Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

In a Time of Economic Crisis, Looking for Life Rafts in Berlin

By Eugene Hernandez | Indiewire February 7, 2009 at 6:39AM

"Is the sky falling?" asked industry insiders on Saturday afternoon at the Berlinale, "Is it as bad as it seems to be?" Questions about the state of the film business continued to invoke Mark Gill's provocative speech that was published last summer in indieWIRE.
0

"Is the sky falling?" asked industry insiders on Saturday afternoon at the Berlinale, "Is it as bad as it seems to be?" Questions about the state of the film business continued to invoke Mark Gill's provocative speech that was published last summer in indieWIRE.

The international economic crisis' impact on the movie business has been a constant topic back home, so it's no surpirse that it comes up frequently while networking in the halls of Martin Gropius Bau, site of the European Film Market that runs concurrent with the annual Berlin International Film Festival. Numerous folks have been saying in recent days that the EFM feels quieter this year, with sellers bemoaning a sizable drop in the prices that buyers will pay for the movies on sale here.

Yet, the event is still a magnet for movie industry types, even if many of them spend even more time than usual trying to make sense of this year's soft sales market. Attendance is on par with last year here at the EFM, boasting nearly 1,500 buyers from some 59 countries, this year's European Film Market has an estimated 6,500 person attendance. 659 films are screening at the EFM, 521 of which are market premieres this year.

"This is a challenging time on a lot of levels," offered Patrick Russo from consultants The Salter Group, reflecting on what he called a global economic phenomenon unlike any seen in our lifetimes. He was one of the panelists at the second industry debate taking place this weekend. Focusing on the state of film finanancing, the conversation was held this evening in front of a standing room only crowd. "The traditional lenders to this industry, many of them are just gone." He noted that financiers have either "merged, consolidated, been taken over by governments, shut down or otherwise vanished."

The sessions are sponsored by Commerzbank, which has actually increased its funding in movies, despite the tough economic climate. Optimistically, more than one panelist noted that moviegoing in theaters is up, even as the stability of ancillary revenue sources feels a bit flat at best.

"It's always been said that the entertainment industry does well in times of crisis," noted the generally upbeat Dieter Kosslick, festival director at the Berlinale, in prepared remarks during the EFM.

Surviving in the economic downturn could require months or years, Salter's Patrick Russo noted. "We just don't know," it will take, "Patience and time and focus, that's what is required right now."

Participants in today's panel noted that lasting through the hard times requires being nimble and embracing international European co-productions that can tie together funding from various countries to get a movie made, even if those funding schemes can sometimes be complicated.

"We have a long history of doing co-productions," noted Jens Meurer from independent Egoli Tossell Film. "Sure, I wish it was less complicated, but I enjoy sitting with the Russians and drinking lots of vodka. It's complicated, but if that's the lifeline, I'll take it."

"Ultimately, as long as somebody still wants to see the movie, and they do, we still have a business plan," offered Meurer, "We are not going to say that's it and say goodbye Berlinae and go home, are we?"

This article is related to: Features, Festival Dispatch






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More