NATPE in Budapest got a jump start on Monday, June 27 with the pre-market Warner Bros. and Lionsgate screenings and a reception for buyers. Between the two events, over 120 of the 400-plus expected buyers were already in action at the InterContinental Hotel before the market’s official kick-off.

By 10 am on the following day, the three-day market started in full swing with packed corridors on the second floor, where the suites were located and at the crowded stands, boxes and tables filled the first floor of the hotel (pictured above). A total of 135 exhibiting companies catered to some 400-plus buyers.

It looked like NATPE Europe, now NATPE Budapest, had returned to its pre-Prague and glory of four years ago. “I love Budapest,” commented Nidal M. Garcia, a buyer from Lebanon. “I stopped attending when it moved to Prague,” she added.

The market started with the CBS Studios’ screenings promptly at 8 am at the Puskin Mozi Cinema, a 10-minute walk from the InterContinental. The same theater was used in the afternoon for NBCUniversal’s screenings.

At noon, one of the six official conferences — an HBO-sponsored luncheon where a new local production was previewed — moved into the Corso Restaurant of the hotel’s ground floor and at 3pm, Mediaset had a press conference for Rocco Siffredi, the star of the company’s three series presented at the market.

The day concluded with the opening party staged at the hotel, where market organizers have become concerned about the number of people who mingle and have meetings in the lobby and bars without registering.

The market’s second day started with a seminar held at the nearby Sofitel, which was not on the official schedule, an organized by the CCTV-China Pavilion at NATPE Budapest to introduce co-productions with Hungary. That hotel was the original venue for NATPE in Europe when it was called Discop.