In a radical departure from tradition, Cannes Film Festival’s Marche du Film (Film Market) will go online this year from June 22-26. It has been done in the light of the uncertainty and tenuousness in the film business due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The business counterpart of the Cannes Film Festival is one of the largest film markets in the world and continuing with it in some form this year, despite the many challenges, would support the debilitated film industries across the world.
With 12,500 participants from 121 different countries, more than 4,000 films and projects were presented at Marche du Film in 2019.
“No one knows what the second half of the year may bring and whether it will be possible to organize major film events again in 2020, including the Festival de Cannes,” said Thierry Frémaux, General Delegate of the Festival. The reason why a standalone online market has been created to support the international film industry and help professionals.The new version of the market is being organized in consultation with and with the participation of several professionals from the world over.
The online market is intended to mimic the market experience in Cannes, with live and real-time meetings. It will offer creative alternatives to facilitate business and networking for film industry professionals from all over the world.
The Marché du Film Online will take the shape of a closed industry space that will include, among other elements, virtual booths for sales agents. Sales companies will be able to connect with buyers and display their new films and projects-in-progress in a dedicated online space that will serve as a digital equivalent to their booths in Cannes.
Institutions from all over the world will be able to present their national cinema, film commissions and film locations, support their producers and organise meetings in a virtual space as they are used to doing in their pavilion in the Village International.
Participants will be able to request and organize meetings via the Marché du Film’s networking app Match&Meet, which will now also integrate video calls.
Completed films or those in post-production and project presentations will be programmed according to set schedules in about fifteen virtual cinemas, to maintain the market momentum and allow time for viewing and negotiations. Reruns will be organized for buyers in different time zones. The platform will be based on Cinando’s technology and on strict security measures including digital rights management (DRM), individual watermark and real-time management and monitoring of admissions to screenings.
Programmes and conferences will for the most part be transported to the digital space. Cannes Docs, Cannes Next, Producers Network, Goes to Cannes, Frontières or Fantastic 7 will be reshaped to offer these communities – creators, producers, sales agents – the same opportunities to network and present their projects.
The Marché du Film Online will also offer speed meetings with composers, book publishers or producers. Cannes XR, the programme dedicated to immersive entertainment, will present its projects in an environment where films can be viewed with a VR headset.
Executive director of Marche du Film, Jérôme Paillard said that a survey they conducted last week among distributors around the world revealed that 80% of them were interested in an online market and 66% have the capacity to make acquisitions (mainly of completed films but also of films in post-production and writing).
“We won’t replace the Cannes experience with the Marché du Film Online, but we are recreating part of its essence online by offering professionals an efficient and cutting-edge platform to screen films, buy them, finance projects and meet partners. We’re also experimenting a new market model that will allow professionals who didn’t have the means or the time to come to Cannes to participate,” said Paillard.
Accreditations for the Marché du Film Online will be available soon for industry professionals at an early bird rate of €95 until May 29 and the normal rate of €195 thereafter.