Following the news that Market Trader, our industry-leading programme to prepare talented producers to take their projects to market across the world, is now open for applications, we caught up with programme leads Julia Short and Bea Neumann to find out what they’re looking forward to seeing this year.
Why is Market Trader needed for emerging film producers?
Bea Neumann: “The world of film exploitation and especially sales and distribution is confusing and ever changing and Market Trader provides a short cut to market intelligence usually gained over many years of market attendance. It provides tools and knowledge which will help producers to navigate shift in the landscape. Furthermore, the film producers will be joined by film executives from the sales and distribution world and both groups of participants have an opportunity to get to know the other side of the table in a safe space, learn from each other and start building relationships and a network for the future.”
A recent article by Screen International detailed the “precarious world in which smaller UK indie producers are obliged to operate”, in which “there is no checklist for producers, no code of conduct.” Market Trader exists to combat this, giving producers the skills, knowledge and contact to succeed.
You have both had impressive careers in the independent film sector, could you share a little on your professional background?
Julia Short: “I have spent 30 years working in the independent film sector from on-set production, running a small indie distribution company which supported many film makers on their first film including Andrea Arnold, Clio Barnard, Amma Assante and Yorgos Lathimos. I also have many years of experience in acquisitions as a UK buyer as well as an international buyer.”
Bea Neumann: “I’ve spent almost 12 years in acquisitions for international sales and some time for UK distribution before I went freelance to work directly with filmmakers on their projects with a focus on formulating sales, distribution and marketing strategies for the projects. At the same time film training and mentoring became a growing part of my work life and now dominates my activities and I love it.”
What is your role on Market Trader?
Julia Short: “Myself and Bea design the course and select the topics we will dig into during the programme, whilst ensuring that the course is tailored to those who are on the programme so each participants learnings are met.”
Bea Neumann: “We design, prepare and deliver Market Trader as programme producers, which means together with Creative England we decide which sessions are suitable and who should deliver them, we recruit the speakers and mentors, are part of the selection committee for the participants, lead the workshops and mentor some of the participants.”
Who are you hoping to work with on Market Trader?
Bea Neumann: “I look forward to a new group of producers and film executives from all over England. It is a such a pleasure every year to meet such talented people and see them thrive over the years. I hope we get applications from every part of the country, from all communities and any background and I can’t wait to hear their stories and do my bit to help them create a route to market, so the world can benefit from their talent, too.”
What do you think is the biggest benefit to the producers, sales and distribution executives who get a place on the programme?
Julia Short: “The participants will build their confidence in presenting themselves, their project and slate as well as having a deeper understanding of the sales and distribution landscape, sales and distribution contracts and knowing which is the optimal market or festival to present their project. Being able to extend your peer network is always advantageous, also for producers to be able to build relationships with those in sales and distribution is so valuable.”
Applications are currently open for Market Trader, get yours in before Monday 25th October at midday.
Market Trader is part of Creative Enterprise, which has been developed with National Lottery funding from the BFI to make the moving image sector sustainable through creating new business opportunities through training, mentoring and building of networks, whilst growing and scaling existing businesses.