Cannes’ Marché du Film is exploring the possibility of hosting virtual screenings for buyers and sellers in May or June, Variety has confirmed. This would take place ahead of the film festival, which was pushed by two months into early July.
The Marché will then also run alongside the festival as a physical event from July 6-15, and will open registrations for that on March 15.
The roster of films that comprise the early virtual screenings wouldn’t be movies from the Official Selection, but rather titles that are being sold at the market, said an industry source.
“Having four months between Berlin and Cannes seems too long for many sales agents who will need to put their movies out there before the summer,” said the industry insider close to the Cannes film market.
The source added that they don’t anticipate that a small virtual event hosted a couple of months before the actual festival and Marché will discourage participants from making the trip to Cannes.
“It will not be the same thing as a hybrid Marché du Film. Firstly, it will not be films from the Official Selection, secondly, it will only be virtual screenings and no other events, and people will be so ecstatic to be back in Cannes and see films on a big screen,” said the insider.
Last year, the Cannes film market was held online in June while the festival had to cancel its edition due to the pandemic. The fully virtual edition of the market attracted more than 10,002 participants over the course of five days.
The Cannes Marché du Film ranks as the world’s biggest film market and is a crucial component of the festival as it brings together film industry players, including distributors, filmmakers and producers from across the globe.
Deadline was first to report news of the virtual screenings.