PARIS — From the latest technological wizardry for sales agents to ecologically minded waste disposal, Cannes’ Marche du Film is keeping the wheels of progress turning.
“People sign up for the market for the facilities it provides, starting with the guide we invented 12 years ago, which is not profitable but is an essential service,” says market chief Jerome Paillard. “We are just keeping up with the latest developments.”
Cinando, the market’s newly renamed Web site, is now a year-round affair, as much a tool for attendees of other international markets as Cannes, hence the change of name from cannesmarket.com. (Pierre Viot, former president of the Cannes Film Festival, came up with the new moniker.)
“In Greek it means ‘I meet,’ which is nice but was quite unintentional. We just liked the sound of the word and thought it was easy to remember,” muses Paillard.
At any given moment some 5,000 actively sold titles are displayed on the site, giving a snapshot of the international film sales biz. A title is removed from the site when it’s been dormant for 12 months.
Using new technology put in place by U.K.-based Arts Alliance Media, sales companies can now store their films, promo reels and trailers on the site, ready to be sent out to interested parties at the click of a mouse.
“The majors have their own internal systems for doing this, but independent companies haven’t had this kind of technology at their disposal before,” Paillard says.
Attendance is on the rise, with some 10,000 market participants being accredited this year, about a third of all festival attendees. The mart’s E268 ($365) price for accreditation is cheaper than any other major film mart, Paillard is eager to point out.
“Market attendance has been in constant progression for the past 10 years,” observes the topper. “There are more and more films being made, and that means there are more producers — that’s the impression we have anyway. Films from countries whose industries are starting to develop, such as Chile or Colombia, are contributing to a production explosion.”
Nigeria will be back again this year with a pavillion in the International Village, along with newcomers Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.
The Cannes Market also is reaching out. This year, Paillard staged the mart’s first off-site Producers Network at the Guadalajara Film Festival. Some 80 producers from all over Latin America took part in two breakfasts.
“Not everyone had projects. A lot of people came to meet and make contacts,” Paillard reports.
In Cannes, the Producers Network will stage two afternoon “speed-dating” sessions.
“We’ll sit four or five producers round a table, and each one will have a few minutes to present their projects and areas of interest to the others,” Paillard explains.
“It is more and more difficult to finance a film in one country, so events like Cannes are even more important because that is where people can meet and find potential partners,” says the topper.
Meanwhile, inside the Palais, the market’s hub, where deals are thrashed out in claustrophobic booths, sales companies will have a bit more elbow room this year. The market has expanded its surface area by more than 2,000 square meters (21,528 square feet) to include another floor, Lerins, on the upper level of the Riviera market space. And a whole new batch of exhibiting companies that are coming into the Palais for the first time will have open-air terraces at their booths.
Some 30 screening rooms are available to exhibitors this year, including two equipped for digital projection. About 1,500 market screenings are skedded to unspool.
Cannes Market also will be showing its green side this year. An estimated 1 million fliers and catalogs get handed out at the confab — 500 tons of paper. Organizers will be using recycled paper and providing recycling bins in market areas this year. They’re also urging participants to communicate electronically whenever possible.
“We must think of the environment,” Paillard intones.