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France | Features

9 May 2018
20 May 2018


The Cannes Film Market is held in conjunction with the Cannes International Film Festival in May each year and runs for approximately 10 days.

The Riviera is the centre of the Cannes Market and is situated alongside the Palais des Festivals. However, many companies at the market continue to operate from the large hotels (Carlton, Gray d'Albion, Majestic, Noga-Hilton) and from apartments along the Croisette. The decentralisation means it is more difficult to ‘work’ Cannes. Business is tied to films screening in market cinemas and deals are done by appointment. An important aspect of Cannes is, however, the promotional and public relations activities – it is the market to improve company profiles and to generate interest in new films. Deals are often consolidated at later markets such as MIFED, but the exposure and word-of-mouth generated at Cannes can lead to competitive bidding for films. The festival side of Cannes is also extremely important, with films selected in the official categories attracting international media coverage, sales interest and offers of work for the directors of the films selected.

While it is possible to discuss pre-sales at Cannes, the very fragmentation of the market and the demands on distributors' time can make this difficult to achieve. Inexperienced producers are encouraged to discuss their expectations with peers.

Cannes is most beneficial for the producer, director and the actors associated with a film in the official selection, sales agents and buyers, and producers working with an agent on the promotion of their film. Producers selling their own films are strongly advised to draw up a realistic marketing campaign in order to make preliminary approaches prior to the market to ensure the most effective use of their time.

For producers and agents with Marché accreditation, screenings can be booked through the Marché. Times are allocated on a first-come basis.

Attendee tips

We spoke to some of the Australians from various parts of the industry who attended Cannes in 2016 about their learnings and advice from this and past Cannes market experiences.

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  • "It is important to have a clear aim of what one wishes to achieve from your meetings and not to overload the meetings with multiple projects."
  • "We only managed to set up three meetings before leaving Australia, but we had a clear idea of who we wanted to see and were able to hone in on these people within several days of arriving. Many sales agents were too busy in the first three days to arrange a meeting, but we kept at it and had secured them all by the end of the first weekend."
  • "It’s better to have one good meeting than 40 bad ones. Seeing most people is not as good as seeing the best people for your projects. Make notes after every meeting otherwise it all becomes a muddle."
  • "The Producer’s Network is a great way to give each day a structure and make you feel relevant in the insanity of selling, to network, to gain access to companies through roundtables and to feel a sense of belonging."
  • "Visit the Screen Australia office to gather yourself when you feel overwhelmed."
  • "The market felt more buoyant than it has for a while. There is real money available for the right projects. They must be genre, feel-good/escapist and star-studded."
  • "Don’t expect any real results first time around. The first market is a big learning curve and really is sink or swim."
This information is to be used as a guide only and is of a general nature. Screen Australia has undertaken all reasonable measures to ensure its accuracy and specifically disclaims any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly of the use and application of any of the contents. Exact registration details are available on the market website.