- Title: FRANCE: Cannes film market bouyant despite world economic gloom
- Date: 23rd May 2008
- Summary: CANNES, FRANCE (MAY 21, 2008) (REUTERS) PAVILIONS ON BEACH PEOPLE TALKING AT TABLE
- Embargoed: 7th June 2008 20:18
- Location: France
- Country: France
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Industry
- Reuters ID: LVA8LNJUTDCVI1BIWF808WO5IZ65
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Behind the film premieres and red carpet events, the Cannes Film Festival is also the world's largest event for the buying and selling of movie rights.
It may be stars like Angelina Jolie, Clint Eastwood and Harrison Ford that pack in the crowds for the Cannes film festival, but Cannes is also the world's largest event for the buying and selling of movie rights.
"Cannes is very important because Cannes is where everybody comes in a sort of buying mode - you know - Cannes is sort of the Harrods of movie making. So people come to Cannes in exactly the same way they go to Harrods.
They want to have a fun experience, they want to kind of shop," said director Roland Joffe.
One time Plame D'or winner, Joffe, was in town to help promote his latest film You An I.
But as the Cannes film festival moved into it's second week on Wednesday (May 21), movie executives from around the world began tallying the cost of a world economy rocked by a nine-month old credit crisis and its impact on show business.
The answer from several players was that costs were sharply higher for dinners and parties.
"It makes it harder for us to come here because we pay, of course, all the Cannes expenses - 50% higher, you know - than it was last year, so of course that's kind of a pain," said Philippe Diaz, co-founder of Cinema Libre Studio.
But executives said business activity was about even with 2007's Cannes film market.
And in Cannes many companies believed a relatively high value for the euro versus the U.S. dollar and other currencies would make their films relatively cheap.
"Our movies are more attractive to European buyers and foreign buyers, you know, because we can either increase the price, which is good, or leave it at the same price that was last year which is for them making it very attractive," Diaz said.
"I can tell you American movies will sell much more this year than they were selling last year," he added.
The competition for selling to Asian companies was tight, due mainly to increases in the number and quality of local productions in that region, market players said.
But for some producers, making films in Asian markets, business was booming.
"Just about two, three years ago you're talking about 10, 20 million dollar productions as being like the average. Today you are looking at 30 to 40 million as the new average which means that I would foresee within the next 3 to 5 years some of the budgets of these productions will actually expand," said CEO Christopher Chia of The Media Development Authority (MDA) of Singapore, which helps Asian filmmakers to fund and distribute their movies.
"I hope they won't expand too much because there's a return to be made at the end of the day," he added.
Asian film production has expended greatly in recent years, and the $80 million U.S. dollar blockbuster 'Red Cliff', directed by John Woo, is the most expensive Asian-financed movie to date and is on sale at Cannes.
But where recession is concerned, most experts noted that the movie business had generally done well in tough times as people looked to inexpensive movies to escape everyday woes.
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