PARIS — The team behind Les Arcs film festival, the successful 5-year-old fest that’s been dubbed the European Sundance, is creating a franchise with the launch of a Coproduction Village in Paris.
Although the mart won’t have the French Alps for backdrop, the development and financing platform will take place on the famed Champs Elysees during springtime, which might prove at least as appealing to foreign industryites as ski slopes.
Hosted by Sophie Dulac’s Champs Elysees Film Festival on June 12-13, the Coproduction Village will replace to some extent Paris Project, the mini-mart that was organized by Paris Cinema Intl. Film Festival and has been discontinued.
Pierre-Emmanuel Fleurantin, CEO of Les Arcs and the Paris’ Coproduction Village, has tapped Les Arcs’ head of industry Vanja Kaludjercic to spearhead the selection of 12 to 15 international projects aimed at European industry professionals. Kaludjercic has earned a good reputation with her selections at Les Arcs, as well as Paris Project and Sarajevo’s short films program.
“We want to follow Les Arcs’ formula: that means we’ll always strive to balance out auteur-driven projects with more mainstream ones, and projects from new directors and more established filmmakers,” said Fleurantin. “All the projects we present must have a market to have the best chances of getting made.”
The two-day event will be even more international than Les Arcs’ Coproduction Village as it will present non-European projects to producers, sales agents, distributors, financiers and funds reps. Fleurantin said he hopes to attract American, Asian and European players and encourage collaborations.
The Village will runs alongside the third edition of the Champs-Elysees Film Festival’s industry sidebar U.S. in Progress, which screens four American feature films in post-production.
The Paris showcase will also present projects from the six residents of the Cannes Film Festival’s Cinefondation.
Projects need not have a French partner to be eligible. Each title will have to be presented by a production company and have secured (or under negotiation) financing from their home territory.
The Paris Coproduction Village will give extra credibility to the Champs-Elysees festival, created three years ago by Paris-based arthouse distributor and exhibitor Sophie Dulac without public funding. The festival’s launch sparked a controversy within some local industry circles as it was perceived as a potent threat to Paris Cinema, being scheduled right before. Focusing the Champs-Elysees’ competition lineup on U.S. indie movies was also a bold decision, considering that Deauville takes place less than three months later.
Supported by the Ile-de-France region, the Paris Coproduction Village is co-organized by Champs-Elysees fest, Cannes’s Cinefondation, ACE, EAVE, Europa Intl. and Europa Distribution.