Fantasia 2012: Primer on the Frontières International Co-Production Market
One of the big announcements of this year’s Fantasia is that for the first time Fantasia will be presenting the Fantasia Industry Rendez-Vous which includes a film market for the films being presented during the festival to help those filmmakers sell their films for distribution, as well as a series of conferences that are free and open to the general public – although accredited film industry representatives have priority seating.
In addition to the film market for films being presented during the festival, Fantasia will also be hosting a film market to be called Frontières: The Fantasia International Co-Production Market. That sounds exciting, but what does it mean? What impact will it have for the average Fantasia film-goer and what does it mean for the future of the Fantasia Film Festival? We spoke with Stephanie Trepanier, Market, New Media and Hospitality Director (as well as) Programmer for the Fantasia Film Festival to find out.
SOS: What is a film market?
ST: There are as many different kinds of film markets as there are film festivals that host them. It depends on how big the festival and the market are and what they specialize in. Some specialize in film, some in TV, some in Transmedia.
The biggest film market is Cannes. In addition to the films playing during the festival, there are hundreds of other films being sold outside of the festival and industry screenings for those films. It can be a very busy time for a film festival programmer or a distributor. Generally at Cannes, film agents who represent the films being sold have booths, or the bigger sales agents rent whole apartments. Film Festival programmers and distributors go from sales agent to sales agent trying to acquire specific films. Berlin is like Cannes but on a slightly smaller scale.
Toronto (TIFF) and South by Southwest (SXSW) are examples of film markets where the only films available are the films being shown during the festival. TIFF has industry screenings, but they are repeats of the public screenings; since SXSW is a badge-holder only festival, it’s like all the screenings are industry screenings. At this kind of film market, the festival programmer has become the gate keeper for films. When I was at SXSW this year, an independent film producer asked a distributor how they could get seen by the distributor if they weren’t picked by SXSW and the distributor bluntly told them that they were only interested in acquiring titles that had been selected.