Cannes is fun. So each year, people turn up at the festival “to see”. The unspoken hope is that they will meet someone and get something going. A major – perhaps the most important – part of the Festival is in fact the Marché du Film. The entrance fee starts at about €250/$329/£209. You’re paying to go to Cannes already. Everyone is there. So is it worth paying the extra money to access the Market?
Hanging around Cannes is not a business plan
Let’s be clear: going to Cannes without going to the market is like going to Paris and staying locked in a hotel room. Great views maybe, but what can you do? In the same way, just hanging around Cannes is not a business plan, unless you know so many people that you bump into them anyway. It’d be a frustrating holiday as you won’t have access to so many things (including even access to some of the hotel lobbies!).
If you’re planning a trip to Cannes, you must have an idea of what you want. Set priorities. Are you looking for distribution? Or contacts for future productions? Or are sales agents the way forward? Then use the Cinando.com database to find the contacts you need and try and get appointments.
Having said that, many people will be booked out over the first five days. If you left it too late, you might have better luck later in the week. But be aware that many people only stay for three to four days and pack in meeting upon meeting.
What is Cannes worth?
What about the price? EUR282.50 is nothing on the scale of things. What is the budget for your upcoming film? How much did you pay for flights to Cannes? By way of comparison, you’d pay over €1000 to get into Mipcom or MipTV – the TV equivalents of the Film Market. The Market badge also gives you access to screenings. Basically, you can check out loads of similar movies to rate the competition or see the sort of material that a specific distributor or sales agent is involved in. It’s called “market knowledge”, and it’s invaluable.
Personally, I rarely catch screenings. You can catch up with movies later (or – yegads – online). You have to get out and meet people and attend conferences. If you’re on Cinando, you can also post your own film for online screening to professionals. To get started, register here.
If you only manage to get one or two meetings per day, either ask yourself if you really need to go this year or get the programme of events at the UK and American pavilions and catch the conferences and networking sessions. The EU’s Media programme and Observatoire de l’Audiovisuel also organise events that are definitely worth catching. Lastly, don’t forget to follow Cannes or Bust on Twitter for daily updates!
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