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One of most vital stops on the funding circuit for European arthouse films as well as select American independents is the Rotterdam Cinemart, held each year at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in late January. Here is how the festival describes the Cinemart:

CineMart was the first platform of its kind to offer filmmakers the opportunity to launch their ideas to the international film industry and to find the right connections to get their projects financed. Launching about 36 new projects in need of additional financing, CineMart also heralds an important start of the ‘film year’.

Every year, the CineMart invites a select number of directors/producers to present their film projects to co-producers, bankers, funds, sales agents, distributors, TV stations and other potential financiers.

CineMart Trademarks
One of CineMart’s trademarks is the highly productive, yet informal atmosphere. In order to maintain such an environment, the number of projects is kept to around 36 and the invitation process is selective. The four-day event takes place concurrent with the IFFR and shares its location with the festival centre in the heart of Rotterdam.

CineMart Dossier & Meeting Schedule
The CineMart staff organizes the CineMart meetings prior to the event. After the project selection is completed, the CineMart staff creates a dossier with information on the projects. Attending professionals then inform the CineMart on their interests and a master meeting schedule is set-up. Upon arrival in Rotterdam, all guests receive their personal meeting schedule. (During CineMart 2009, there were about 7,500 meetings between project representatives and potential financiers).

CineMart Guests
CineMart is an invitation only market. The list of industry delegates attending CineMart is carefully reviewed every year in order to ensure that the attending industry can contribute to the projects in the CineMart selection.

I’ve attended the Cinemart many times — most every year, in fact — and have gone as a producer looking for projects as well as a producer looking for funding. (I’m also on its Advisory Board.) The deadline for project submissions this year is September 1. For more info, visit the website.

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