The organisers is the Cannes Film Festival have announced that the market that usually runs alongside it will take place online from 22 June to 26 June, as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt public events across the world.
The head of the committee, Thierry Frémaux, said, “No one knows what the second half of the year may bring and whether it will be possible to organise major film events again in 2020, including the Festival de Cannes. Cannes has therefore decided to adapt its format for this particular year.”
The first element to be announced is a truncated Marché du Film which, for five days in June, will offer industry professionals a range of online screenings, meeting opportunities, networking events and virtual conferences.
Some activities will be run more than once to allow for delegates in different time zones.
The organisers say they hope to mimic the market experience in Cannes “in these trying times for the whole world.”
Distributors and sales agents will be able to operate virtual booths while national film bodies will have virtual pavilions to promote their countries as locations and production centres.
The head of the Marché, Jérôme Paillard, said that in view of the fragile prospects for the world of cinema, “The film industry is expressing a need for a spring rendez-vous before the summer. He continued, “We won’t replace the Cannes experience with the Marché du Film Online, but we are recreating part of its essence online by offering professionals an efficient and cutting-edge platform to screen films, buy them, finance projects and meet partners. We’re also experimenting a new market model that will allow professionals who didn’t have the means or the time to come to Cannes to participate”.
The organisers are still considering how to bring the competitive festival itself to fruition against the background of the biggest global health crisis for generations.