As Big Deals Make the Rounds at the Cannes Market, a Pandemic Era of Dealmaking Takes Shape

Laveta Brigham

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When this year’s Cannes market migrated online, some worried that it might have a negative impact on the business. As it turns out, it’s a lot easier to close international pre-sales when jumping from meeting to meeting means logging into various Zoom rooms, rather than squeezing through throngs of people on the Croisette. Agents and buyers say that while nothing can compare to in-person meetings at Cannes, this week’s virtual markets were productive and offered a blueprint for pandemic-era dealmaking.

In fact, if the Cannes markets are any indication, buyers are hungry for big deals, despite the uncertainty that surrounds whether audiences are comfortable returning to theaters.

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Cannes Delivers Big Titles, Sales & Hope but Questions Market Models

Laveta Brigham

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“The Blacksmith,” “Ferrari,” “Armageddon Time” and “The Card Counter” look like market highlights of an extraordinary Cannes market, which saw its two virtual platforms delivering for a select number of big U.S. projects, amid large market caution and even fear of a second COVID-19 spike.

In the art film sector, Cannes Official Selection label titles made much of the running, with distributors lamenting that they would have loved to have seen more screened at Cannes. “Without the festival, the market was weak in terms of arthouse, because we lacked the buzz, hype and the experience of being all together in a screening room,” said Stefano Massenzi, head of acquisitions and business affairs at Italy’s distribution banner Lucky Red.

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Equally, more mainstream distributors looked for greater depth in the pre-sales market. Most everyone, however, was delighted and some even surprised that

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Cannes Virtual Market Verdict & Diversity’s Thunderbolt Moment

Laveta Brigham

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Hello, and welcome to International Insider, Jake Kanter here. Well done on making it to Friday, here are the six things we want you to know about the global film and TV business this week. If you want to subscribe, sign up here.

1. Cannes Virtual Market Verdict

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Andreas Wiseman reports: The Cannes virtual market got underway this week and has largely been heralded as a success by those we’ve spoken to. There have been inevitable tech hiccups given the unprecedented nature of the undertaking but on the whole, buyers have been impressed by the volume and quality of projects and the operation itself. “It’s great to see how resourceful Cannes, the agencies and sales agents have been to make this happen,” one leading international buyer text me this morning.

Big names, big deals: Bill Murray, Emma Roberts,

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Sellers Place Key Pics in Cannes Virtual Market

Laveta Brigham

Click here to read the full article.

The Cannes Marché du Film, along with a sales initiative led by Hollywood agencies, is hosting the first major virtual market since the start of pandemic, starting on June 23. Distributors and sales agents are looking forward to it: the turn-up for the online Cannes Marché du Film is significant with more than 7,000 accredited participants as of mid-June.

“As nobody can leave their house, a virtual market is the next best thing. It’s a valid and worthwhile effort … people need something to initiate interactions. If this virtual market can help in some way to stimulate business that’s a great thing,” says Dylan Leiner at Sony Pictures Classics.

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Here’s a look at some key titles for sale:

“Balestra”

Director: Nicole Dorsey

Producers: Pierre Even

A disgraced competitive fencer (Tessa Thompson) is aiming for her Olympic comeback. She receives a

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Bettina Oberli Talks about ‘My Wonderful Wanda,’ Screening at the Cannes Marche

Laveta Brigham

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Bettina Oberli’s latest film ‘My Wonderful Wanda,’ starring Agnieszka Grochowska and Marthe Keller, world-premiered at Tribeca where it won a special jury mention in the Nora Ephron Award category. It will screening during Cannes’ Marché du Film Online, with The Match Factory handling worldwide sales.

Oberli is one of Switzerland’s leading directors. She has directed an eclectic mix of commercially- and artistically-successful films, including her award-winning debut feature, “North Wind” and her second feature, the comedy “Late Bloomers,” which clocked up almost 1 million admissions in Europe, with 560,000 admissions in Switzerland alone, released by Walt Disney. Her penultimate film, her first French-language pic, “With The Wind,” won the Variety Piazza Grande Award at the Locarno Film Festival.

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“Wanda,” – penned by Cooky Ziesche and Oberli and produced by Lukas Hobi and Reto Schaerli for Switzerland’s Zodiac Pictures – is

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12 Buzzy Films for Sale at the Cannes Virtual Markets, From Michael Mann to Elisabeth Moss

Laveta Brigham

Click here to read the full article.

No splashy premieres at the Palais. No Croisette-apartment dealmaking. While there won’t be a physical Cannes Film Festival this year, this just might be the most important Cannes ever for getting business done.

As much of the industry’s work has been restricted to development amid the pandemic, agents and buyers are counting on two concurrent virtual markets that start this week to help move those projects forward. And with the fate of fall festivals up in the air, the Cannes markets could be the only opportunity to conduct business en masse for the entirety of 2020.

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The markets — one spearheaded by American sales agencies and the other run by the official Marché du Film — represent the first major virtual markets to go live since the pandemic roiled the world. Agents say the two are complimentary, rather than competitive:

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