Cannes Marche has scrapped plans to levy a 2.5% increase on exhibitors and will revert to 2008 prices for this year’s market.

Jerome Paillard, executive director of the Cannes Marche, said the move was a sign that it understood exhibitors were operating in a difficult financial market rather than being prompted by a decrease in numbers. He said: ‘It’s difficult so far to have a view on that [exhibitor numbers] but we are basically on the tracks of last year on the same dates.’

At the 2008 Marche Du Film, 10,700 participants were accredited from 101 countries. There were 5613 films were on offer, of which 46% were in development or production, and 1635 screenings of 1004 films were held.

If the price increases had gone ahead exhibitors would have faced charges of $7416 (Euros 5590) for a basic stand and $517 (Euros 390) for additional square metres, compared to $7233 (Euros 5450) and $504 (Euros 380) for additional square metres. The prices exclude VAT.

The move has been broadly welcomed by exhibitors. Christian De Schutter, manager of promotional agency Flanders Image, which takes a large stand at the show, said: ‘You can say that this reduction is rather small, but it remains a clear sign. These are also trying times for them (the market organisers). It shows that they care.’

But the move has failed to placate some sales agents who remain angry about the cost of rents on private apartments, which many use to operate from, and the cost of screenings. Prices range from Eu465 (before VAT) for digital screenings and video rooms to as much as Eu1890 for a prime screening at a big theatre.

Michael Werner, from Stockholm-based NonStop Sales, says the cost increases every year. He added:.’When the whole industry is suffering, everyone has to do what they can to ease it. The prices we are selling films at are dramatically down.’

Cannes News 2009

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    Cannes Marche scraps 2.5% exhibitor price increase