Cannes has set out plans for its virtual market, which will run June 22-June 26 and cost up to €195.

“No one knows what the second half of the year may bring and whether it will be possible to organize major film events again in 2020, including the Festival de Cannes” said Thierry Frémaux, General Delegate of the Festival. “Cannes has therefore decided to adapt its format for this peculiar year. Here’s a first initiative: a Marché du Film Online, launched by Jérôme Paillard, Executive Director of the Marché. This brand new kind of market is organized in consultation and with the participation of many professionals from all over the world.”

In a message to industry today, the festival said the market would comprise:

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Virtual booths for sales agents: sales companies will be able to connect with buyers and to display their new films and projects-in-progress in an online dedicated space serving as a digital equivalent to their booths in Cannes.

Virtual pavilions for Institutions: Institutions from all over the world will present their national cinematography, film commissions and film locations, support their producers and organize meetings in a virtual space as they are used to doing in their pavilion in the Village International.

Video Meetings: participants can request and organize meetings via the Marché du Film networking app Match&Meet, which now integrates video calls.

Online Screenings: films completed or in post-production and project presentations will be programmed according to set schedules in about fifteen virtual cinemas, to maintain the market momentum and allow time for viewing and negotiation. Reruns will be organized for buyers in different time zones. The platform will be based on Cinando’s technology and on strict security measures  – incl. DRM, individual watermark and real-time management and monitoring of admissions to screenings (Cinando is the platform launched by the Marché du Film in 2003, which has become the first network to navigate the film industry: contacts, films, projects in development, screeners…).

Programs & Conferences: programs and conferences will for the most part be transported to the digital space: Cannes Docs, Cannes Next, Producers Network, Goes to Cannes, Frontières or Fantastic 7 will be reshaped to offer these communities – creators, producers, sales agents – the same opportunities to network and present their projects. The Marché du Film Online will also offer Speed meetings around composers, book publishers or producers. Cannes XR, our program fully dedicated to immersive entertainment, will present its projects in an environment where films can be viewed with a VR headset.

Accreditations for the Marché du Film Online will be available at an “early bird rate” of €95 until May 29 and at a rate of €195 after that, including a one-year subscription to Cinando.

Jérôme Paillard said, “In this challenging situation, the film industry is expressing a need for a spring rendez-vous before the summer. A survey we conducted last week among distributors around the world reveals that 80% of them are interested in an online market and 66% have the capacity to make acquisitions (mainly of completed films but also of films in post-production and writing). We won’t replace the Cannes experience with the Marché du Film Online, but we are recreating part of its essence online by offering professionals an efficient and cutting-edge platform to screen films, buy them, finance projects and meet partners. We’re also experimenting a new market model that will allow professionals who didn’t have the means or the time to come to Cannes to participate”.

Yesterday, the U.S. agency-led online market announced its latest members and dates, which match those of the official Cannes market. It will be free.

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