Sundance Film Festival | Film Budget Inc. |

Sundance Film Festival 2014

2014 will mark the 30th year for the Sundance Film Festival; a festival known as an integral stepping stone for brilliant independent projects to reach global audiences. But as technologies in production, distribution, and exhibition rapidly change independent cinema, will the festival follow suit?  Nate von Zumwalt, editorial manager at, thinks not:

“As independent film has evolved from its renegade-spirited roots to an “accepted form of creative expression,” the tenets of the Sundance Film Festival remain unaffected.”

As the snow descends on Park City, Utah, so will the industry, with hopes of discovering the next great movie, director, and star. Last year’s festival introduced the world to Ryan Coogler, writer & director of the poignant film Fruitvale Station. With his directorial debut, Coogler used the Sundance institute (the film first made its presence at 2012s screenwriter’s lab) to show the world the story of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old man from the Bay Area who was tragically shot and killed by BART officers. The story, film, and acting moved the audience, as well as the institute, so much that it went on to win the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for Drama. Arguably, if it weren’t for its attention at Sundance, the film may not have earned as big of an applause at Cannes, or gone on to gross over $16 million on a indie film budget of less than a million dollars.


As a tremendously exciting fall comes to a close, the movie industry eagerly awaits an even more tremendous start to 2014. As a result, this year’s Sundance Festival is guaranteed to be as important, exciting, and moving as years past.

Where: Park City, Utah

When: Jan 16-26

Tickets: There are many ways to obtain a ticket to the festival. Festival passes are a great way to ensure access to the best stuff. Further, the two passes that are still available include: Eccles Pass B ($1,500), and Express Pass B ($3,000). All of the ticket packages are currently SOLD OUT, but individual tickets for access to a single screening will be on sale for $20. Open tickets sales begin January 14th.


Lodging: Make sure you plan and book your hotel rooms early. The official website offers an easy way to see what types of lodgings are available. Hotels include:

The Caledonian **** $2,999 avg/night

Best Western Plus Landmark Inn & Pancake House *** $369 avg/night

Sundance Mountain Resort **** $482 avg/night

Transportation: Info on ground and air transportation can be acquired here.

Program: The festival is composed of fourteen different film categories, including Sundance Kids, Midnight, U.S. Doc, World Doc, Next, Premieres, Shorts, Shorts Programs, Spotlight, Sundance Collection, U.S. Dramatic, and World Dramatic. In addition, panels, music, and media installations enrich the already dynamic festival.

2014 Screenwriters Lab

Recently, the Sundance Institute released the twelve projects that will be taking part in their annual Screenwriters Lab. From the tenth to the fifteenth, established advisors, new talent, and industry professionals will assemble at the Sundance Resort, with hopes of developing the next Grand Jury Prize winner. Nigel M. Smith of describes the advantage as, “The annual workshops give selected films a leg up in the independent film community in terms of financing and representation.” With Quentin Tarantino, Naomi Foner, and Patty Jenkins, among others, working as creative advisors, this year’s screenwriters lab is much anticipated. Below are just a few of the projects, for the full list click here.

The Father’s Shadow – Written/Directed by Gabriela Amaral Almeida (Brazil)

Lynch – Written by Nicole Riegel (U.S.A)

The Buried Life – Co-writers/Co-directors Averie Storck & Joan Stein Schimke

Manchild – Written/Directed by Ryan Koo (U.S.A)

Stranger With a Camera – Written/Directed by Oorlagh George (Northern Ireland/U.S.A)


After much anticipation, the world premiere of director Zach Braff’s follow up film to his insanely successful Garden State, will take place at the Sundance Film Festival. Inspired by Veronica Mars‘ crowdfunding campaign, Braff used Kickstarter to raise the $2 million movie budget for his latest project, Wish I Was Here. On top of co-writing (with the help of his brother Adam) and directing the film, Zach will play the protagonist, a 35-year-old father struggling to find himself. The film will also star Mandy Patinkin, Josh Gad, and Kate Hudson.

Wish I was Here isn’t the only Sundance film with a unique movie budget. Also making its world premiere is director Tim Sutton’s feature film Memphis. Created on a film budget of only 150,000 euros, the movie is one of three projects made possible by the Biennale College – Cinema, a workshop intended to create mini-budgeted films.


