The Cannes Festival will have for the first time ever a Fantastic Pavilion, a significant booth and exhibition space located at the Cannes Marché du Film in the Palais des Festivals.
Conceived by Pablo Guisa, Grupo Mórbido CEO, Bernardo Bergeret, Ventana Sur co-director, and Daniel de la Vega, co-ordinator of Ventana Sur’s Maquinitas video game forum, the Fantastic Pavilion is hailed by Guisa as “the dawn of a new era for our industry.”
Looking set to both accelerate and symbolise the now significant role that genre plays in international market dynamics, the Fantastic Pavilion is being organised by members of the genre/fantastic film community spread across the world in partnership, crucially, with the Méliès International Festival Federation which groups most of the world’s key genre/fantastic events.
These includes 19 festivals represented in Europe and supporting members in Asia, North America, Latin America and the Middle East, taking in Europe’s Sitges, Brussels and Neuchâtel festivals, Fantasia, Austin’s Fantastic Fest and Mexico’s Mórbido in North America and South Korea’s BiFan.
“With 27 member festivals worldwide, the Méliès International Festivals Federation has brought together fantastic film communities for decades. A Fantastic Pavilion at the world’s most important film market is an amazing new step and the MIFF is proud to be part of it,” said Chris Oosterom, Méliès International Festival Federation chairperson.
French-Finnish writer-director-producer Alex Noyer (“Conductor,” “Sound of Violence”) will serve as Fantastic Pavilion Consul.
“Overall we feel the Pavilion will offer an enhanced experience for attending members of the international genre film industries, whether seasoned or newcomers,” he said. “The genre film industry is a multi-cultural, cooperative and innovative hub that brings its own unique impetus to the market. We see the pavilion as a celebration of that creative energy,” he added.
Ventana Sur’s Blood Window will also have a presence at the Fantastic Pavilion.
Individual organisers of the Fantastic Pavilion cover a wide international spectrum of not only key players but key concerns and expertise.
Mònica Garcia Massagué, Sitges Foundation general manager and the driving force behind its Sitges WomanInFan genre gender platform, will serve as a Fantastic Pavilion ambassador
spearheading the Pavilion’s outreach to the still small, but burgeoning and often arresting, female genre cineastes around the world.
WomanInFan already casts an industry spotlight on female talent, backing projects and women with the capacity to lead a new and exciting storytelling in genre, she noted.
“The success of Julia Ducournau at Cannes, Nikyatu Jusu in Sundance and Michelle Garza in Tribeca and the explosion of Prano Bailey Bond (“Censor”) and Carlota Pereda with first feature “Piggy” are signs of a profound change in fantastic genre,” said Garcia Massagué.
She added: “The Fantastic Pavilion is a great opportunity to promote and render visible with a large relevance the work of women in fantastic titles and programs like WomanInFan and a presence in the Fantastic Pavilion is an industry response.”
An architect of the launch and muscular expansion of Ventana Sur, Bergeret will work as a Fantastic Pavilion Industry attaché and De la Vega as its technology attaché, encharged with outreach to the video game industry to bring its producers and creators into the Pavilion.
“Games share universes and narratives with genre cinema. In them, audience transcends the role of sole spectators to experience fantasy in a non-linear way. Both industries have enormous potential for collaboration and for this reason their presence and participation in the Fantastic Pavilion is essential,” De la Vega said.
The Cannes Marche du Film’s Fantastic Pavilion serves to underscore the ambitions of the genre/fantastic sector to bow its flagship titles, which often blend arthouse tropes and social issue observance, at not only big specialist events but major “A” festivals.
The sheer proximity of creators and industry professionals in the same physical space will almost inevitably spark intense networking. “I see the Fantastic Pavilion as a cradle from where many future legendary projects will be birthed, we are creating a very special place from where genre films will blossom,” said Guisa.
“The Fantastic Pavilion will become one of the most important all-encompassing genre hub projects in history,” he added.
One large question is whether the Fantastic Pavilion will help reshape physical market structures. Already other organisations – Spain’s ICEX and ICAA, for example – are backing mega national structures such as Ventana Sur’s Spanish Screenings on Tour which serve as a market within a market.
Film markets around the world, whether the EFM or Marché du Film, have traditionally been global villages. The Fantastic Pavilion opens up the possibility of a restructuring as cities with their own inner districts.
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