Another Year, Another Cannes

Cannes Film Festival 2013

Cannes Film Festival 2013

As another Cannes winds down we catch up with ACMI Head of Film Programs, Richard Sowada, who shares his musings on the festival this year:

It’s been a soggy Cannes – rainy and windy with a distinct chill in the air has made for perilous queuing and boy, there’s a lot of that!

The rain has made the red carpet a dangerous affair too – on only the second day two enormous bubbles appeared on the red carpet canopy with some poor attendant having to spend the day drying the sodden Cannes icon.

Queue at Cannes 2013

Queuing in the rain at Cannes

To me, what’s surprising in the Marche is the huge array of genre titles. There must be 95% of titles for sale that fall into horror, thriller or fantasy (or all at once) buckets. They really do underpin the business.

I did hear an interesting stat also that 30% of market participants are looking for VoD (Video on Demand) titles. That’s a huge number and an obvious sign of where things are going. Whether VoD is viable and what it means for smaller distributors against large aggregators is another question.

Stormy weather at Cannes 2013

Stormy weather at Cannes 2013

The mood here? The weather does focus people more on business than balmy beachside evenings but it does feel a little soft – and dare I say perhaps tired. The industry is changing rapidly and radically around this type of market environment and I’m not sure if the market has caught up or indeed is part of that change. It’s hard to sense that anything is different to what it was three years ago despite the fact that it is.

Outstanding film so far for me is the Farhadi picture The Past – it’s really lovely.

Observation? Lots of very long films!

– Richard Sowada, Head of Film Programs, ACMI

Richard Sowada at Cannes 2013

Richard Sowada keeping up his potassium levels

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