On top of all the new talent, this year’s festival will be composed of many seasoned directors and actors pushing the boundaries of storytelling. For instance, God’s Pocket, starring veteran actors Richard Jenkins and Philip Seymour Hoffman, will compete in this year’s competition. Other stars with projects competing in Sundance include, Anne Hathaway in Song One, Kristen Stewart in the Guantanamo Bay drama Camp X-Ray, and Jason Schwartzman in Alex Ross Perry’s Listen Up Philip. For a full list of this year’s line-up, click here.






Berlin International Film Festival | Film Budget Inc. |

Berlinale: 64th Berlin International Film Festival

As the 2014 movie season kicks off in Park City, Utah, exciting things promise to continue as Berlin hosts its 64th International Film festival shortly after. Always an international hub for the arts and culture, the historic German city is set to draw much attention this year. With big names premiering even bigger movies, cinema fans will find much to discover and discuss. As any high-profile festival should, Berlin will screen films spanning all genres, languages, and movie budgets. In addition to the films themselves, the European Film Market and Co-Production Market are guaranteed to generate many exciting deals.

Berlinale-film-festivalWhere: Berlin, Germany.

When: 6th (Thursday) – 16th (Sunday) February, 2014.

Venues: This year’s venues are yet to be announced. Last year’s festival’s events took place at the Marriott Hotel, MGB, Gropius Mirror Restaurant; movie screenings were held at Cinema Arsenal, Cubix, Colosseum, just to name a few.

Where to Stay: According to the official website, the festival has partnered with local hotels to offer a limited number of rooms to accredited professionals. These hotels range from one to five stars, which can be viewed here. Prices vary amongst the hotels; for instance, five-star hotel Hilton Berlin can be upwards of $500 a night (for a king guestroom). Other partner hotels include:

Hotel ADLON Kempinski (*****)

Crown Plaza Berlin City Centre (****)

Hotel Gat Point Charlie (***)

Motel One Berlin Tiergarten (**)


Tickets: As usual, tickets will be available through the festival’s website, as well as box/ticket offices. Advanced ticket sales will begin one week after the official programme is published at the end of January.

Special Presentations: With a goal to “open up new perspectives” on how film and other creative disciplines intersect, the festival has two special presentations planned. These include, “Berlinale Goes Kiez” and “Native – A Journey Into Indigenous Cinema.”

Awards: Films will be competing for a slew of amazing prizes and honors. Selected by a prestigious international jury, Silver bear awards will be presented for best director, actor, actress, outstanding artistic contribution, script, and the jury grand prix, as well as the illustrious Golden bear for best film. Romanian film Child’s Pose, made with an indie movie budget of only 850,000 euros, took home the award last year.

George Clooney headlines High Profile Debuts

George Clooney’s first project in the director’s chair since The Ides of March, The Monuments Men has officially announced it will make its international debut in Berlin. The film, starring Clooney, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, and many others, tells the story of a motley crew platoon that must go behind enemy lines to rescue stolen works of art.


The universe seems to be in Clooney’s favor these days, as a coincidental nazi-art loot discovered in Munich times nicely with the release of the film. The Wall Street Journal reports Sony Pictures Spokesman Steve Elzer as saying “You could not ask for a more timely, topical or relevant discovery that corresponds to the events depicted in our upcoming film.” With a film budget of $70 to $80 million, a successful Berlin debut will play a large part in the movie turning a profit.

A Grand Opening

Internationally admired auteur Wes Anderson will open the festival with his latest film The Grand Budapest Hotel. Causing much buzz with its trailer, the film seems to posses the same likable qualities of Anderson’s previous films, making it a smart choice as the opener. According to, the movie recently received an R rating, suggesting it is more mature than his previous film, the light-hearted Moonrise Kingdom. The rating shouldn’t signal any box-office troubles, since his previous R-Rated films, such as The Royal Tenenbaums, grossed over $71 million internationally on a movie budget of $21 Million. This is the first of Anderson’s films solely written by himself, utilizing collaborations with Roman Coppola and Owen Wilson in the past.

