Angus Finney • Project manager, Film London Production Finance Market
"This market is completely international"
by Elisa Cimino
- Cineuropa met Angus Finney, of the Film London Production Finance Market, which holds its 8th edition in October in London
Cineuropa: What is the Production Finance Market?
Angus Finney: The Production Finance Market was founded in 2007, and the strategy was to try to support producers – especially in the UK, but also in Europe – to enable them to gain a better understanding of what financiers are looking for. First of all, it is very important to realise that it is not a co-production market; it is a finance market, so we invite sales companies, distributors, any major studios, equity players, financiers and bankers, and tax funds. We invite around 50 to 55 financiers and around 50 to 55 producers.
What projects are you looking for?
We are looking for projects that can be in any foreign language. They need to be €1 million euros or above for the main market, and they need to have around 30% of the finance in place ready. They definitely need to have a director attached – applying without a director attached is a problem, because financiers can’t calibrate the value of the projects. We don’t necessarily expect to see the cast attached, but we want to see exactly who are they looking for in terms of lead actors. We do expect a director’s statement, a producer’s statement, a finance plan and a one-page synopsis. We don’t expect the script to be submitted, but we do expect scripts (and an English translation) to be ready to be read by financiers by September or October if they want to read it in advance.
How is the Market structured?
We publish brochures in advance, which are just for the participants, with all the financial and production details. So financiers have the opportunity to choose in advance who they want to see, and they can choose around 12 projects. Producers can choose six financiers they want to see. The meetings start after the keynote speech panel on the first afternoon, and they run through to lunchtime the next day, so most producers would have had at least 12-14 meetings back to back for about 25 minutes, and then they move around. All of the financiers are around the table, and the producers shift around every half an hour.
The producers are also invited to attend the keynote speech and the panel, but we also conduct a couple of workshops on the second afternoon, including a case study on a film that is going through the London Film Festival, because the event happens at the same time. One of the things we do a lot of work on is to make sure that the producers who attend do have the chance to see financiers who they may not have a meeting with in the actual meeting plan. Some financiers are very popular and have a long list, so we do a lot of extra meetings in the lunch breaks to make sure that people have the chance to use the market as effectively as possible.
Is the PFM focused on UK and European producers, or is it open to other territories as well?
We are looking to attract not just key European producers, but also those from smaller territories. It’s important to know that more than 50% of the producers attending now are non-European national producers. We also have producers coming from South Africa, North America, Canada and other territories, so UK producers do not dominate the event. As I said before, projects don’t have to be in the English language, and they don’t need any link with the UK or London. They don’t have to be based in the UK – this market is completely international.
Could you mention a few successful examples of projects that have been presented at the PFM, gone into production and finally been released?
Over the years, a large number of projects presented at the PFM have been completed and have found international distribution. They were supported in a number of useful ways at the PFM in terms of contacts, packaging, market readiness and so on. In terms of specific examples, I can say that the following films secured direct finance, attached a sales agent or otherwise positively benefited from their exposure at the PFM: Run & Jump [+see also:
film profile] by Steph Green (PFM 2011, released in five territories in 2013); Still Life [+see also:
interview: Uberto Pasolini
film profile] by Uberto Pasolini (PFM 2010, released in nine territories in 2013); Wadjda [+see also:
film profile] by Haifaa Al Mansour (PFM 2010, released in 20+ territories in 2013); The Future [+see also:
film profile] by Miranda July (PFM 2009, released in 20+ territories in 2011-12); I, Anna [+see also:
interview: Barnaby Southcombe
interview: Charlotte Rampling
film profile] by Barnaby Southcombe (PFM 2009, released in 15+ territories in 2012); Oranges and Sunshine [+see also:
interview: Jim Loach
film profile] by Jim Loach (PFM 2008, released in 15+ territories in 2011-12); Reuniting the Rubins by Yoav Factor (PFM 2008, released in the UK/USA in 2011-12); Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll [+see also:
film profile] by Mat Whitecross (PFM 2008, released in nine territories in 2010); Beacon 77 by Brad Watson (PFM 2007, released in five territories in 2009); and The Last Station [+see also:
film profile] by Michael Hoffman (PFM 2007, released in 20+ territories in 2010-11).
At the PFM, all attending producers pay a fee of £275 for the two days of the market. International (non-UK) producers receive one hotel room per project for two nights, including breakfast. Lunch is provided for all attendees during the market, but evening meals and transport are not covered.
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