DAY FIVE November 7, 2005
KODAK CONNECT Unites Creators, Enablers
by Chris Davison
Now in its fifth year, Kodak
CONNECT offers the filmmakers invited to AFI FEST the opportunity to meet with representatives from all corners of the film community in a series of one-on-one meetings,
breakfasts, lunches and other networking opportunities.
Two executives involved in this year's KODAK CONNECT
are Tamara Stuparich De La Barra, Vice President of Production and Acquisitions for Foresight Unlimited, and Peter Belsito, Executive Vice President of FilmFinders, Inc.
Both executives have participated
in KODAK CONNECT in the past, and are back this year to connect with another group of promising filmmakers.
Stuparich De La Barra finds KODAK CONNECT to be "a great way to meet diverse talent from all over the world." She likes the fact that many of the movies are made by artists outside the United States, who are as of yet undiscovered. Unique ideas and new voices result in projects that are personal
and unique--exactly the sort of films and filmmakers that an acquisitions executive loves to see.
Belsito has similar motivations
for his return to KODAK CONNECT, as he's a former producer whose company holds a massive film rights database.
Belsito views KODAK CONNECT as a unique program,
in that it involves a certain
tier of filmmakers--artists who are actively producing quality films that have all been carefully selected for screening
at AFI FEST. The program serves the crucial function of bringing filmmakers face-to-face with executives in the trade, since "a very strong part of the business is about networking producers, about getting to know and working with companies who might finance, distribute and market their films," says Belsito.
Both executives describe KODAK CONNECT as a win-win situation, with Stuparich De La Barra enjoying the fact that, "I get to meet fantastic people, people who I can work with." She thinks that the format is much better than a standard pitch meeting
because it's so personal, and thus provides much more information. Belsito agrees, relaying that "these types of meetings go on in many venues
all over the world, and for this week [KODAK CONNECT]
is the center of gravity in the world of the international
independent film movement.
It is a portal--a point of entry for filmmakers."
KODAK CONNECT opens doors with a handshake, offering
filmmakers a chance to network
with industry executives. The recipe for success: take brilliant, original content creators
and mix with seasoned executives who can finance, distribute and market their films. Then wait for the value to rise. The results? Coming soon to a theatre near you.
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