the-grand-budapest-hotel-owen-wilson-636-380European Film Market

In addition to the festival, Berlin will also host an international film market. Similar to the AFM, the European Film Market will work as the business center of the festival; allowing producers, distributors, and other professionals to network and make deals. The official page describes it, “as a barometer for the upcoming year in film.” The market will take place at the Martin-Gropius-Bau renaissance hall. Projects with large and small film budgets will be given equal opportunity to pitch their movies to industry elites. In addition to the Film market, a co-production market will take place from the ninth to the eleventh. According to the website, “The Berlinale Co-Production Market is a two-and-a-half-day event for about 450 international producers, sales agents, distributors as well as broadcasting and funding representatives active in the field of co-production.”

Berlin World Premieres

With such classics as Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) and Last Year at Marienbad (1961) on his resume, it’s no surprise Berlin is excited to have the french director Alain Resnais’ new film as part of its official selection. The new film titled Aimer, Boire et Chanter, starring Sandrine Kiberlain, marks the french director’s fiftieth director credit, according to IMDB, and will have its world premiere in Berlin.

Other exciting Berlinale news includes, the world premieres of director Yann Demange’s ’71, starring Jack O’ Connell, Yannis Economides’ Stratos (an international co-production between Greece, Germany, and Cyprus), German Dominik Graf‘s Die geliebten Schwestern, and Claudia Llosa’s Aloft, starring Jennifer Connelly. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Aloft is the Peruvian director’s English-Language debut. Her second feature, The Milk of Sorrow, won the Golden Bear back in 2009.

Outside of the competition, Pascal Chaumeil’s A Long Way Down, starring Pierce Brosnan and Aaron Paul, will make its world premiere. The film, an adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel, is about four people forming a surrogate family in order to deal with their own personal problems.

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 10.29.25 AMAustralia’s The Turning, a collection of short films based on stories by Tim Winston, will also have a special screening. The movie has eighteen director credits including, Tony Ayres, Jub Clerc, and Ian Meadows. With an incredible cast, starring Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, and Rose Byrne, the omnibus film is sure to cause a buzz at the festival.

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American Film Market Wrap-Up | Film Budget Inc. |

 Compiled by:  – the global leader in worldwide film budget and schedule production services for the motion picture industry; by Jack Binder.


Another Successful Year

This past week, the 34th American Film Market brought buyers, exhibitors, producers, studio executives, lawyers, and many others from all over the world to the beautiful city of Santa Monica. Attendance was only slightly up this year, but over two-thousand projects were on display; inking sales all over the globe.


Unsurprisingly, China made its largest impression yet, sending more companies than ever (as well as money) to collaborate with Hollywood. The Hollywood Reporter describes it as,” If there is an overriding theme to this year’s American Film Market, it’s China’s arrival as a global film superpower.”


November 7th marked “Hong Kong Day,” a push to promote co-producing with Hong-Kong. The event was a collaboration between AFM and Hong Kong Trade Development Council, which arranged an opening ceremony, workshops, and a cocktail reception all focused on co-producing in the iconic film city of Hong-Kong.

Aside from the various venues and events, the real epicenter of deal making could be found at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. Brian Watt of explains, “Around 8,000 participants registered for this year’s American Film Market,  but none of them actually sleep at the Loews Santa Monica. The hotel’s beds are removed and its rooms become offices for indie production [international sales] companies, looking to license and sell their upcoming films.” Many of these meetings went beyond the projects, alluding to the industry as a whole, particularly in California. As tax credit incentives in other states draw thousands of productions, many big names, such as Dean Devlin of Electric Entertainment, wish to expand California’s production tax credits to keep projects in Los Angeles.

The Power of Star Power

As major tent-pole films pitch alongside indie-film projects, one thing remains consistent between the two worlds, big names mean big interest. Unfortunately for projects with a small, indie film budget, attaching big names isn’t always easy. That may explain why higher profile films, such as Lionsgate’s “Mortdecai” starring Johnny Depp, created the most buzz.


After a disappointing box-office run of the $250 Million budgeted The Lone Ranger, Mr. Depp is rearing a comeback, and it looks like Mortdecai might just be the project. Exhibitors of the movie created much hype and interest by screening footage introducing Depp’s character, an art dealer named Charles Mortdecai. The reaction was highly positive.

