Friday, February 16, 2018

Screening your short movie in Cannes: what's the deal?

How to screen a short movie in Cannes

There are lots of events for short movies in Cannes. But every year someone decides they want to organise their own screening outside of the Short Film Corner. But before talking about how you might do this, you have to consider why. There is practically no real market for short movies as a separate entity. So the monetary returns are negligible at best. If you want to go through the expense and work of organizing a screening at the busiest market in the world, first be sure you know what outcome you want. The only one I am comfortable with is the goal of getting people interested in you and your next movie project. So make sure you have a great next project up your sleeve.

Concerning screenings, first of all, not many people know that you can organize screenings at the Palais itself by renting a small theater from as little as EUR375 for about 20 seats. There are advantages to doing it there as people know it and it's a hands-off operation. You won’t be fiddling with cables or DVDs yourself, leaving you more time to interact with the spectators (and grabbing their business cards).

Depending on the scale of your project, you could also try booking one of the actual cinemas in Cannes. Advantage: people know where to find them. Disadvantage: the cinemas probably don’t have many available time slots and will charge you considerably.

Small screenings at Cannes

Another idea is to organise a number of smaller screenings instead of one big one, so people can choose when to check the movie. The hotels have meeting and reception rooms. But don’t expect a bargain price from them. If you know any companies going to Cannes, ask if they would be willing to host your screenings or rent their facilities.

Promoting your short movie

It's very - repeat: very - important to publicize your screenings. You are up against a lot of competition. Everyone in Cannes is overloaded with proposals and invitations. The right people have to get your invitations and a publicist is the best way to do that as they have direct contacts. Ideally, you should connect with other filmmakers and ask who they would recommend for your sort of movie. Expect to pay several thousand euros. Going it alone is very, very difficult. But only you can determine if it is worth it, or if you can bring 15-30 people to come watch it yourself.

Whichever way you decide to go, stay positive and think long-term. Good luck!

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