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IFP Market: 28 Years of Promoting American Independent Cinema

One of the kickoffs to the new film season in New York is the annual IFP Market, which celebrates its 28th edition from September 17 to 21 at the Angelika Film Center and other downtown New York venues. Over the years, the Market has introduced leading films that have become acknowledged indie film classics and have launched the careers of many young filmmakers. The IFP, which stands for Independent Feature Project, is the leading national organization devoted to the art and industry of independent filmmaking.

Taking place on the heels of the Toronto Film Festival, the IFP Market is the only forum in the U.S. singularly focused on connecting projects still in development with financing and sales entities. The Market has evolved in the past several years into a principally meetings-driven event. The IFP pre-schedules (at the request of potential buyers) one-on-one meetings with projects of interest, from among the hundreds of completed films, works-in-progress and scripts available. Producers with partially financed narrative scripts or non-fiction works-in-progress take pitch meetings with equity financiers, sales agents and distributors. Writer/directors with scripts seeking producers are provided with one-on-one meetings to open up the potential for involvement and/or future writing assignments. In 2005, more than 1,600 meetings were held during the 5 day long event.

In addition to the professional networking opportunities, completed documentary films and short narrative films are screened for acquisition executives and festival programmers at the Angelika Film Center, one of the most innovative film centers in the country.

"The IFP Market has increasingly become an efficient gateway for the international community to source the best U.S. projects seeking financing each year," says Michelle Byrd, Executive Director, IFP. "Additionally, it provides a useful platform for our international partners to introduce their filmmakers to the U.S. industry."

In addition, the IFP sponsors the parallel No Borders International Co-Production Market, giving producers with more developed packages an opportunity to find co-production partners with international distributors or sales agents. International organization partners include established funding bodies (Telefilm Canada, UK Film Council, Germany's Filmstiftung NRW, Australia's Film Victoria and NSW Film and Television Office, and the New Zealand Film Commission) and support organizations (Ateliers du Cinéma Européen/ACE and the Rotterdam Film Festival's CineMart). The Sundance Institute is the sole U.S. partner.This year, two new new international partners were added: The National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa and the Asian Film Market/Pusan Promotional Plan (PPP) from South Korea.

In addition, the IFP Market includes a Filmmaker Conference, which will host dozens of information seminars and master classes offering up-to-minute information on new technologies, distribution trends, production innovations and the expanding marketplace for long-form and short-form programming. Seminar sessions will be held at the Puck Building during the IFP Market week.

New this year, the IFP Market is the anchor industry event of Independent Film Week, a promotional campaign designed to help draw new audiences to independent film and independent theaters in New York City. Independent films at a dozen participating cinema complexes in New York will offer discounted tickets as a way of encouraging a wider patronage from the public. The Independent Film Week is sponsored by the New York Times, Chrysler Film Project, Media First International and NYC-TV.

Tune in to this site for more coverage of the exciting events surrounding the 28th IFP Market.

Sandy Mandelberger
Festivals and Industry Editor


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