Other high-profile projects included Lionsgate’s re-make of 1991 Point Break, which became the biggest deal of the market at $100 million. The original action movie, starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze, grossed over $83 million internationally on a film budget of $24 million. The tremendous success of the original may be the reason it was the Market’s largest project, despite there being no names attached. Warner Bros. will release it domestically.


Keanu Reeves may not be part of the surf-thriller, but he’s busy elsewhere. Passengers, a romance sci-fi, drew much attention at the market. The movie was exhibited by the Weinstein Company, which had picked up its rights at Cannes. Similar to Gravity, the film will be driven by its two leads (Reeves and Rachel McAdams) and set in space. Carly Meyberry of Studio System News explained that, “The project is likely to benefit from the stellar success of Warner Bros. recent techno-thriller.”

That’s not to say projects with a lower profile (and lower movie budgets) didn’t draw any attention. For example, BiFrost Pictures’ Daniel Wagner entered the market with three projects, all driven by the reputation of the names attached to them. For example, Don Cheadle’s directorial debut, Kill the Trumpet Player, a biopic about jazz legend Miles Davis, awarded Mr. Wagner with many meetings of interest.

Exclusive Media’s Big Moves:

Exclusive Media sealed many deals in the foreign market for their mystery flick, Dark Places, starring Charlize Theron and based on the novel by Gillian Flynn. The company connected with CCC in Japan and Mars of France, just to name a few.

_DSC1203.NEFIn addition, Exclusive Media brought two other films to the market to exhibit to buyers, Gillian Greene’s Murder of a Cat (produced by Sam Raimi) and the supernatural thriller Shomer.

Biopic Goldmine

Cheadle’s Miles Davis film wasn’t the only biopic causing a buzz at the market. For instance, a Marvin Gaye feature titled Sexual Healing,  from Arrow Entertainment, will star Jesse L. Martin as the Motown legend. Just Timberlake will star as producer Neil Bogart in Foresight’s Spinning Gold, and John Cusack transforms into the troubled musical genius Brian Wilson for Lionsgate’s Love & Mercy. Other biopics looking to sell globally include films about Janis Joplin, Tupak Shakur, and Keith Moon, a film the band’s singer, Roger Daltrey has been trying to make for twenty years. Though it’s still untitled and in its early stages, the biopic of the famed drummer has picked up momentum, as it’s set to be the first project of Exclusive Media and Da Vinci Media Ventures new financing pact. The pact, made after Cannes, agrees the two companies to a rolling four-picture equity deal.


In true pop icon fashion, Elton John created the biggest buzz for his own biopic feature starring Tom Hardy. According to The Hollywood Reporter, 100 foreign buyers mingled at the Bel-Air Bay Club for an event hosted by the leading foreign sales outfit Good Universe. The movie is titled Rocket Man and will be produced by a list of big names, including executive producer, and CEO of Focus Features, Peter Schlessel.

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The Future of Netflix | Film Budget Inc. | is the international leader in worldwide film & TV budget and schedule production services.


A Company in Peril

netflix-logo-close/bgr.comRemember when Netflix was under fire for falling stock prices? It seemed that the movie-streaming giant had hit a wall, leaving its millions of subscribers at the will of up-and-coming competitors. Investors panicked as the press published pessimistic outlooks, claiming Netflix must change something. For example, Jason Gallagher of YAHOO! news stated, “Only a major acquisition or innovation can save the company from being swallowed up in a storm of streaming options, and time will tell which direction it is going to go.” That was back in the spring of 2012, but what about now? Turns out Netflix is still around, and doing quite well.

Original Series: Big Move For Netflix

So how well is Netflix doing? According to The Hollywood Reporter, its stock has grown 445 percent in just a year. But stocks aren’t the only thing gaining momentum, as the company’s revenue increased from $905 million to $1.106 billion. Why the immense success, when just a year earlier major publications were foreseeing its demise? The answer is original series, which aren’t just any original series, but critically-acclaimed sensations. Spanning many genres, Netflix has gained an incredible amount of new subscribers thanks to excellent original shows, such as House of Cards and Hemlock Grove. Despite its lack of star power, the streaming site’s most popular show, Orange Is the New Black has gained a huge following thanks to its positive feedback.  Also, Netflix gained much attention by releasing the highly anticipated new season of the cult hit Arrested Development. Check out this list of ten Original shows to watch. According to Variety, 1.29 million new subscribers were added in just three months. With those kinds of numbers, its no surprise Netflix plans on doubling its Original Programming budget for 2014. In addition to doubling, Andrew Wallenstein of Variety reports “the streaming service announced a significant shift in its accounting practices regarding original programming that will see it accelerate spending on series like “House of Cards.””


