Cannes Reveals Virtual Market Plan One Day After Indie Group Does The Same; Both Parties Aiming For Collaboration

One day after we revealed that U.S. agencies and a collection of the industry’s leading independent film companies are working on a virtual market solution to take place in early May in the eventuality that Cannes doesn’t happen, the Cannes Marché has confirmed that it is also working on an online buying and selling scenario.

Marché chief Jerome Paillard confirmed to us that Cannes’ ideal scenario is to run the physical market (May 12-23) as planned, but as a contingency option for those who are unable to attend due to coronavirus-related restrictions, he is also looking to run a virtual market on the same dates alongside the physical market.

This market would include online screenings for different time zones, live streaming of events and online meetings. Paillard said online-only registrants, who would be charged a reduced fee, would also have access to the festival’s app Match and Meet which will this year integrate video service Zoom.

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Paillard said a version of this market could also operate if the physical festival and market isn’t able to take place at all.

There is a strong willingness from Paillard and the CAA-led group to work together and discussions are underway. “We will try to co-ordinate with the agency-led group so there is a global and co-ordinated proposal for the buyers,” Paillard told us.

Both groups have technological practicalities to work out. But if Cannes doesn’t go ahead, as many are now predicting given the mass disruption wrought by the pandemic, there could be a scenario with two online markets running alongside each other.

Some may say this isn’t in fact vastly different from the reality of the physical market. Many of the companies announced as part of the CAA-led operation yesterday are based away from the Palais, which is the Marché’s hub.

Either way, there is clearly a willingness for Cannes market business to happen in May, which is good news for industry frustrated with the lack of clarity over the status of Cannes. And Paillard claimed that it may well be possible for companies to do business in both online markets at the same time.

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