Cannes Investors Club Celebrates First Edition (EXCLUSIVE)

Hammond, Linde, Grimond, Meyer talk at exclusive Cannes Film Market event

Cannes Market Marche Du Film
Courtesy of Cannes Marche du Film

Wild Bunch’s Vincent Grimond, Broad Green Pictures Gabriel Hammond, Sierra/Affinity’s Nick Meyer and Lava Bear’s David Linde were among high-caliber panelists at the first Cannes Investors Club, a top-level conclave of investors and industry practitioners.

Organized by the Cannes Market and designed by Les Films de Ka’s Karen Adler, Cinemage Sofica’s Serge Hayat and Thomas Saignes, who packaged a significant part of the financing on Jean-Jacques Annaud’s “Wolf Totem,” the Club set out in a one-day program Monday to analyze the keys to successful film financing. Also attending were 11 potential film investors from the U.S., France, Belgium, Switzerland and Monaco, said Adler. Club aims to attract European investment for the film business, she added.

“We strongly believe that the future of film financing in Europe will feature an important equity component,” Adler said. Serge Hayat added: “We wanted professionals to explain how investments are made and how investors can make money back. Our ultimate am is for European investors to invest in European projects that have an international appeal.”

Grimond delivered the Club’s keynote speech, talking about investment from a European point of view, said Adler. A workshop asked if there are new pro-investor models for high-net individuals, family offices, private equity and hedge funds.

At a second workshop, Participant Media’s Jonathan King joined Linde, Evolution Independent’s Cassian Elwes and UTA’s Rena Ronson, Meyer, FilmNation’s Milan Popelka, Silver Reel’s Caludia Blumhuber and Hemisphere’s Jean-Luc De Fanti to explain how they made a profit.

Other speakers on the fundamentals of film finance included Slated’s Stephan Paternot and Coljn Brown and Cinetic Media’s John Sloss.

Silver Reel helped organize the conference. About 20 people participated, said Saignes.

The inaugural Cannes Investors Club took place as a vibrant U.S. movie scene seems to have little problem attracting investment. “There’s more money and capital on the market than there are good script and actors,” Lotus Ent.’s Jim Seibel said at Cannes.

Europe lags behind, although the Cannes market showed examples – Wild Bunch’s Insiders, the Humanoids-Full House production pact – of European companies structuring pro-investor film financing models on English-language movies.

“The European film industry just needs a little bit more transparency and predictability. But it is happening. France now has its first venture capital fund, for instance. What we’re interested in is attracting is family businesses, investors investing in individual films, investment funds, P & A funds,” said Saignes.