We felt it was time to look back at our major take-aways from Cannes. As you remember, we had two screenings of the film and countless meetings and networking efforts to find potential distribution as well as festival interest. We were also pitching a few projects in development and looking for potential co-productions.
It is hard to say right now how it went, because the results will typically be visible in the next few weeks, when we will start following up with all the people we’ve met and provided with a DVD screener of the film.
Every time Olia would talk to her children on the phone, the little voices on the other end of the line would ask:
-Mama, did you sell your film yet?
It is 99% impossible for two independent producers to come back from the film market with a deal signed. The market this year was especially led by star-driven genre titles with theatrical potential and small projects were much harder to sell. It is also very rare for independent producers to take matters into their own hands like we did and head to the film market without a sales agent or company.
Overall Cannes was an amazing learning experience for both of us. It really helped put us in a business-like mindset which is essential when trying to actually sell/distribute the film. We grew familiar with the industry and learned what to expect in terms of sales, distribution and co-productions.
A lot of people have also been asking about the screenings, so here is a short update on how things went.
We had two screenings of “Three Stories of Galicia”: the first on May 12th and the other on May 20th. Both dates were hard to work with because we had very little time to prepare for the first screening and the second screening was on the day before the market closed. Many people who we had met and who had expressed interest in watching our film on the big screen, were already gone by the 20th. Thankfully, we had a lot of DVD screeners to give out.
Altogether, we had around 35 people. We were a little disappointed at first, but when we learned who those people were, we realized that they were actually our target audience: distributors, programmers of some important film festivals and a few journalists.
When we went to retrieve our tape, the projectionist told us:
-Congratulations, that looked like a very successful screening!
-Why? we asked.
-They were actually applauding at the end. It never happens at the market!
We’re in Paris right now, ready to depart. Olia is going back to DC and Sarah will be leaving for Lebanon in a few days. In the next couple of weeks we will be doing a lot of writing, developing the new projects and mostly continuing to work on the outreach and distribution of “Three Stories of Galicia.” We will definitely be updating everybody on how things evolve.
Thanks for all who kept up with our blog, and we’ll be back for the next festival, market, screening or event!