Patricia Arias, founder of the Miami Media and Film Market, plans to shine the light on the UK’s creative industries.
How was MMFM first conceived?
I work with the US Chamber of commerce - a non-governmental business-orientated lobby group - to promote film and media as an emerging business and a job generator. MMFM came out of a desire to create a forum in Florida that discussed the business of film and media production.
It’s now evolved into an international co-production financing forum but we like to keep it small - it’s a boutique event - I have a core of individual speakers and limit it to around 200 participants.
How’s the event structured?
We bring in a lot of below-the-line A-listers - producers, executive producers and other production talent and combine meetings with these industry leaders with seminars, case studies, working sessions, a co-production forum and pitch coaching sessions.
It’s not a huge event so people have the time and ability to interact and participants who attend develop personal relationships with the speakers.
The idea is that people attend these interesting symposiums all day and in the evening we liquor them all up over dinner and do business!
Who typically attends and who do you have lined up for this year?
Last year Presciene co-director and Kings Speech financier Paul Brett did a lot of business with his other speakers. Other guests have included exec producer / film lawyer Andrew Curtis of Polite Storm, Sony Pictures International vice president of international film Matthew Stein, The Theory of Everything producer Lisa Bruce and TV writer Karen (M*A*S*H, Roseanne, The Good Wife and Madam Secretary).
And once they come along, they always come back! Paul’s back this year and so are Matthew and Karen. New to this year’s line-up we’re very pleased to announce Oscar winning cinematographer Janusz Zygmunt Kamiński (Schindler’s List, Bridge of Spies).
And this year the spotlight is firmly on the UK…
Yes we’re focusing on promoting the UK as a filming destination for projects conceived in the US. The US no longer has any special film incentives but you do in the UK as well as that quality and talent in front and behind the screen.
You only have to look at films like The Revenant – besides the director and a couple of the actors everyone in there was a Brit! In TV I also really admire the Game Of Thrones’ production model.
Film London chief executive Adrian Wootton will be attending and I’m also courting some key BBC people. I truly believe in what the UK is doing to promote the creative industries and would like to raise awareness of that in the US.
Why is MMFM a good market for international producers to attend?
A lot of the conversations and meetings I help set up are confidential, but I can tell you that last year’s event enabled financing for a new blockbuster film; two international co-productions, and a television series.
MMFM also solidified relationships with China and Hong Kong; brainstormed with producers from the UK and interacted with executives from major Los Angeles based studios.
If you have a project you want to pitch or have something in development you need creative financing for then there are key people here to talk to – and you will get to talk to them because it’s not Cannes, it’s small.
Miami is often viewed as the gateway to the Latin American market – is that another draw?
We’ve not marketed it as such, but it’s true that if you’re going to bring a delegation of producers over to the event then they would be able to arrange meetings with most of the Latin/American film and media companies because most are headquartered in Miami.
So you could visit HBO Latino, Viacom Latino etc. Viacom has also just opened its International Production hub here, so there’s a lot going on.
Where does CAMACOL’s international business conference fit into the mix?
The Latin Chamber of Commerce of the United States, CAMACOL is one of the largest Hispanic American business organizations in the US. It holds an international business conference – now in its 37th year – in Miami, which runs in tandem with MMFM. We encourage that fusion between international coproduction and financing so participants from both events are free to drop in on one another’s seminars.
How can producers become involved in this event?
To become a participant all you need to do is register – early. Last year we had 500+ register but could only accept 223 because of our aim to keep it small. The fee is $US125.
MMFM runs from 6 to 9 June at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida