Annick Mahnert

Source: Julien Chavaillaz

Annick Mahnert

This year’s Frontières genre co-production market organised by Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival will run as a reconfigured, entirely virtual event from August 3-6 and for the first time will be open to the broader industry rather than a select group of invitees.

Executive director Annick Mahnert said the decision was taken to restrict the event to weekdays and reduce it from three constituent parts – Forum, market and Cannes Platform – to two by pushing the Forum back from its traditional berth right after the Berlinale and folding it into the main market.

Frontières will select eight projects with 20% financing in place and arrange meetings with producers, financiers, sales agents, distributors, film funds and festivals.

The Cannes Platform will still take place during the Cannes Marché du Film as it has done in the past. This component comprises the Buyers Showcase of films in post that seek sales agents or finishing funds, and early stage Proof Of Concepts pitching sessions.

Mahnert, who assumed her role in April 2020, is introducing two further innovations. The market’s collaboration with Women In Film + Television Vancouver has been rebranded From Our Dark Side as a Canadian genre incubator for female-driven stories.

Instead of pitching to a panel of professionals who provide feedback, filmmakers involved in five selected projects will pitch to the industry and set up meetings on a bespoke platform.

A new partnership with Sitges Pitchbox will see an exchange of one pitching project from each market.

Mahnert said that based on feedback from the 2020 event, she planned to allow participating industry 48 hours to view market pitches before meetings start on August 3 rather than unlocking them on opening day.

The executive director said despite the ravages of the pandemic, the financial status of Frontières was “stable”. She added that longtime partners SODEC, Telefilm Canada, Wallimage and the Netherlands Film Fund have all returned.