The 2008 edition of Rotterdam Lab – the CineMart initiative that introduces fledgling producers to key personnel within the international film trade – boasts the addition of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and J-Pitch/UNIJAPAN to its roster of international partners.
‘The ASEF can nominate producers from many countries in Asia and Europe', according to Rotterdam Lab coordinator Jacobine van der Vloed.
‘And we’re delighted to have J-Pitch on board. It’s good that we can collaborate with organizations all over the world that can identify the emerging producers. CineMart wants to stay up-to-date and by meeting all these emerging producers in Rotterdam; we are building up relationships for the future.’
The Rotterdam Lab organises professional panels and speed-dating sessions for producers in order that gaps within their industry knowledge can be filled. Consequently, the great and the good of the international finance, production, sales and distribution sectors will be on hand to pass on the benefits of their collective experience. These include such industry veterans as Ido Abram of Binger, Susan Wendt of Trust Film Sales, Jerome Paillard of the Cannes Marché and the Irish Film Board’s Simon Perry. CineMart staff remain in regular contact throughout the year with Lab participants to monitor their development, and arrange networking events at other high-profile festivals, such as Cannes.
Van der Vloed stresses the importance of the networking opportunities the Rotterdam Lab affords. ‘For them [the producers] it’s all about contacts. They meet so many people during CineMart. The good thing about this event is its informality. It’s not difficult to meet people. We’re all in one building. Everyone is here. There is no distance between the bigger sales agents and the starting producers. That’s what we want to create, an informal setting and an easy way to meet. The formal sessions are important, but the informal sessions are as just as important. A producer from Australia, for example, can meet a producer from Europe to discuss how they can co-produce, and some of them are co-producing. For us, that is very good to hear.’
The former and current Rotterdam Lab participants who will present a film at the 2008 International Film Festival Rotterdam are 2006 graduate Maarten van Leeden, with Links (world premiere in Sturm und Drang) and 2008 inductees Isabelle Stead (War, Love, God & Madness, world premiere in Time and Tide) and Jack Feldstein, whose Shmetamorphosis screens in Short: As Long as it Takes. During CineMart, former Lab participants Eurydice Gysel (2006) and Mimmi Spång (2007) will pitch 22nd of May and Callgirl respectively. NC