Are Movies Next?

There’s no denying the success Netflix has had in DVD Rentals, streaming, and now original series, so why stop there? After delivering a keynote address at the Film Independent Forum in Los Angeles, Netflix Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos made it clear that the company is considering releasing original movies. In an article on Doddle, James DeRuvo stated “Sarandos says that there are far more buyers out there, who want to buy outside the box, than there are sellers who want to sell it. He cites the film Life of Pi, which saw more viewers in 2D on Netflix, than did in 3D in the theaters.”

In other words, there’s huge potential for Netflix to compete in an industry struggling to hold on to its audience. As the article explains, its biggest frustration is with the theaters, not Hollywood studios. It will be interesting to see how the company plans on creating a formula for exhibiting its movies, if it decides to enter such a market, as well as what types of films it plans on making and how large its movie budgets will be.

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BFI London Film Festival Wrap Up | Film Budget Inc. | is the international leader in worldwide film & TV budget and schedule production services.

FBwhite_180x180London Film Festival wrap-up

After 12 days of excellent movies, London proved to be, yet again, an irreplaceable part of the global film world. If anything, the 57th BFI London Film Festival added even more steam to the already frenzied anticipation of the award season. For instance, Oscar favorites 12 Years a Slave, directed by British visual artist Steve Mcqueen, and Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity, already a serious box office success, were both screened. In addition, many anticipated films made their debut, eager to be placed in the race for the Oscars. Here is a brief wrap-up of all the exciting things that took place.


Best Film: Ida

The competition’s jury, led by BFI fellow Philip French, was faced with the daunting task of choosing one single winner they found to be the greatest example of intelligent and distinctly original filmmaking. Moved by its courageous portrayal of German occupation, the jury selected Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida as the festival’s best. This is the first film by the British-based polish director to be filmed in his native Poland. Aside from the film’s historical context, the fact it’s filmed in black-and-white and with unknown actors made it an unlikely success. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Pawlikowski mentioned others were concerned making such a film would be “a little bit of professional hara-kiri.” Those concerned were surely silenced when Pawel walked away with the best film nod.


 “We were deeply moved by a courageous film that handles, with subtlety and insight, a painfully controversial historical situation – the German occupation and the Holocaust – which continues to resonate. Special praise went to his use of immersive visual language to create a lasting emotional impact.” – Philip French on why they chose Ida.

ida_04Best British Newcomer: Jonathan Asser

“The Best British Newcomer award honors new and emerging film talent, recognizing the achievements of a new writer, producer, director, actor or actress.” Saoirse Ronan presented the award to screenwriter Jonathan Asser for his film Starred Up. The film tackles the on-going debate of what to do with young criminals, and the consequences of placing them in adult prison. The jury also acknowledged Conner Chapman and Shaun Thomas for their performances in The Selfish Giant.


First Feature Competition- The Sutherland Award: Anthony Chen.

This year’s Sutherland Award went to Singaporean director Anthony Chen for his film Ilo Ilo. The jury saw the film about the vulnerabilities of a modern affluent family as innovative.


 Documentary Competition – The Griersons Award: My Fathers, My Mother and Me.

“The Best Documentary Award is co-presented with the Grierson Trust and recognizes outstanding feature length documentaries of integrity, originality, technical excellence or cultural significance.” This year’s winner is a documentary about the largest commune in Europe.

 A New Oscar Contender?

