Cannes

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

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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

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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

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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

Will Smith
Will Smith

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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,

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