The “Film Market”, the business side of the Cannes Film Festival

In the catacombs of the Palais des Festivals, the “Film Market” takes place, the most important place for networking professionals of the 7ᵉ art.

Behind the glitter, the rise of the steps, and the red carpet, the Cannes Film Festival is also a huge “film market“, where feature films are produced and sold. Unmissable networking meeting for film professionals, the event should bring together more than 12,000 people from more than 120 countries. Some 4,000 films will be presented there – from simple projects to finished products – and around a hundred conferences will be organised.

Concentrated in the bowels of the Palais des Festivals, the event will also take place in a more informal way in apartments, hotel lobbies or on yachts away from prying eyes. It is because, at the Film Market, there is a lot of talk about big money. According to its organizers, the event is the first in the world in terms of business volumes. We talk about the figure of more thanone billion euros.

The place to be

“The Marché du film is an unmissable place, in a few days you can meet everyone who matters in the sector.”

Noel Magis

director of

“The Film Market is an unmissable place, in a few days you can meet everyone who matters in the sector“, abstract Noel Magis, director of screen.brusselsa Brussels audiovisual investment fund of which four films are in the selection.

A presence at the Film Market is indeed essential for the different stages of a film’s development. Thus, the Belgian producer Jean-Yves Roubin, boss of Frakas, co-producer of “Titane”, the last Palme d’or, will come to show two films he co-produced and look for partners to try to set up the seven projects he has in his boxes. “It is also likely that foreign producers will contact us to associate us with their project”, he adds.

The event indeed allows on the one hand to present films to international sellers (intermediaries in charge of selling the films – whether or not they are selected at the festival – in different territories to local distributors), to television channels, video platforms, etc. “Obviously, being in selection is an assetnoted Hervé Le Phuez, director of Wallonia Brussels Pictures, the French-speaking Belgian audiovisual promotion agency; that said, renowned directors like the Dardennes don’t need that: their films are already largely pre-sold before the start of the festival.”


Belgian companies

About a hundred Belgian companies and public bodies will be present at the Cannes Film Market.

“A presence on the charts will allow to unlock sales that were not concluded”, adds Hervé Le Phuez. At that time, the Film Market is closed. “Indeed, but there is the buzz in the hallways of the Market, certain films being tipped to receive prizes.”

Project development

On the other side, the Film Market is a passage almost obligatory to develop a film project, sometimes on the basis of a simple synopsis, i.e. finding financing from other producers, private investors, banks, public bodies, regional funds or fiscal mechanisms such as credit for tax in France or the tax shelter in Belgium. “Three quarters of the films we have financed have gone through Cannes or Berlin” points out Noël Magis, who will also take advantage of his presence in Cannes to sell the image of Brussels as a film location.

“The Film Market will show where the film industry stands.”

Hervé Le Phuez,

Director of Wallonia Brussels Images

Crowned with a rich selection, the Belgian delegation will be present en masse with a hundred companies and organizations (producers, regional investment funds, tax shelter fundraisers, service providers, etc.). On the public authorities’ side, the communities (Centre du Cinéma, Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds), the regions (the investment funds Wallimage, and Screen Flanders) and the federal government (Cellule tax shelter) will for the first time common stand. “It’s much more interesting to unite energies and work together, not to mention the savings generated”, notes Hervé Le Phuez.

A good indicator

First post-pandemic Film Market (it was canceled in 2020 and had low attendance in July 2021) the event will be considered a good indicator of cinema health: “After a very difficult period which saw the purchase price of films fall to 30% of normal, this Film Market will set the tone for the coming months” estimates Jean-Yves Roubin (Frakas). “It remains very complicated to sell films, adds Hervé Le Phuez; there is a traffic jam of feature films that have not been released due to the pandemic and the return of viewers to theaters is slow. Distributors have no more space in their catalog for art house films. They rely on more mainstream and mainstream films to re-attract viewers to theatres. In this regard, this Film Market will show where the film industry stands.

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The “Film Market”, the business side of the Cannes Film Festival