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Sales Agents Mull June Pre-Sales Market instead of the usual Cannes – Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: Discussions are underway between dozens of leading sales agents and major U.S. packaging companies as to when they will complete their primary film pre-sale activity this summer.

Top sellers in the US and UK are among nearly 50 companies who have contacted via email to set a date for an informal virtual market similar to the one they organized last year with the help of packing agents. Companies have been asked to come up with their preferred dates for such an event and the idea is to go with the preference of the majority.

The dates, probably mid-late June, should be known in the coming weeks, we believe.

Last year, dozens of sales agents came together to stage an unofficial virtual marketplace that finally coincided with the Cannes online marketplace at the end of June. This year things are going a little differently.

Cannes Marché sets the dates for the “pre-Cannes screenings” from May 25 to 28

The Market has already announced that it will host what it calls a “pre-Cannes screenings” event from May 25 to 28. The digital event, which is only viable for accredited Market badge holders, will be an opportunity to show finished films and do business around those films. We understand that the screenings will largely be about films that are unlikely to debut at major festivals this year.

In addition, the organizers of the Cannes Film Festival and the Cannes Market (whom we spoke to for this piece) continue to express their confidence in being able to organize a festival and a physical market from July 6 to 15. Market registrations are high, the Marketplace told us, with a large number of potential participants coming from the United States, the Marketplace said it will also provide an online platform in July for those who cannot attend. attend in person.

But with much of Europe experiencing a third wave of Covid and a slow rollout of the vaccine across the continent, most industries we speak to are skeptical of the viability of organizing Cannes in early July as as a large-scale international event. France yesterday announced a third national lockdown with some restrictions until May and the Palais de Cannes is currently in use as a vaccination center (as pictured above). If Cannes can move forward in person, most of the industries we speak to expect it to be a smaller-than-usual affair almost entirely focused on festival titles.

Everyone’s ideal is to be back on the Côte d’Azur. But sales companies that specialize in pre-selling English packages want to make sure they have a date on the agenda to do the work they would usually do on the Croisette if an in-person event wasn’t. Not possible. A number of large companies have told us that May is too early for packages to be ready and July too late as it enters the summer vacation period. So a date in June seems very likely at the moment.

“They’re two different things,” one of the top salespeople told us. “There is no conflict or problem with the Marketplace. The needs are just different. We are talking about pre-sales of predominantly English packages, which in an online sense do not require the same digital market structure offered by the Marketplace.

“We would like to replicate what happened last year,” commented one packaging agent. “The structure of last year’s event worked well enough that we couldn’t get to Cannes itself.”

This would mean that there could be three film market-type events in the space of just six weeks: screenings before Cannes at the end of May, an online presale in June and the Cannes Festival / Market in July.

It is not ideal. Having separate business periods helps buyers focus and generates more heat in the market through competition. But as many sellers and buyers have told me, this is the new fragmented reality of Covid where business is done at non-traditional times and companies have to be opportunistic and take a ‘guerrilla’ approach, as we have seen. ‘called.

“We now have screenings throughout the year,” one salesperson told me. “So it won’t be a problem.”

Everything is very fluid. The companies organizing the pre-sale spin-off are in regular contact with the Market and some have let us know that they will also participate in the May or July events organized by Cannes. Many companies that do not specialize in bigger budget English speaking packages wait to do their business on the platform offered by the Marketplace. And other companies we’ve spoken to have said they likely won’t participate in either of the two platforms but will deal directly with buyers.

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