Cannes Marche du Film Online Virtual Market to Proceed in June

Cannes announced Tuesday that film festival was postponed again and may not proceed in its “original form”

Cannes’ film marketplace the Marché du Film will proceed in June in a virtual, online format as originally planned, even after the film festival organizers announced Tuesday that Cannes may not take place in its usual form, the marketplace announced on its website on Wednesday.

The Marché du Film will unveil more details about the virtual marketplace on Friday.

“We have decided to launch a totally new virtual market this year to facilitate business and networking for film industry professionals impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic,” Marché du Film said on its website in a statement. “In the event that the Marché du Film (planned for the end of June in Cannes) be cancelled, the platform will be used as a standalone virtual market. As soon as the evolution of the French and International health situation will enable us to, we will of course give an update on the situation.”

On March 18, it was announced that the marketplace would take place in a virtual format alongside a physical form when the Cannes Film Festival kicked off in June after being delayed from its original start date in March. It would include online screenings and video meetings facilitated through Zoom and would utilize the festival’s Cinando platform to create secure viewings and messages. The plan was to use the same tools to continue even if the physical market was canceled in Cannes.

The Marché was also in advanced discussions with CAA, which had announced a similar initiative as a contingency plan, about a collaborative marketplace. And Quebec’s Frontières, which traditionally runs during Fantasia Fest but was likewise pushed back and on Wednesday announced its own virtual marketplace, has partnered with the Marché and will be a participant in the virtual marketplace.

The move to virtual marketplaces has been necessitated as other film festivals including SXSW and Tribeca have also been canceled, putting pressure on international sales agents and also on filmmakers whose movies are now without a traditional avenue to premiere their movies.

Also on Wednesday, several of Cannes’ sidebar events, including the Director’s Fortnight and the Critic’s Week, were also canceled.

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