cannes virtual market

It was a long time coming, but it’s official: the Cannes Film Festival is canceled – or perhaps just postponed, depending on who you ask. Steps are already being taken for The Cannes Film Market, the Marche du Film, to set up a virtual market that would offer an online platform to screen feature films and more. Also: the festival might still happen. Reports indicate that the festival is “postponing the event until the end of June until the beginning of July.”

Bad news: Cannes is canceled (or canneseled, if you want to be a smart aleck about it). Here’s the announcement from the fest:

So what now? Well, a virtual Cannes market is being put together to take place May 12-23 to “run alongside the physical event.” Also, Variety adds:

Organizers confirmed Thursday evening that the film festival will no longer take place during the scheduled dates of May 12-23, and several options are being considered, including postponing the event until the end of June until the beginning of July.

The festival released the following statement:

At this time of global health crisis, our thoughts go to the victims of the Covid-19 and we express our solidarity with all of those who are fighting the disease.”

As soon as the development of the French and international health situation will allow us to assess the real possibility, we will make our decision known, in accordance with our ongoing consultation with the French Government and Cannes’ City Hall as well as with the Festival’s Board Members, Film industry professionals and all the partners of the event.

In the meantime, the Festival de Cannes lends its vocal support to all of those who firmly call on everyone to respect the general lockdown, and ask to show solidarity in these difficult times for the entire world.

“Some or many people will not be able to attend [the regular market] so it is important for them to have the same tools to continue to do business,” said Jérôme Paillard, executive director of the Cannes Market (via The Hollywood Reporter). The virtual market would “offer an online platform for film companies to screen completed features and promo reels and conduct video conferencing meetings” and “be open to all regular attendees of the Marche. Those unable to attend the physical market would be given a 50 percent discount for the online-only version.”

Variety reports that Hollywood talent agency CAA is leading the charge for a virtual market as well, with companies 30West, AGC Studios, Altitude, Anton, Cornerstone, Endeavor Content, FilmNation, Mad River, Lionsgate International, Miramax, Mister Smith, Protagonist, Rocket Science, Sierra/Affinity, Solstice Studios, STX Entertainment, Voltage Pictures and Wild Bunch International all reportedly on board.

Paillard also told Variety that “if the festival is canceled, the online market will be able to serve all accredited participants. Accreditation rates for online participants will be about 50% of the regular rate for the physical market.”

I was accredited to attend Cannes this year, and was really looking forward to going – it would’ve been my first year. But obviously, this was a long time coming, and I had a strong feeling that this would happen. Still, it doesn’t make this any less disappointing. See you next year, Cannes. Maybe.

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