Jérôme Paillard • Executive Director of the Marché du Film
by Annika Pham
- The unmissable head of the Cannes Marché, Jérôme Paillard talks about numbers and trends with Cineuropa
Just before the opening of the Marché du Film (14-23 May), which will welcome over 12,000 workers from the sector, the director of the Marché Jérôme Paillard sheds light on novelties and trends, in particular NEXT, which holds Cineuropa as a partner.
Cineuropa: Starting off, what are the Marché 2014 numbers?
Jérôme Paillard: This year, we will have over 12,000 participants with great growth coming from China, which is becoming the fifth biggest country on the Marché after the United States, France, Britain and Germany. As for exhibitors, the market, the village and the river are all complete with more than 1,000 companies and 400 stands, of which 300 will be in the palace area and a hundred or so divided up among apartments and hotels. The buyers will amount to 1,850 for domestic distribution; 150 buyers will be mainly focusing on VOD. Everything to do with VOD (platforms, aggregators, etc.) is progressing rapidly.
Have the political and economic problems in places like Russia and Ukraine had an impact on the representation of these countries at the Marché?
When it comes to Ukraine, the international community has shown great solidarity for their cinema industry and we are pleased that Ukraine is being represented this year. As for the countries facing economic and political difficulties, their presence in Cannes is particularly symbolic.
Despite the fact that distributors nowadays can watch films online year round, and the necessity sales companies have to launch their films accordingly, are screenings still abundant?
We still have the same number of screenings – around 1,500 for over 1,000 films – and cinemas are completely full. Let us not forget that there are many different profiles of buyers for all different types of film. For example, buyers of VOD buy many low-budget films, genre films and documentaries. What’s more, the Marché attracts many programmers for which some presented films can be selected for future festivals. Economically speaking, festivals have an increasingly important role to play when it comes to independent films.
What are the great new elements to the Marché this year?
The great novelty is NEXT, which Cineuropa is a partner of. We always try and take advantage of the presence in Cannes of great numbers of different international producers and distributors in order to anticipate trends and opportunities and exchange experiences across different camps. Last year, we focused on trans-media and this year we wanted to concentrate on new models of production, financing (in particular crowd funding) and distribution – including ‘self-distribution’ or ‘cinema-on demand’, an interesting experiment, which is increasingly popular in Britain, the United States, the Netherlands and France. It is an area in which first steps are being made but the future of it could be a real distribution alternative for certain films.
NEXT is therefore a privileged place at the International Pantiero Villa, where we will be organising work shops and presenting new initiatives and case studies.
The second great novelty is ‘MIXER’. We undertake investigations after each Marché, and last year some distributors asked for more networking events on specific themes. So we decided to create three ‘Mixers’ tied to specific themes (Plage des Festivals 18, 20, 21 May, 6pm to 8pm) where we will be welcoming around 500 people (producers, distributors, directors) on precise themes: the ‘Fantastic Mixer’ will be dedicated to fantastic and horror cinema, ‘Asia Mixer’ will host Asian buyers, and ‘Cinando Mixer’ will be for all the users of Cinando who will be able to meet in real life and celebrate the website’s ten year anniversary. Matchmakers will be present facilitating the meeting of different participants.
So the Marché today articulates itself in seven axes: the market, the village, Producers’ Network, Producers’ Workshop, Doc Corner, and the two new elements Next and Mixers. The bottom line is, the Marché du Film is a place for ideas to be exchanged, beyond just being a commercial space where contracts are signed?
It is both. And that is the strength of Cannes. It is the world’s biggest market and meeting venue, where producers can develop co-productions, establish contacts and discover new systems of credit and help in relatively new countries in terms of location, such as Colombia for example.
Are there other trends in the worldwide cinema creation industry to highlight?
Documentary cinema remains at a very high level with 16% of the films at the Marché. Meanwhile, 3D is stagnating. We have 138 films in 3D, of which 80 are finished and only 35 are being screened.
What practical advice would you give a producer at his first Marché, apart from buying an umbrella, good shoes and remember to carry a phone charger?
You absolutely should put yourself down for the Producers’ Workshop because that is where you can learn in just a short time the fundamentals of the job, from the most concrete questions to the more strategic ones such as how to approach a buyer or an international co-producer. Cannes is all about preparation. You need to come well prepared, because ten days go very fast.
(Translated from French)