“Kung Food.” “Friend Zone.” “A Baby Goat Adventure.” These movies may not be premiering at Cannes, but they’re still technically at the world’s most prestigious film festival. You won’t find them on the big screen of the Lumière theater, but rather far below in the bowels of the Palais, where representatives from around the world are furiously trying to sell their wares in the sprawling Marché du Film.
Aboveground, films live or die on the strength of their quality. But here, in the sprawling market that lurks beneath the glitz and glamor of the red carpet, money is the only thing that matters. There’s no distinction between high and low art in this orgy of big promises and bad Photoshops. There’s just product, and lots of it.
More than 10,000 people from more than 100 countries gather here to sell their wares, as distributors, exhibitors, film boards, funding bodies, and the occasional gawking critic mill about the multi-layer showfloor in search of new attractions. From finished films that are screening in Competition, to concept art that may never screen anywhere, the Marché is the engine that powers this place.
It’s also a reliable source of pure ridiculousness. Here are the 20 craziest posters we found down there at Cannes this year.