The San Sebastian and Zurich film festivals have teamed to launch new film markets that will cater to the gaps created by the cancellation of SXSW and the postponement of Tribeca due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The programming of both fall festivals will feature titles originally scheduled for spring fests SXSW and Tribeca. The markets will include buyers from around the world, and will introduce new sales projects. The initiative is supported by CAA Media Finance, with the backing of Wild Bunch and Film Nation.
San Sebastian has a large Europe-Latin America co-production forum that has been running since 2012, and the festival is used by sales agents to give Toronto world premieres a European platform. Meanwhile, Zurich has a long-running and vibrant industry hub. A film market is virgin territory for both festivals.
The festivals overlap, with San Sebastian scheduled for Sept. 18-26 and Zurich slated to run Sept. 24 to Oct 4.
“If the festival can be held under normal conditions, because the health authorities allow it, we want this edition to serve as an opportunity for films that have not been able to be seen at the festivals for which they were originally selected, to be shown to an audience of buyers and distributors and, at the same time, for these professionals, representatives of the most important companies in the world film industry, to get to know the size of the San Sebastian Festival, its line-up and its activities focused on the film industry,” said San Sebastian director Jose Luis Rebordinos.
“We live in disruptive times which also shatter the traditional festival landscape and threaten independent cinema. Many high-profile titles are orphans of a real premiere their cast and crew deserve. So we are happy to help out holding screenings for buyers together with our friends of San Sebastián”, said Zurich director Christian Jungen.
“It is important to strengthen independent cinema and to help those titles in their launch for the award season. Zurich is one of the world’s financial capitals and an ideal place for a film market since it has a great infrastructure where you can do business in a leisurely atmosphere”.