Disney’s debut, Saving Mr. Banks was met with a standing ovation at the festival’s closer. According to, this could mean good things for Disney, a studio that hasn’t won a Best Picture Oscar of its own making. This intriguing article cites Saving Mr. Banks as potentially having the same effect on the Oscar race as the The King’s Speech did a few years back. Similar to Tom Hooper’s film, Mr. Banks has the feel-good, more accessible quality that often wins best picture. Also, the modest movie budget of $35 million positions it for a great box office return. With a wealth of great movies this season, it’s hard to call a single one the Oscar-favorite.

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BFI London Film Festival & Finance Market | Film Budget Inc. |

 October is an exciting time to be in, or a fan of, the film industry. Kicking off this past Wednesday, the London Film Festival provides twelve days of moving pictures. Being one of the great capitals of the film world, London is sure to deliver a stellar festival full of events, talks, panels, and most important of all, movies. Further, this year has already proven to be special as the festival kicked off with British director, Paul Greengrass’ Captain Phillips starring the iconic Tom Hanks.

 When:  October 9th to the 20th

Where: London, England

What:  234 fiction and documentary features will be screened at fifteen venues. Venues include: BFI Southbank, BFI IMAX, Renoir Cinema, Curzon Chelsea, and eleven others.

Opening/Closing Night: Tom Hanks bookends this festival with the opener Captain Phillips and closer, John Lee Hancock’s Saving Mr. Banks. Both films work as a great display of Tom Hanks ability to star in larger budget Hollywood films (Captain Phillips, according to Box Office Mojo, had a production film budget of $55 million), as well as smaller budget independent films.

Gala: Other Gala films include, Jason Reitman’s Labor Day, and Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue is the Warmest Color presented at the festival’s Love Gala. As you may already know, the Cannes Palme d’Or winner, Blue is the Warmest Color directed by Abdellatif Kechiche has received much praise and controversy as its stars questioned the nature of their director’s approach to filming the movie’s graphic sex scenes. Most of the controversy came during the Toronto International Film Festival.

BFI Fellowship:

 Sir Christopher Lee, or as you may know him, Dracula, will be awarded the BFI Fellowship. An iconic actor in every sense of the term, Sir Christopher Lee has appeared in hundreds of films, including big budget blockbusters such as Star Wars: Episode III. According to, his films have collectively grossed over three billion dollars.

 Cheers, Sir Christopher Lee

Other Events: Educational programs, including free film screenings, panel events, The Festival Jury Project, will be consistent throughout the festival. Also, screen talks will be hosted with cinema greats such as Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda, as well as a master class discussion with famed director Alfonso Cuarón along with a screening of his new sci-fi flick Gravity. The film, which stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, is the fifth collaboration between the director and legendary cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki. Already grossing $100 million world wide, the space drama is set for record returns.


Production Finance Market

Wednesday marked the opening of the Film London Production and Finance Market with a keynote address by Michael Barker of Sony Pictures Classics. With recent feature film hits such as Blue Jasmine, Mr. Barker shared his wisdom on how to successfully distribute and sell independent films. For example, Michael Barker claims SPC has survived the unstable indie market by “maintaining a conservative approach to revenue projections.”  According to the Hollywood Reporter, Mr. Barker also claims that patience is a virtue when creating an audience through word-of-mouth. In addition to this keynote address, the Sony Classics veteran will join Endgame Entertainment’s Doug Hansen and Start Motion Pictures’ Ben Browning in a panel on how film finance is being shaped by the emerging online market.

Michael Barker with Woody Allen

Michael Barker with Woody Allen


More on the Market:

In partnership with the BFI, the Film London Production Market is an excellent opportunity for producers, financiers, and distributors to land deals. describes it as:

“The Production Finance Market in association with the 57th BFI London Film Festival brings financiers together with producers and film-makers to make connections, forge partnerships and encourage mew film financing relationships.”Unique to this year, the micro-market will run alongside the event. The micro-market allows projects with film budgets of one million pounds or less to meet with potential financiers. Mr. Barker will also be running a master class for these filmmakers.



Toronto Film Festival Deals Film Budget Inc. |

Toronto, yet again, showed its prominence in the film world this September hosting its 38th international film festival. With over 300 movies shown, and an impressive amount of positive reviews, it’s looking like this will be a great year for the industry. Here’s a quick recap of what went down at TIFF this year.


