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CANNES 2014 Market

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Working the crowds


- CANNES NEXT: At Cannes on Monday afternoon, NEXT held a roundtable to discuss the evolution of crowdfunding

Working the crowds
The roundtable in full swing

Monday afternoon saw many producers, filmmakers and distributors arriving at the Palais des Festivals’ "I" Hall, impatient to attend NEXT's roundtable about the evolution of crowdfunding.

Three French personalities, with a great deal of experience in this field, delivered an outstanding lesson to their audience, starting with their personal background to eventually investigate possible new definitions of the phenomenon.

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Nicolas Bailly, founder and CEO of Touscoprod, a Paris-based crowdfunding platform, broke the ice by tackling an important issue, that of which genre works best with crowdfunding. “I don't think it's a matter of genre,” he said, “but I would say documentaries. It's rather about how much people are engaged in your story, and the story of you building it up. It's fundamental to have a general idea of the community you want to reach before the start of your campaign.”

Not long after the start of the debate, many hands were raised by the audience, which needed to satisfy its hunger to learn from the three experts: “Can I use an online platform to crowdfund an event that promotes films, rather than a film? I would like to fund a film festival; I'm an artistic director,” said one participant. “It's always best to focus on short-term campaigns, actually,” answered Mathieu Maire du Poset. “Otherwise, people will get bored of what you're promoting. I would say that making a one-year campaign for an event might be a waste of energy, as the crowd's interest only lasts three months. The first week and the last three weeks are the top crowdfunding moments.” Mathieu is deputy managing director at Ulule, another crowdfunding platform that is “younger” than Touscoprod. As a former journalist, he has been working on web projects for more than ten years. Most notably, he was responsible for the web strategy of Marianne magazine and was deputy editor for the weekly site as well as head of web editorials at Profession Politique/Acteurs Publics, and editor-in-chief of Desirsdavenir.org. He is also passionate about the communication mechanisms necessary for the success of projects. 

The roundtable went on with an intense Q&A session involving the experts and the attendees, and concluded with a look at the future of digital by Yves Jeanneau, who also gave some comments in front of our cameras.

Jeanneau is the director of Sunny Side of the Doc, an international market dedicated to factual content, where the sector gathers over four days to sell or buy projects and programmes, and to find partners. “Crowdfunding has now become much more than just funding,” concluded Jeanneau, “and each subscriber's contribution extends beyond the budgetary realm. I would rather call it a participative economy.”

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