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This past Sunday, the first annual Philadelphia Film Market concluded in Northern Liberties. The Market, which ran from June 22nd to June 28th, was a “gathering of industry professionals — including acquisition and development executives, agents, attorneys, directors, distributors, festival directors, financiers, film commissioners, producers, writers, and various press outlets — aimed at bringing all aspects of the film industry together.”

I had the chance to attend and while there I spoke to one of the organizers of the event as well as a few of the exhibitors, AKA those trying to procure distribution for their respective films.

“The inaugural market proved that there is potential and desire for a much larger film industry and marketplace in Philadelphia. Not everyone sold a film and went home victorious, but it was obvious that the participants were excited to see progress,” said Jason Brewer, CEO Brolik Productions Inc., one of the sponsors of the Market. “It was exciting to see the dedication of our sponsors, exhibitors and attendees pulling resources together to help us bring the Philadelphia Film Market to life.”

However, some of the exhibitors were not quite as enthusiastic in their praise of the Market.

“Other than a few hours here or there, I was greatly disappointed. This is a great idea and I was very excited about it. Philly needs something like this. I understand this is the first one, but I think it was both poorly advertised and organized,” said Nick Lanciano, a local filmmaker whose first independent film 9th & Bay has received critical acclaim. “As an independent filmmaker I have limited funds available so I need to be particular as to which of these kinds of events I attend. I just hope next year it’s better cause it can’t get much worse.”

Bill Page, another local filmmaker and Executive Producer of All Along, echoed some of Nick’s comments.

“I have mixed emotions. I met a lot of great filmmakers and I have a possible distribution deal. That’s the good news. The bad news is I thought the attendance was poor and I think why was a lack of advertising and marketing. I would have hoped the Philadelphia Film office would have had more of a role, too. I also did not like the fact that panel discussions were held at the same time as movies were being screened.”

Other exhibitors meanwhile, had quite the opposite take.

“I thought it was advertised very well. I saw and heard ads everywhere for the Market. I really appreciated the hard work they put in and I love the ambition the people behind the Market have. I truly believe this event is only going to get better year after year,” said Mike Nicholson, Producer of Tribute This!

Jason told me there are plans to have the Market again next year and that in the coming months the sponsors of the Market will gather feedback from all attendees, exhibitors, etc. and discuss the ways it can be improved.