People’s Choice Award12 Years a Slave  – Director Steve McQueen’s story of a man’s fight for freedom took home this year’s top prize. In addition to the big win, Fox Searchlight purchased the distribution rights. This is a big confidence boost for Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B after an upsetting experience producing World War Z. Unlike the zombie flick, which had a feature film budget of $190 million, 12 Years a Slave kept a relatively low film budget, just under $20 Million.

(Runners Up) – Prisoners & Philomena

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People’s Choice Award Documentary   The Square   – Director Jehane Noujaim’s incredible documentary chronicling political unrest in Cairo. Rumor has it that a major deal is about to be signed for The Square.

People’s Choice Midnight Madness Why Don’t You Play in Hell? Directed & Written by Shion Sono.

Best Asian Feature Film   Qissa  – Directed by Anup Singh. An Indian-German drama.

Special Presentations Prize Ida  – Film about a young nun in 1960s Poland. Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski.

Discovery Award The Amazing Catfish – Mexican Comedy-drama directed by Claudia Sainte-Luce.


Best Canadian Feature Film – When Jews Were Funny – A hilarious documentary directed by Alan Zweig. NonStop Entertainment has acquired the Scandinavian, Icelandic, and Baltic rights for the doc.

Best Canadian First Film Asphalt Watches – Adult animated feature made by Shayne Ehman & Seth Scriver.

Best Canadian Short Film Noah –This unique short film takes place entirely on a teen’s computer screen. Directed by Walter Woodman and Patrick Cederberg.

 Too Good to Pass Up:

Though deals were made, many excellent films screened at TIFF continue to search for a distributor. Check out this list of overlooked movies.

 Other Notable Deals:

As the post-Tiff/Venice festival circuit continues on, many distributors are already signing major deals with projects of both high and low movie budgets. Here are some notable pick-ups:


  • The rights to funnyman Jason Bateman’s film Bad Words have been picked up by Focus Features. The deal is said to be upwards of $7 million for distribution rights.


  • The Weinstein Company purchased John Carney’s Can a Song Save Your Life. The deal consists of $20 million for prints and advertising, as well as $7 million for distribution. Harvey Weinstein made sure he kept John Carney’s attention long enough to out-maneuver Lionsgate/Summit troika.


  • Some Velvet Morning’s U.S. rights picked up by Tribeca Film.


  • Hitoshi Matsumoto’s R100, which premiered at Toronto, was picked up by Drafthouse Films


  • Night Moves, starring Jessie Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning, U.S. rights picked up by Cinedigm after Venice premiere and Toronto Film Fest Screening. The film is expected to be released in the spring.


  • Hateship Loveship, starring Kristen Wiig, has had its rights picked up by IFC after Toronto debut.


  • Tribeca has acquired Bright Days Ahead, with Fanny Ardent, after Toronto, and before its U.S. debut.

For more acquisition news read


International Film Festival Rotterdam |IFFR.2014 | Film Budget Inc.

International Film Festival Rotterdam| IFFR.2014


When you think of film festivals in the winter, what comes to mind? Berlin? Sundance? What about Rotterdam? Every year thousands of people gather in Rotterdam, Netherlands to discover, and support, some of the newest faces and talent in the industry. Films range from studio big film budget movies to art house low film budget cinema.  It’s a great place to see quality films from all over the globe, as well as make deals. In fact, Rotterdam is an ideal event for talented individuals to find the finances they need to reach a larger market. So make a detour on your way to Berlin, and check out the largest admission-charging event in the Netherlands.


When: January 22nd to February 2nd (the 43rd edition)


Registration: Entering a film is going to cost you this year, but it’s only $34 for a short film (under 60 minutes) or $60 to enter a feature film (over 60 minutes). Check out the official entry page for more details,


Where: Rotterdam, Netherlands. The festival will take place at fifteen different locations throughout the city. Luckily, Google maps and IFFR have teamed up to make this helpful map, which can be found here,






Tiger friends: Can’t get enough of the IFFR? Become a tiger friend for only fifty euros a year and reap the benefits; including a ten percent discount on any merchandise (online or at the festival).


CineMart: This is a unique opportunity for filmmakers to find finance for their projects. According to the website, 35 projects are launched a year. This will take place the 26th to the 27th.  CineMart also includes an awards ceremony.


