For the first time, the Cannes Film Market will be held online and feature two virtual versions that seek to be complementary
Spanish sales agents are looking forward to what this new formula may offer, whichs seeks to maintain commercial activity in the face of the avoc caused in the industry by the Covid-19 pandemic.
On the one hand, the online market organized by agencies such as CAA Media Finance, Endeavor Content and ICM Partners together with producers/distributors such as FilmNation, Lionsgate and Wild Bunch International, will run from June 22 to 28.
This event, conceived as a contingency plan, will be structured to allow global buyers and sellers the opportunity to access completed films, first images, film-maker presentations and sales meetings, among other essential elements of a film market.
The initiative will coincide with the online version of the Cannes Film Market, scheduled for June 22 to 26.
The virtual environment of the Film Market 2020 will offer booths for sales agents, pavilions for institutions, virtual meetings via the Match&Meet tool, film screenings and conferences.
The online version of the Film Market has been designed to cater to a wide range of sellers, with arthouse distributors as a target, while the agency-led initiative will be geared towards larger projects, incorporating high-profile talents. A groundbreaking virtual segmentation as well.
Film sales executives have long been working online, negotiating deals on their titles remotely with buyers around the world. Although the face-to-face market serves to initiate the sales commitment, it is usually the result of months of work where communication between the parties through telephone, email or videoconference, is continuous.
“As a temporary substitute for the market, it is great, although the difference is huge,” says Antonio Saura, Head of the Spanish sales agency Latido Films.
“You do not get to know a person by videoconference as you do by sharing a coffee. And Cannes is a market for meeting people and trusting people,” he explains.
“The face-to-face factor is fundamental for independent film sellers. Having your film shown in a big room is not the same as watching it online," he adds.
According to a survey among distributors around the world, released by the Film Market, 80% of them are interested in the online market and 66% have the ability to make acquisitions, mainly of completed films, but also titles in the post-production and writing phase.
These aspects suggest business opportunities for Spanish sales agents, especially for those who handle a long list of completed films.
This is the case of Filmax, which has a large library containing outstanding titles.
“During the crisis, the library is having a lot of value and we have closed several title packages in relevant territories,” explains Iván Díaz, Head of international Sales at the Catalan company.
Spanish sales agents agree in highlighting one of the main advantages of the online market; it is much cheaper than the face-to-face market.