The foreign sales market comes together at three major shows per year. They include: 1). AFM in late February in Santa Monica, CA, 2). Cannes (not to be confused with Cannes Film Festival) in May in Cannes, France, and 3). MIFED in late October in Milan, Italy. There are a few smaller venues, but these are the major film markets that Distributors attend to conduct their business.
Who are the Foreign Sales Agents? Foreign Sales Agents are generally independent North American Distributors who "switch hats" and call themselves Foreign Sales Agents during the aforementioned markets. By coming together at these three major venues, they create a market whereby buyers/sellers meet. The Majors and Mini-Majors do not attend the market as they handle their own domestic and foreign distribution.
Who are the Buyers? Buyers are entrepreneurs who are interested in obtaining various rights to your film, i.e., theatrical, video/DVD, broadcast, cable, satellite, etc.
What territories are included under Foreign Sales? Rights are typically divided into two territories: Foreign and Domestic. Domestic is the United States and English-speaking Canada. Occasionally it will include all of Canada. Foreign rights are generally defined as the rest of the world. Foreign sales are typically broken down into roughly sixty-seventy countries/territorial regions. This may vary slightly due to the Distributor's strategies, and relationships.