider spectrum than they expected.’
Vermeulen was also very happy with the number of IFFR films that have been picked up for international sales. ‘It’s already better than last year,’ he stressed. ‘We alerted the sales agents to the films’ availability in advance, before any public announcements in the press or on the website. The sales agents requested screeners and then the communication began, outside our corridors, before the start of the festival.’ In addition to acquisition announcements published in previous Daily Tigers, Vermeulen confirmed Wide Management’s pick-up of Mahmoud al Massad’s Recycle, screening in Time and Tide.
Vermeulen noted that the film topping the audience poll (at time of writing), was Tiger opener Lamb of God by Lucía Cedrón. ‘I’m not saying that it never happens, but it’s rare. A Tiger film leading the poll says a lot about the selection this year.’ While he was delighted by video library attendance, to which he referred as ‘full, full, full,’ he reserved special comment for the newly-installed late-night drinks networking sessions. ‘It’s the best change we made. It is very effective. People have been working their asses off all day and it’s a good moment to catch up on films, on people, to make some introductions and relax a bit.’ NC