The Covid-19 impact is being felt in all industries and areas. The Cannes Film Festival was cancelled but the film market has gone virtual. The “Marché du Film Online” will occur from June 22 to 26, 2020, and will permit industry professionals to participate in one of the world’s largest film markets. The online version was created to support the international film industry and facilitate business and networking for such professionals who can be situated anywhere without travelling to Cannes. The Marché du Film Online is intended to recreate the market experience in Cannes, with live and real-time meetings!

Here are a few of the features:

  • Visit virtual booths and pavilions: discover exclusive films and projects-in-progress in online dedicated spaces as if you were in Cannes!
  • Organize meetings in a virtual space: the Marché will have its own app “Match & Meet” so you can schedule meetings with professionals registered from all over the world. It will even integrate video calls, hopefully with the ease we have seen with Zoom.
  • Attend online screenings: – films/project presentations – in about 15 virtual cinemas & enjoy reruns organized in different time zones! The platform will be based on Cinando’s technology with strict security measures.
  • Explore the Marché du Film Online programs & conferences: programs and conferences will for the most part be transported to the digital space: Cannes Docs, Cannes XR, Producers Network, Frontières will be reshaped to this new digital environment.
  • Join Speed meetings: instead of running from one hotel to the other or from one terrace to another, you can speed meet with participants, authors, writers, producers, composers, book publishers or distributors. This is where you need to sharpen the “elevator pitch”.
  • Discover VR projects with Cannes XR: apparently there will be a program fully dedicated to immersive entertainment, which will present its projects in an environment where films can be viewed with a VR headset.

There are certain elements which were very hard to recreate and it’s the film parties and the beach restaurant meetings. However, it does seem that the business part is very promising.

As business is transacted and deals are made at this online market, with parties located in various jurisdictions, perhaps over a server located in a third country, interesting legal questions arise. One of these questions is: what law will apply to an agreement made in such a scenario?

While the Civil Code of Québec includes choice of law rules providing what law governs the form and content of juridical acts (see articles 3109 et seq), it is our view that it is now more important than ever to review the agreements that are being used and to include tightly drafted choice of law clauses and also force majeure clauses in any contract concluded during this online market.

Visit here to register https://www.marchedufilm.com and maybe we will meet in June. Bon Festival!

By Sam Coppola

Photo : Creative Commons