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Cannes Biz: From Financing Strategies to Distribution Shifts

Cannes Biz: From Financing Strategies to Distribution Shifts

While I’d like to think that I could make a living just writing about movies that I love (can’t wait for Lars von Trier’s “Antichrist,” Bong Joon-ho’s “Mother,” et. al.), the truth of the matter is that the majority of my livelihood comes from writing about the business. In prep for Cannes, I’ve already done a number of stories about the specialty biz landscape going into this year’s most important international market.

Today in the Wall Street Journal Online, for which I’ll be filing a few dispatches during the festival, I’ve written a story about the global financing biz, Cannes Films Bridge an Array of Financing and Foreign Partners. The gist of the piece is that in the midst of weaker foreign presales, outside equity and soft money is playing a bigger part these days. For analysis, I give you a quote from veteran producer Nigel Sinclair, who believes a “deconsolidation” of the studio system is currently taking place — where major film studios, previously in control of all phases of a film’s making, are “increasingly becoming the providers of a service: distribution, sometimes capital, and less often production advice.”

“I think there is a systemic change in the way films are financed where risk is being pushed up and up, both by studios and foreign distributors, towards independent financiers and equity providers,” he says. “The equity providers around the world are becoming the true partners and entrepreneurs in the film business.”

For Variety, a look at the changing landscape of indie distribution, with a specific look at how digital distribution is having an impact: Indies Navigate Shifting Business: Best quote comes from Regent Entertainment’s Stephen Jarchow. “The entire market is changing completely. The historical model of independent film — to produce or acquire a picture and to license it in various territories — is in decline. The model that is emerging is an opportunity to directly reach the consumer worldwide. This is the first time that the technology has been available.”

Also for Variety a story on the need for outside P&A investors in these economic crunch times, Demand for P&A High, Deals Scarce.

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