This article originally appeared in
October 12, 2007

'Business Street' initiative a
high-end venue


ROME --RomaCinemaFest officials sometimes bristle when the initiative
they have dubbed "the Business Street" is called a film market.

Spanning the first four days of the Oct. 18-27 festival, the Business Street
takes place in a series of hotels lining the Italian capital's most famous
street, the Via Veneto. There's not much else to it: a low-key and informal
setting with minimal infrastructure. That means no booths, stands or -- as
organizers are quick to point out -- pressure.

"We don't have any plans to emulate the markets at places like Cannes or
Berlin," says Sylvain Auzou, manager of the Business Street. "Those places
are what they are, and I don't think there's any need for another market of that
type. We are trying to do something different."

Auzou and others involved say that it's difficult to determine whether the
initiative that some participants have taken to calling "Market-lite" is
successful in terms of dealmaking. Many deals broached in Venice or
Toronto may be finalized in Rome, while others that started on the Via
Veneto may not be finished until well after the festival closes.

But one measure of success is that attendence this year is likely to be up
from last year. Some 250 buyers and sellers made the trip to Rome for the
inaugural Business Street in 2006, and Auzou reports that interest is
measurably higher this year.

"We sent out the same number of invitations and had a higher percentage
respond quickly to say they were interested," he says. "And then other
qualified buyers and sellers got in touch with us to ask if they could come.
There is no doubt that more people are talking about it."

At last count, the number of participants was around 350 and rising, with
more than 40 countries represented. The length of the Business Street this
year includes an extra day, and the number of screening facilities rose from
eight to 10, though some will only be used sparsely. And all that with a
budget virtually unchanged from last year.

Another change from last year, according to Auzou, is an increased focus on
attracting buyers and sellers from Spain, Japan, Germany and France.

"Those countries are important because they are the three main markets
where real art house films have a chance for wide release," Auzou says. "We
have to know the markets for the products people bring here."
(c) 2007 The Hollywood Reporter
All rights reserved.
Volume 77; Number 9
Volume 77; Number 9
October 28, 2007
RomaCinemaFest ends
strong; Popular 'Juno' wins
Best Film

October 27, 2007
'Juno' takes home top prize
at RomaCinemaFest

'Canvas,' 'Pride' earn Rome
fest's Alice nods

October 26, 2007
Top prize still up for grabs at
Rome fest

October 25, 2007
'Haifa' earns New Cinema's
Italian nod

October 24, 2007
'Lambs' stars in like lions at
Rome fest

FilmItalia, UniFrance team
for young talent

October 23, 2007
Veneto buyer buzz builds on
Biz Street

Star wattage waning at
Rome fest

October 22, 2007
Coppola lights up Rome fest

October 20, 2007
Depardieu imposter fools
hotel staff in Rome

'Elizabeth,' Loren big draws
at Rome festival

'Elijah' first production at
new I am Third

October 19, 2007
RomaCinemaFest gets
Second Wind

Fellini script 'Viaggio' on
new voyage

October 18, 2007
Rome Fest dressed up in
second outing

Rome Fest dressed up in
second outing

October 12, 2007
RomaCinemaFest sets
sophomore bar higher

Fest success good news for
the last paparazzo

Film spotlight: "Youth
Without Youth"

Italy offers versatile
location, strong incentives

'Business Street' initiative a
high-end venue

RomaCinemaFest owes debt
to Auditorium

September 28, 2007
Rome Fest's love affair with
Hollywood continues