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Cannes 2024 – Marché du Film

Dossier industrie: Distribution, exploitation et streaming

Le désir généralisé de voir plus de films de genre est discuté au Fantastic Pavilion du Marché du Film


CANNES 2024 : Des experts ont analysé les dernières tendances en matière de cinéma de genre, les outils marketing utilisés et le rôle des festivals pour ce marché qui grossit d’année en année

Le désir généralisé de voir plus de films de genre est discuté au  Fantastic Pavilion du Marché du Film
Jose Luis Mejia Razo, Michaelangelo Masangkay et Kyle Greenberg lors du panel

Cet article est disponible en anglais.

In a realm where the boundaries between genres blur and audience expectations are continuously evolving, a fundamental question emerges: is the market yearning for more genre content? This query took centre stage at a Fantastic Pavilion panel during the Cannes Marché du Film. Moderated by Jose Luis Mejia Razo, who works in international sales at Alebrije Cine y Video and is the commercial director of the Fantastic Pavilion, the discussion aimed to unravel the intricacies of the current state of genre filmmaking and its future trajectory.

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The conversation commenced with a critical exploration: was there a noticeable surge in the supply and demand of genre titles across various subgenres? Michelangelo Masangkay, general manager at Raven Banner Entertainment, set the tone by reflecting on the seminal impact of Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water as a watershed moment in genre filmmaking. Beyond its Oscar triumph, the film elevated genre narratives while catalysing mainstream acceptance, thereby broadening the horizon of genre consumption. Kyle Greenberg, head of Marketing & Distribution at Utopia, echoed this sentiment, citing Parasite by Bong Joon-ho as another pivotal case transcending linguistic barriers and underscoring the universal appeal of genre films.

Delving deeper into the discussion, Greenberg underscored the significance of independent genre films, especially those emerging post-COVID-19. Works like We're All Going to the World's Fair by Jane Schoenbrun and Sick of Myself [+lire aussi :
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by Kristoffer Borgli attracted substantial attention outside of the traditional studio system, signalling a growing appetite for unconventional narratives and innovative storytelling approaches. These observations collectively underscored a paradigm shift in genre filmmaking, whereby independent voices are increasingly shaping the landscape and challenging conventional norms.

Furthermore, the panellists explored the nuanced nature of genre marketing, emphasising cross-genre appeal and niche audience targeting. Masangkay stressed the need for strategic positioning to maximise market potential, citing examples where films transcended traditional genre confines to attract a broader audience base. Greenberg highlighted the necessity of identifying niche demographics within broader genre categories to optimise distribution and outreach efforts.

However, amid discussions of market trends and audience preferences, the panellists also addressed the inherent challenges facing independent producers in today's competitive landscape. Masangkay underlined the importance of adaptability and resourcefulness in navigating a saturated market, stressing streamlined production processes and strategic collaboration with distribution partners. Greenberg noted the evolving distribution model and the need for agile, cost-effective production strategies to remain competitive.

In addition to exploring market dynamics, the panellists touched upon the evolving nature of genre classification and audience expectations. They noted the blurring of traditional genre boundaries and the emergence of hybrid genres defying easy categorisation. This fluidity in genre conventions, they argued, necessitates a nuanced understanding of audience preferences and a willingness to embrace experimentation and innovation in storytelling.

They discussed marketing strategies in genre cinema, focusing on Divinity by Eddie Alcazar, which premiered at Sundance. Greenberg homed in on the collaborative approach, working closely with filmmakers to craft resonant narratives. Marketing Divinity, an avant-garde, black-and-white acid trip, posed a challenge, but they embraced its polarising nature, targeting niche audiences. This collaboration wasn't merely transactional; rather, it was a symbiotic relationship harnessing filmmakers' intimate understanding of their creations to craft resonant marketing narratives. Tailoring materials to resonate with these segments, they created multiple trailers to capture diverse facets of the film's essence, leveraging its uniqueness for effective promotion.

From Raven Banner Entertainment's perspective, Masangkay delineated the dual prongs of marketing efforts, targeting both distributors and end consumers. This approach required a nuanced understanding of market dynamics, with tactics tailored to address the unique needs and expectations of each demographic. He also underlined the audience's appreciation for the artistry and authenticity of practical effects over CGI, indicating a trend towards a more hands-on approach to filmmaking.

Discussing film festivals, both panellists shared insights into the evolving landscape of festival programming. Masangkay recounted instances where genre films garnered acclaim at unexpected venues, such as Locarno, hinting at broader acceptance within the festival circuit. Greenberg portrayed festivals as crucial arenas for audience testing and discovery, emphasising the strategic alignment between festival participation and marketing objectives.

Regarding the intricate process of selecting genre films for distribution and sales, the panellists shed light on the multifaceted considerations shaping their decisions. Greenberg stressed that passion in film selection is important, beyond merely categorising movies into genres. Distributors must be genuinely enthralled by the titles they represent, fostering authentic engagement with audiences. Moreover, he mentioned the necessity of diversity in film selection, remaining open to eclectic storytelling and unconventional narratives.

Masangkay agreed on the significance of identifying distinctive voices within genre filmmaking. The crux of film selection lies in discerning whether a movie possesses a compelling voice that resonates with audiences. Furthermore, he underscored the collaborative nature of film distribution and the cooperative relationship between distributors and filmmakers.

Looking ahead, both panellists offered reflections on the evolving landscape of genre filmmaking. Masangkay identified the emergence of “arthouse horror” as a notable trend, blending traditional arthouse aesthetics with genre elements. Greenberg advocated for low-budget filmmaking to drive innovation and creativity within the genre, reflecting a broader shift towards sustainability and inclusivity within the independent film sector.

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