Cannes’ virtual Marché du Film, which wrapped on June 26, attracted more than 10,002 participants over the course of five days. The U.S. had the largest delegations, with 1,500 participants, followed by France (1,400) and the U.K. (950), respectively. More than half were from Europe, with 5,900 participants.
The Cannes film market usually runs alongside the film festival and had to switch to online due to the pandemic. The Cannes Film Festival, meanwhile, canceled its physical edition but unveiled an Official Selection of 56 films, some of which screened at the market.
The virtual Marché du Film has been hailed a success, considering the amount of projects launched and deals closed. As many as 3,500 films and projects were presented or pitched at the market, where 1,235 screenings were held, garnering a total of 42,000 admissions across 59 virtual cinemas.
The market also organized more than 200 virtual networking events and conferences about a brand range of topics, including diversity, virtual reality, new technologies and co-production.
“We received lots of messages from professionals telling us that it felt just like being in Cannes,” said Jérôme Paillard, executive director of the Marché du Film. “This proves that even virtual events are capable of creating moments where we can come and be together.”
Paillard said “professionals were able to see the films, but they were also given the sense that they had seen them in good company.”
Thierry Frémaux, Cannes Film Festival director, said that “with this online version of the Marché du Film, Cannes 2020 demonstrated the festival’s underlying dimension: its role as an organization dedicated to industry professionals.”
“The agility with which the Marché reinvented itself to adapt to this year’s special circumstances was applauded by everyone, from sales teams to buyers, whether in the office, at their villa, on the beach or on the other side of the world. This was a magnificent way of reuniting,” added Fremaux.
The Cannes boss said the virtual market “was also a first test run for the 2020 Official Selection films and for what the future might hold for Cannes 2021.”
Several awards were given during the virtual market, notably the Docs-in-Progress Award, which went to “Holy Craft” directed by Joseph Mangat; the Impact Award, in partnership with Nordisk Panorama, which went to “Beauty Of The Beast” directed by Anna Nemes; and the Cineli Digital Award for “The Free Ones,” directed by Nicolas Levesque.