Catalan producers negotiate projects at the Cannes International Film Festival

Fifty companies make deals on future films

Marta Bausells

May 23, 2010 02:30 AM

Cannes (CNA).- The Cannes Film Festival hosts a lesser known event called the Marché du Film (Film Market), a film production crossroads where around 4,000 international producers, distributors and literary agents negotiate future projects. This has become a great opportunity for audiovisual companies to show off their wares to the world and to look for financing. Fifty Catalan companies are present.
These are busy days for Catalan producers and filmmakers as their activity is focused on what goes on behind the curtain at the Cannes Film Festival. Catalan Films is a company that works for the internationalisation of Catalan audiovisual companies. It has a stand at the Marché du Film to lend support to these companies. One of the biggest problems for Catalan producers nowadays is finance. Money from European or American banks is harder to get than ever, so they are looking for co-production partners and investors from the Arab Emirates. Distributing films has also become very complicated due to the ever-changing formats brought on by the Internet.

Jordi Herradiu, producer for Zip Films, came to Cannes to find international distributors to begin production on an English version of the Catalan film ‘El Cos’ (The Body). He explained that everyone comes to the Market with a game plan and a sales strategy. Pontas, which formerly sold film royalties and now produces movies, also has a stand at the Market. Anna Soler, its director and founder, said that ‘international producers and big investors are interested in good stories’, no matter where they come from. She believes that Catalan literature has many great novels that could be adapted to the big screen. Pontas successfully sold the rights to the novel ‘El Violí d’Auswitch’, by Maria Àngels Anglada, which has been translated into twenty languages and tells the story of a luthier who has to fight for his life in the Nazi extermination camp. French and German producers are now preparing a film based on the novel. In the 63rd edition of the Festival, they are looking for money for a film about the conflict in Palestine called ‘Mornings in Janin’.