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Cannes to Hold Virtual Film Market in May Ahead of July Film Festival

The smaller ”pre-screenings“ marketplace will still take place closer to its usual time in addition to a market during the festival

Cannes will host a smaller, virtual film market that will still take place sometime in May. The event will be in addition to a larger, in-person one planned in July to coincide with the delayed Cannes Film Festival.

The “intermediate event” will be a four-day online version of the Marché du Film that will be set in late May, closer to the typical time of the festival. There will still be a market that will take place during Cannes, which is set for July 6-17. This is Cannes’ second virtual event and is being billed as a “pre-Cannes screenings” marketplace available for sales companies to offer virtual screening booths.

The virtual marketplace came about after pressure from the industry to hold an event at its usual time, with the possibility that an independent film market could be set up by the sales companies in its absence.

Official dates still need to be confirmed, but the pre-screenings will begin no earlier than May 24. The event is restricted to only those sellers and buyers who have already registered with the Marché du Film, but there’s no additional charge for the virtual market.

“Due to the unusually long delay between the EFM in Berlin and the Marché du Film in Cannes, many international sales agents have expressed the need for an intermediate event in the spring, which will allow them to do business and to network virtually, while awaiting the big rendezvous in July when the film industry will meet up again in large numbers,” the market said in a statement.

The timing is important for buyers and sellers, either those looking to begin shooting in the summer or those who hope to release their films before other studio films begin flooding theaters as more capacity begins to trickle open.

Last year’s film market moved online after the cancellation of the Cannes Film Festival, which had postponed for months and finally settled for a small, in-person event in October.