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“We are in a transitional period”

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Pascal Diot • Head, Venice Production Bridge

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- Pascal Diot, head of the Venice Production Bridge, talks to Cineuropa about the new market and the current trends in the industry

Pascal Diot  • Head, Venice Production Bridge

The Venice Production Bridge is the new name for the Venice Film Market, which elaborates on the Venice Gap-Financing Market, where several virtual-reality (VR) projects will be presented for the first time. Furthermore, the financing of the cultural and creative sectors and the future of cinema will be discussed in Venice, as Pascal Diot, head of the Film Market, points out.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)Cine Iberoamericano Int

Cineuropa: Is the Venice Production Bridge a response to the new trends in the industry?
Pascal Diot: The Venice Gap-Financing Market was already a response to this. It was created to fill a void in the industry, as its concept is based on the financing of the last 30% of a budget. All of the other co-production markets focus on development, but just ask any producer, and they’ll tell you that it’s now just as difficult to find the completion money as it is to find the funds needed to develop a project.

For the first time, there will also be virtual-reality projects presented at the market. Is there a growing number of filmmakers who are experimenting with VR?
Yes, and it isn’t limited to the young talents; even experienced directors are interested in this new form of filmmaking, as everything has to be invented, such as new narrative structures, and there are technical challenges to solve…

What is the project pitching going to be like?
On 2 September in the Spazio Incontri from 9.30 to 11.30, we have organised a special pitching presentation for the 15 innovative projects, including the VR ones, and of course, the projects’ teams will show some footage. 

How do you see the near future of the film industry? Thanks to the digital revolution, will there be a new balance between films for theatrical release, TV and web-series, as well as VR films?
We are in a transitional period, and we will still produce films for theatrical release for some years to come, but I do think that the number of those films will rapidly decrease. There will be more of an emphasis on entertaining and commercial films, in contrast with the festival circuit, which will be the remaining gateway for director-driven and arthouse movies. On the other hand, the production of TV and web-series as well as VR films will increase, but they will be broadcast via other platforms, such as tablets, smartphones, VR gear and spectacles.

What have been the results of the projects that were presented at the Venice Gap-Financing Market in the past two years?
Of the titles at the last two editions, Sworn Virgin [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: Laura Bispuri
film profile
]
was in competition at Berlin in 2015, Peace to Us in Our Dreams [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Sharunas Bartas
film profile
]
was in the Directors’ Fortnight in 2015, First Light [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Vincenzo Marra
film profile
]
was in Venice Days in 2015, Interruption [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Daphné Patakia
interview: Yorgos Zois
film profile
]
was in Orizzonti in 2015, Bang Gang [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Eva Husson
film profile
]
was in Toronto in 2015, Letters from War [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: Ivo M Ferreira
film profile
]
was in competition at Berlin in 2016, Raw [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Julia Ducournau
film profile
]
was in the Critics’ Week in 2016, and for Venice this year, we have Monte [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
out of competition and The Eremites [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
in Orizzonti. I have to say that 85% of the projects have been completed and released in at least one territory.

What kind of service and support does the Venice Film Market offer to distributors and world sales companies?
First of all, we offer them a dedicated space, the Industry Club, which is only open to sales agents, distributors and producers. Apart from the Market Screenings (for which there are two theatres this year) and the Digital Video Library, we provide sales agents with a discounted price for accreditation if they are a member of Europa International, and we are inviting a certain number of distributors for four nights.

Which industry events are taking place this year?
As every year, we will offer six works in progress hailing from Africa and the Middle East at Final Cut in Venice, and a new initiative entitled Book Adaptation Rights Area. This two-day event will enable 15 publishing houses from all over the world to have meetings with producers in order to allow them to present their new titles as well as their catalogue. Apart from the VPB party, which is the perfect networking place, together with MEDIA and the European Commission we have organised a European Film Forum, which will propose several panels on the financing of the cultural and creative sectors, and the future of cinema.

How do you see the future of the Venice Film Festival? Are you developing new projects for future markets?
We will forever be evolving and developing new services around production, and our aim is to establish the Venice Production Bridge as a unique and unmissable platform for producers.

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