Film markets are an important point to establish business related to the film industry. It’s mainly visited by distributors and agents, but in my case, as an independent producer, I went on my own adventure of getting international distribution for my feature film Final Minute. In the following article, I will detail my experience of visiting the Maché du Film of the Cannes International Festival and in the end, I will share my conclusions on whether it was worth it or not.
I was very excited from the beginning because for the first time I crossed the ocean. This adventure cost me a lot of time because of logistics. Before starting, I want to thank everyone who helped me with this process: my family, my friends, my girlfriend, and the ICCA: Institution of Film and Audiovisual Creation of Ecuador who gave me the facilities to travel. I’m happy and grateful to all these people who made possible the experience that I am going to tell you.
My itinerary consisted of leaving from the city of Guayaquil where I reside, continuing with a layover in Amsterdam, then Paris, and finally Nice where I took a 40-minute bus to my final destination, Cannes. In total 14 hours of travel with the KLM airline with a ticket that cost me $1200 including a piece of luggage.
The airport that most impressed me with its architecture was Paris, the Charles de Gaulle, also known as Roissy Airport, annually receives more than 72 million passengers a year, making it the 10th busiest airport in the world. Its architect was Paul Andreu.
In Cannes, I rented an apartment on AirBnB (I recommend booking earlier but on this occasion, I had problems with my first reservation so I booked only one week ahead) the cost was $100 a night for 12 days. The area was close to the festival palace where the event was taking place, so I was able to walk to it every day.
Cannes is a city with 75 thousand inhabitants located on the French Riviera. It is mainly known for hosting the world’s most prestigious film festival. Within the Festival there is also the Cannes Film Market of which I was part of with my feature film Final Minute. Every year nearly 15,000 people, including filmmakers, journalists, and stars, come to this small city to transform it into the main meeting point for the film industry. There are many markets worldwide, but the Marché du Film in Cannes is the largest of all. At there, I was able to show my film to international agents and distributors to bring Final Minute to platforms across the planet. The market badge including the ability to attend the festival cost me $ 500. Prices go up in three stages as the festival date approaches, I bought it in stage one.
After my first meeting with Canadian agents, I received an invitation from the Cannes Film Festival for the Rocketman premiere. It was the first time that this film was going to be shown to the world. I have favored thanks to a system on the festival’s website in which everyone with a badge can participate.
The Palace of Festivals and Conferences is the main venue of the Cannes Festival, the star inside it’s a large high-tech hall with a capacity for 2300 people. It was surprising to me that many people stood outside the Palace for the daily screenings in the hope of some solidary soul would give them their tickets. Each person created his own method to attract attention and thus try to get the precious pass.
I can’t comment much on the film, but the experience of seeing the premiere together with Elton John and Taron Egerton was unforgettable.
There were days when the weather was challenging. Usually, it was cool, but near the beach, the winds made it suitable only for Eskimos. The rain was occasional. Perhaps the daily walk with sole shoes did not help me much since on day 7 I had severe ankle pain which prevented me from visiting Monaco.
The movie I was most looking forward to seeing was Once Upon a Time in Hollywood but the festival system didn’t favor me. But I got the opportunity to be on the red carpet where I could meet the protagonists of the film: Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Leonardo Dicaprio, and the great director Quentin Tarantino.
In summary, it was a very satisfying experience, for getting to know a new city, see the biggest stars in Hollywood, and meeting my favorite director: Quentin Tarantino. On the market side, I was able to close a deal with an international distributor called Montecristo, and I also gained contacts from all over the world, so I feel the effort was worth 200%.
This was an overview of my travel, perhaps on a future occasion, I will dig into a specific theme of this experience. Do not hesitate to leave me your comment for any questions you have.