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Cannes spaces out

The Cannes Intl. Film Market is spreading its wings, or rather its tents, with new stand space outside the traditional Palais des Festivals market venue.

Market director Michel Bonnet unveiled plans Wednesday for 750 square meters of new stand space on the esplanade adjoining the Palais. The mart runs from May 12-23, parallel to the Cannes Intl. Film Festival.

Last year, several stand-holders suggested to Bonnet that they would like to bring their business out of the Palais iffacilities were available. “We have reacted to these requests,” said Bonnet.

The mart topper said that the new business zone has been snapped up mainly by national and international film promotion organizations such as the Austrian Film Commission. “Private companies seem to want to see how it works in the first year but have reserved for year two,” he said.

Palais primed

Market organizers have added two more screening rooms inside the Palais and have plans to build two more per year over the next four years.

Pressure on screening facilities has become increasingly tight, partly due to the gradual closure of the town’s Les Ambassades cinema. Three of Les Ambassades’ seven screens are no longer in use and the remaining screens are not expected to stay open much longer.

Bonnet reported demand for screenings is well above the level of 1993. The market has a 760-screening capacity. “I don’t really know why there is such strong interest this early. It may be that the Asians and the Australians, who were very happy with 1993, are back in force and want their films seen.”

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