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INDUSTRY / MARKET France / Canada

Annick Mahnert helms Frontières as it goes digital


- The new executive director will organise the first online edition of the Frontières International Co-Production Market, which will still run on its original dates

Annick Mahnert helms Frontières as it goes digital
Frontières' new executive director, Annick Mahnert (© Julien Chavaillaz)

Another co-production market has been added to the list of those that are going digital owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Frontières, the leading industry initiative for genre-film professionals organised by the Fantasia International Film Festival, with the participation of the Cannes Film Festival’s Marché du Film, has announced that the Frontières International Co-Production Market will run on its original dates, 23-26 July, but in a new, digital format. Also, the annual Frontières Platform, for projects at the advanced financing and post-production stage, will once again be part of the Cannes Marché du Film, which this year will be virtual and will take place at the end of June.

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The Frontières International Co-Production Market, which is focused on projects in development and in early financing, will still allow producers and filmmakers who submitted their projects to pitch them online to industry professionals, in much the same way as before. It should be noted that the market normally runs in conjunction with the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal, but the gathering will change its original dates (16 July-5 August) to a later period, as the regulations imposed by the Government of Québec have forced the cancellation of all cultural events until 31 August. This will therefore be the first time that the two initiatives will run independently.

Furthermore, Geneva-born producer Annick Mahnert is taking over as the new executive director of Frontières after Lindsay Peters’ departure last month. After a career in Switzerland in distribution, programming and sales, Mahnert worked as a freelance producer, acquisitions consultant and festival programmer. Her last two productions, The Long Walk [+see also:
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by Mattie Do and the documentary Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist by Alexandre O Philippe, premiered last September at the Venice Film Festival. Mahnert is also a programmer at the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival and is the director of International Programming at Fantastic Fest in Austin.

Regarding the decisions taken for the upcoming edition, Mahnert explains: “Frontières is an important event for the film industry, and it was inconceivable to me that the market should cease. Lindsay Peters had proposed alternatives prior to her departure, and we will build upon her ideas to create this year’s digital event. I am proud to take the helm of Frontières, and although we won’t be able to meet in person this summer, I have no doubt that our partners and the genre-cinema community will follow us in this new adventure.”

More details on the format and the technical aspect of the pitches for both Frontières Platform in Cannes and the Frontières International Co-Production Market will be announced in the coming weeks.

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