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Damon: Cannes 2013 lacking riches

While deals are starting to hot up at Cannes 2013, major buyers are less impressed with the offering than in previous years, agreed a FilmFinanceTV industry panel yesterday.

Foresight’s Mark Damon, Judith Chan of bank Coutts and producers Phil Hawkins and Alexandra Baranska of UK production outfit The Philm Company were on the finance panel.

“What I’m hearing from international buyers is that this is not as rich in product as past Cannes markets,” said Damon.

“We’re all so dependent on pre-sales for financing that we all go for the same actors or directors who are considered sellable for higher budget films. That list continues to shrink. For independents today it’s more difficult to mount a picture than in previous years, distributors are very cautious.”

Damon acknowledged that a handful of projects were in demand, however, including his Spinning Gold set to star Justin Timberlake. Damon said he had “practically sold the world in the last three days.”

Chan agreed. “The Croisette is awash with financiers and we all play different roles. That makes for more competition but that’s healthy and good for producers.”

Chan said she expected the Coutts film division to meet around 100 producers during the market. “If we get around 10% of their films that would be great.”

“At our level it is important to stand out from the crowd,” said Hawkins. “It’s important to do something unique with a genre film, of which there are so many at the market.”

The FilmFinanceTV series was hosted on Magnet Media Group’s yacht.

Readers' comments (1)

  • There are always "hot" films for sale. The so called hot ones also bomb in many territories. All the great talent that exists in the film world are fortunate to be seen in their country, hopefully also in two or three additional areas. When an original project, already packaged with award winning cast and crew is offered, there is still hesitation. Imagination is what this industry needs.

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