Latin film execs sought after by trade shows.

Position:Florida Media Market

The month of October is becoming a bazaar of markets. It could even be called a market extravaganza, if one considers MIPCOM Jr. and MIPCOM (October 11-17) as the opening salvo in France, followed by the Antalya Film Fest in Turkey (October 10-19), immediately followed by the Rome Cinema Fest in Italy (October 22-31) and the Florida Media Market in the U.S. (October 23-26).

In addition to the warm weather, what these three markets have in common is the desire to attract Latin American film executives, which makes for a busy time before the Latins can land in their favorite spot, Santa Monica, in time for the American Film Market (November 5-12). But that's in November, a topic for another "busy month" article later on.

Like other markets of its kind, the Florida Media Market (FMM) is targeted at the Latin film and TV community in the U.S. (Hispanic), a hot commodity that, so far, only another market such as NATPE, which is held in January in Las Vegas, has attracted.

Beginning on October 23, the third annual FMM kicks off at Miami Beach's Alexander Hotel. Executives will converge at the beachfront resort for a three-day international media market and conference made up of panels, networking opportunities and a host of screenings.

Last year's market, though small in comparison to others, was hailed as a success. Maritza Guimet, organizer of FMM, was confident that this year's edition will be even better. "We have all the sponsors from last year and more," she said, "and registration and hotel occupancy are up." Indeed, at press time, around 1,000 participants were registered for the event, which is double last year's 500 attendees. Guimet said she expects the final total to be even higher.

Guimet attributed the FMM's increasing popularity, beyond just the numbers, to a variety of factors. For starters, she noted that the market appeals to a wide selection of buyers and sellers because it incorporates many different kinds of media. "It's actually a gateway to all media," she said, "because of the focus on different outlets for distribution and the creation of new channels on both broadband and cable."

Guimet also added that such a diversity of companies creates the perfect setting for finding co-production partners. "There are opportunities throughout the Florida Media Market where sales execs and producers can meet to screen their materials and hopefully, start a dialogue," she said. Indeed, last year's market successfully helped independent...

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