The Venice Production Bridge, the market that runs alongside the Venice Film Festival, took place from August 31 to September 5 at the Excelsior Hotel in Venice Lido, registering 2,070 participants (a 10 percent increase from last year), of which about 400 were producers.  

The highlight of this year’s edition was the strong presence of streaming companies, including executives from Netflix and Amazon. Netflix’s vice president of International Original Series Eric Barmack gave a keynote speech on the company’s international expansion strategy to a standing room-only audience.

In an onsite interview with VideoAge at the end of the six-day event, Pascal Diot, director of the Production Bridge (pictured above), expressed his satisfaction with the growing figures of the market, especially for the Gap Financing portion, which registered 1,130 one-on-one meetings for international producers that have already secured 70 percent of their financing for their content ( the number of meetings doubled since 2016). This year 47 projects were selected among feature films, documentaries, virtual reality projects and TV/Web series, and many of these titles, Diot stressed, once completed, go on to win awards and recognition at major international film festivals, such as Berlinale or Cannes.

The fifth edition of the Final Cut Workshop was also held within the Production Bridge to provide assistance in the completion of films from Africa and the Middle East. For the first time, the Biennale (the organizers of the Venice Film Festival as well as the Production Bridge) awarded an additional 5,000 euro prize for the best film in post-production.

One area that Diot would like to see further developed is the Book Adaption Rights Market, which was held for the second year and saw the participation of 19 publishers, mostly from Europe, but also from Japan, and the U.S. Pitch presentations and one-on-one meetings between publishers and film/TV producers were held in a dedicated area of the market.

Finally, the growing attendance for different sections of the market is posing a logistical challenge. Since the venue on the third floor of the Excelsior hotel is now reaching full capacity, Diot would like to implement some room layout changes for next year.