Jérôme Paillard • Director General of the Cannes Film Market
by Annika Pham
13/05/2008 - Jérôme Paillard, director of the Cannes Market since 1995, unveils to Cineuropa the top events of the 2008 edition.
Cineuropa: How many participants are registered so far, per geographical region and industry sector?
Jérôme Paillard: As of April 15, we have an 8% increase over last year and might reach 11,000 participants by the end of the market. As for geographical regions, there are no significant changes from 2007, except perhaps a general increase of Latin American countries. That area is strongly represented in official competition this year and the two elements are certainly related. Latin American countries formerly under-represented – such as Columbia, Peru, Chile and Venezuela – now have public funds, which contributed to the development of local production.
Have the current economic situation and the weakness of the dollar against the euro affected North American participation?
We have not experienced that – we even have a 2% increase of US companies registered. However, we have heard that the delegations of big companies are less important and that their P&A budget is more modest. But I’m sure this won't prevent companies with three selected films from investing in their promotion.
However, as far as the evolution in registration per sector is concerned, we have witnessed an enormous change with 150 participants whose activities are directly linked to Internet distribution. Although everyone tends to say the Internet still has little impact in film financing, this new medium offers a broad range of films, greater distribution for small films and wider distribution internationally. Video-on-Demand and Internet distribution will be discussed in the Producers Network breakfasts and in the Short Film Corner.
Short films are ideal for Internet distribution, which offers greater freedom of experimentation, which is wonderful for young people. At the Short Film Corner, it is interesting to see that emerging filmmakers all use Facebook and are into virtual marketing. Once they direct their first features, they will use their know-how to directly interact with the audience.
Your 2008 initiatives include a newly created Documentary Brunch….
Yes, it will take place on Thursday the 22nd and is open to documentary directors, producers and distributors. We noticed that 10% of the titles being sold are documentaries and also noticed that there is less [commercial] exchange over documentaries than narrative features. The budgets for documentaries are indeed smaller and co-productions are harder to establish. As usual, we see what is happening in the market and who the players are. If they need specific support, we try to help. It is a pragmatic approach. We will see how successful it will be and if it is will develop the concept further .
Moreover, we will try to develop Cinando.com after the festival in order to help producers communicate with each other throughout the year.