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MIFED not yet muffed.

MIFED Not Yet Muffed

With direct communications broken, both the AFMA and MIFED are now studying each other's promotional ads running in the trades.

According to William Shields, the AFMA chairman: "We analyzed last week's [MIFED] ad, listing the companies that were going to be in attendance.

"The ad was a little difficult to read. The way it was listed was somewhat misleading. We broke the ad down to check all the companies. MIFED has 10 [major] companies - all U.K. based - which are not attending the AFM. There are 11 companies which are attending both markets and 31 companies attending only MIFED.

But, if you look at those 31 companies, like RCA Columbia, they don't have a lot of product. Then, there are 74 companies that have never been to the AFM, a lot of them we never heard of, like Kodak Film, Italy; and another one called Yugoslavia. Plus, nine companies that are not in the selling business: The Air Transport Alliance, EEC, DDA, the MPEA Rome, two banks, and the Center for Oriental Education."

This, compared to the 140 companies attending the AFM.

The response from a MIFED official is that their ad "can be examined in various ways. The fact is that MIFED has been closed for 20 days in August for vacation, and only now the bulk of the registrations are being analyzed. So far, we have 180 companies exhibiting, and just today [end of August], for example, we were able to open registration forms received in the mail from about 200 buyers."

MIFED officials are confident that their market will be a success, even though the numbers are "slightly less than the one from last year, when 260 companies exhibited. This October, all in all, less than 200 companies are expected."

In an informal survey among U.S. film companies, Movie/Video Age has found mixed reactions. Image's Pierre David, for example, will be "principally at the AFM with some representation at MIFED" (mainly through his Canadian subsidiary Malofilm). He gave his breakdown of buyers' market preferences: "The Spaniards will be in Los Angeles, as well as the U.K. and Scandinavian buyers. The French and Italians will be at MIFED, while the Japanese and Germans will be split."

To Overseas' Richard Guardian, whose company will be attending both markets, "almost all French and most German buyers will be at MIFED." His biggest problem, however is of a strategic nature: How to deal with a sale of the same movie to different companies in the same territory. "Most likely we have to make reference to Greenwich Mean Time to validate the first sale," he said.

Terry Grochowski, whose company, New Line Cinema, will be attending both markets, has solved the nine-hour time difference problems by using the Los Angeles headquarters as the sales clearing house.

Vidmark's Ralph Alexander, who will be only at the AFM, expects buyers from Japan, the Far East, Latin America and "even some Italians."

Walter Manley of WMP, plans a "major" presence at the AFM, with a secondary representation at MIFED.

For AIP's Edward Shields, "the buyers will go where the product is. The main buyers will be at the AFM with their delegates going to MIFED." AIP has chosen the AFM for this fall market.

Curb Esquire's David Jackson could be sending someone to MIFED, "depending on how many pictures we have," he said, "but, basically, we'll be at the AFM."

According to Omega's Nico Mastorakis, 10 per cent of his buyers will be represented at MIFED. His survey is based on early returns of some 2,000 mailers he had sent.

According to Intercontinental Releasing's Sandy Cobe, who will only be at the AFM, "key buyers will be in Los Angeles." Similarly, Shapiro Glickenhaus's Leonard Shapiro, who "strongly supports the AFM in Santa Monica," stated that he expects "top buyers in California and secondary people at MIFED."
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Publication:Video Age International
Date:Sep 1, 1991
Previous Article:The AFMA in turmoil.
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