Coming off a post-recession year, Cannes Market is experiencing a boom in participation and screenings.
Even with a skyrocketing euro — which was trading at $1.44 in mid-April against the dollar — more marketgoers will head to Cannes this year, says market topper Jerome Paillard, who points to a 10% increase in registered attendees compared with 2010 at the same period.
As of April 14, some 7,800 participants and 3,400 companies were registered from 50 countries.
“We’re slightly up on 2008, and we noted that more companies are attending, but outfits are not sending more staff than last year,” says Paillard.
The breakdown in participation is nearly identical to last year. U.S. industryites make up 15% of all marketgoers, France represents 16% and the U.K. represents 11%. Other European countries represent more than one-third of attendees.
The mart, which is making more strides in programming initiatives targeting independent producers, is launching the Producers Workshop, designed to school 180 producers on the ins and outs of Cannes’ film market, and train those who are making their first steps on the international scene. The program will complement the Short Film Corner and the Producers Network, which have become staple business-to-business services.
“Last year we had to turn down people who didn’t have the required experience to participate in the Producers’ Network and we realized there was a big demand for an event which could welcome emerging producers,” explains Paillard.
Kicking off on May 12, the Producers Workshop will host a series of panels and seminars hosted by film professionals. The event will cover international sales, distribution models, talent and agents, among other topics.
Paillard points out that the market’s strategy is to strengthen its matchmaking role and provide producers with more co-production and networking opportunities.
“Distribution models are constantly evolving, but one thing that’s not going to change is the producer’s role,” says Paillard. “Producers will always need to look for mixed-financing options, and be as creative as possible in drawing funds from wherever they can: Co-producers, regional funds, subsidies, tax rebates, soft money, etc.”
For the second year, sales agents and buyers will have access to a catch-up streaming service on Cinando, the confab’s web database.
The service allows participants to watch films after the market ends.
Paillard says sales agents have already submitted more than 1,000 films. With some 50 stereoscopic 3D screenings confirmed as of April 13 (50% up on 2010), the market will boast 14 3D-equipped screens — four more than last year — out of a total 34 screens.
Market unspoolings are also on the rise. As of April 13, 1,300 screenings were confirmed and more than a hundred pending.
“We’re being flooded with demands and it’s proving difficult for us to answer them all,” Paillard says. “I don’t think the market can absorb that much content, but this volume increase is certainly a sign of vitality.”
Another sign of the film market’s recovery is the abundance of sales and distribution outfits being launched, he says.
“I’m amazed to see more and more producers doing distribution, or distributors getting into international sales; and they often thrive by focusing on a niche, maintaining low operating costs and limiting their expenses — they’ll come to Cannes even if they don’t have a stand.”
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