PARIS – Launched in 2014, the Cannes Film Market Mixers –speed networking events structured by region, sector, or film type – look set to be a fixture, focusing in 2015 on Europe Meets Latin America, Encounter Festival Programmers and, a repeat, a genre-centered Fantastic Mixer, Cannes Film Market director Jerome Paillard announced to Variety during the weekend’s UniFrance Rendez-vous.
The Market Mixers mark just part of a new battery of initiatives as Cannes Marché du Film attempts to aid an international film business which, despite dramatic rises in emerging market box office, faces large challenges, as it is impacted by globalization and digital revolution.
In 2013, the Cannes Film Market inaugurated BAL Goes to Cannes, a showcase of the best titles at Buenos Aires’ Bafici Fest BAL market pix in post section. In 2015, the Market will create at least one more films-in-progress event at the Festival, Paillard said.
Cocktail meet-and-greets, the Marché Mixers took place last year at the Plage des Palmes, on the beachside of the Palais des Festivals, at the end of the International Village. 2014 Mixers also turned on Asia and the Cannes Film Market’s Cinando data base/VOD service.
All three 2015 Mixers underscore market trends and respond to market needs.
Attendance numbers at the Cannes Marche du Film rose in 18 of the last 19 years, reaching 11,806 in 2014, an all-time record. As digital and emerging markets impact ever more on business, doing the business involves more distribution outlets, and demands more local knowledge and contacts worldwide.
Running to 200 to 300 at every event, mixer guests are chosen by the Market. “Its very important to create more opportunities for distributors, sales agents, producers and festival programmers to meet potential contacts, business partners. Selecting Mixer participants is essential as well,” Paillard said.
Latin America state film funding can now outweigh that of major European film powers. Last July, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced a $480 million package of film and TV incentives for Brazil. Markets have also expanded, sometimes exponentially. Think China, or Brazil, which has seen nine years of consecutive box office growth.
“With Europe Meets Latin America, we’d like to foster more contacts between the two regions. The mixer will be roughly half-and-half” in terms of participants’ regional origin, Paillard said: “There’s a huge potential in the Latin American industry, but it needs to increase its business connections,” he added, saying the mixer will include Bal Goes to Cannes. But while that is a film showcase, where directors and producers present extracts from films in post-production, Europe Meets Latin America will focus more on distributors.
“The idea of Encounter Festivals Programmers is to give sales agents more opportunities to meet programmers from around the world. They don’t necessarily have chances to meet,” Paillard went on.
Cannes’ Marché du Film will invite an across-the-board genre industry spread – directors, producers, distributors, sales companies, fest-heads – for its second Fantastic mixer, which saw a “highly successful” inaugural event, Paillard said.
Matchmakers help to make introductions; the Market also responds to more general requests. “There are people who have a more general query: ‘Oh, I’d like to meet a festival from that country,’ or a distributor. We’ll provide that kind of support.”