What Else? In addition to all the screenings, festivalgoers will have plenty to do. For example, plenty of parties, talk shows, and music acts will fill their time.




Additional information: Like the IFFR Facebook page, or subscribe to their youtube channel.

American Film Market 2013 (AFM) Film Budget Inc. |




Relying on collaboration, the independent film market continues to grow; and no other point in time does this collaborative spirit reach a higher pinnacle than in November. Every year more than 8,000 industry leaders converge in beautiful Santa Monica, California to share ideas, network, and a love for movies. What results is a conference fecund with both creative and financial progress. Since the conference began in 1981, billions of dollars worth of deals have been sealed for high, medium and low film budget productions in the week long celebration, and, according to the official website, this year is expected to be no different with over $800 million in deals waiting to be made.

Official Website:



When: November 6th through the 13th 2013


Where: Santa Monica, California (Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel & all 21 screens on Santa Monica Promenade)


Registry: There are six different passes available ranging from “Show Floor Day Pass” to the “Platinum All-Access Pass.” According the website, the Executive pass is the best value, offering seven day access to the Show Floor and five day access to the conference series.


Price: Prices are cheaper if you get them before October 18th. Ranging from $250 to $1,395.


Agenda: Daily conference series offer insightful knowledge and information for every aspect of the industry. For example, the second session on Sunday will be discussing the benefits and secrets of successful Crowd Funding. Further, there will be film screenings, seminars, and receptions.  Foreign sales agents, distributors and film producers collaborate with buyers and sellers to supply the world market with film product.




Though this is called the American Film Market, it will be hosting people from all over the world. Thankfully AFM has created this insightful 3D map of the Santa Monica film market campus.  We highly encourage you to check it out:


So why go? The AFM is a unique networking opportunity for anyone in the film industry. It’s more than a film festival; it’s a marketplace where deals are made.

 AFM 4

Stay Connected! Join the online community by registering for MyAFM, or like AFM’s facebook page.    Contact for further information, film budget services worldwide and film production consulting and producer services in advance of AFM.



Toronto International Film Festival 2013 | Film Budget Inc. |

 Compiled by:  – the global leader in worldwide film budget and schedule production services for the motion picture industry. By Jack Binder


Toronto International Film Festival | TIFF 2013

As any good Indie/Holllywood filmmaker should know, the Toronto International Film Festival is an incredibly important event in the world of cinema. As the summer blockbusters wind down, TIFF works as a solid launching pad for fall release, big budget and independent alike. If successful, good press garnered at TIFF vitalizes a film’s momentum into awards season. Here’s a preview/guide to TIFF 2013.


When: Sept. 5th– 13th  2013 (Thursday through following Friday)

Registration: Visit TIFF’s official website to learn more about specific passes (Industry Pass, Conference Pass, etc.). Early Bird registration ends June 12.

Where: Toronto, Ontario Canada.

Toronto Film Festival Map - Film Budget Inc.

For a great interactive map of the ten venues, check out the Locations tab on the TIFF website.

Don’t go in unprepared! Here’s a great list of 51 Hot Spots come September:


Programmes: From mainstream movies such as Looper (Director: Rian Johnson) to independent/art cinema, Laurence Anyways (Director: Xavier Dolan), 2012 saw some incredible films. With just announced film Visitors by renowned Koyaanisqatsi director Godfrey Reggio, featuring a score by Philip Glass, 2013 promises to be no different. Also, notable directors and actors such as Paul Thomas Anderson and Ryan Gosling have new projects in production; it should be interesting to see what is ready in time for the festival.

How are they chosen? This year, the eighteen programmers that chose the films represent six continents.

Awards: Last year ten films received awards, including Silver Linings Playbook (Directed by David O. Russell) that won BlackBerry People’s Choice Award.

17 Progammes: Seventeen different programmes will make up the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

TIFF Programs - Film Budget Inc

Read: to see the other nine programmes.

Can’t stand the wait? Luckily, TIFF offers year round events and screenings. If you find yourself in Toronto before September, make sure you allow some time to see a film from their summer series A Century of Chinese Cinema with many films including a special introduction. In addition, many other films are released or screened through tiff. all summer long.

toronto film festival

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