Hollywood’s top agencies have confirmed that a virtual Cannes marketplace will kick off remotely between June 22-28.
The marketplace, led by CAA Media Finance, Endeavor Content, ICM Partners, and UTA Independent Film Group and a coalition of more than 30 leaders in the independent film industry, will participate in the marketplace even as the Cannes Film Festival remains postponed.
The marketplace was conceived as a contingency plan in the event the festival was canceled, and it will coincide with Cannes’ official Marché du Film, which will also take place in late June.
The six-day market will be structured to offer global buyers access to screenings of finished films, early footage, and filmmaker presentations, sales meetings and other essential elements of a film market. Details will be announced in the coming weeks. The Marché du Film plans to unveil details about its virtual marketplace on Friday.
The various agencies and entities are using digital platforms to provide a uniform experience for buyers and sellers. Screenings and filmmaker presentations will be scheduled to accommodate a variety of time zones, given the remote nature of the market.
Among the entities teaming together for this initiative are 30WEST, AGC Studios, Anton, Archstone Entertainment, Brickell & Broadbridge, CAA Media Finance, Capstone Pictures, Cornerstone Films, Endeavor Content, The Exchange, FilmNation, Goldfinch, Hanway Films, Highland Film Group, ICM International and Independent Group, Independent Film Sales, Lionsgate, Mad River International, Miramax, Mister Smith, MPI Media Group, Protagonist Pictures, Rocket Science, Sierra Affinity, Solstice Studios, The Solution Entertainment, STX Entertainment, UTA Independent Film Group, VMI Worldwide, Voltage Pictures, West End Films and Wild Bunch International.
On Tuesday, Cannes said that the annual film festival most likely would not take place in its original form and that rescheduling to late June and early July as originally planned would no longer be possible. However, the festival is exploring other contingencies and is hoping to hold the festival in some form in 2020.
Then on Wednesday, several of Cannes’ sidebar events, including the Director’s Fortnight and the Critic’s Week, were also canceled. Thursday was meant to be the day that Cannes would’ve unveiled its full lineup of films, and it’s unclear when the festival’s official selection will be named.
The Marché du Film announced back on March 18 that it would move to a virtual format, and the agencies have since been planning their own contingency for just this very possibility. The Marché will 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 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.