Cannes 2023 marked an exceptional year for the Marché du Film, surpassing all expectations and setting new records for participation. Under the leadership of Guillaume Esmiol, Executive Director, Marché du Film, the market successfully adapted to the evolving film industry, embracing new technologies and fostering business opportunities
Cannes, the prestigious film festival and market, witnessed an extraordinary milestone at its 2023 edition. The Marché du Film, the film market component of Cannes, surpassed all expectations by attracting over 14,000 accredited participants from 120 countries. This ground-breaking record exceeded the previous onsite participant record of 12,500 in 2019, demonstrating the enduring significance of Cannes in the global film industry. Under the leadership of Guillaume Esmiol, the new Executive Director of the Marché du Film, this year’s market edition achieved remarkable success through its adaptation to the evolving landscape of the film industry.
“It is quite encouraging. This year’s event has a large number of attendees. It’s incredible since it’s more than before the COVID crisis. So that makes us really delighted. In addition, we had a large number of pavilions (60 pavilions) and exhibitors (500+),” said Esmiol.
Embracing Innovation and Technology
Recognizing the rise of streaming services and disruptive innovations, the Marché du Film embraced new technologies and business opportunities. It aimed to redefine its role as more than just a platform for buying and selling films. Guillaume Esmiol’s vision to position the Marché as a hub for all aspects of the industry came to fruition. The market introduced a wide range of initiatives, including the Cannes Streamers Forum, Virtual Production Summit, and new services and events for sales agents and buyers. By embracing these changes, the Marché du Film proved its commitment to staying at the forefront of industry trends.
Lively and Dynamic Market
The 2023 edition of the Marché du Film was marked by a vibrant atmosphere, featuring a significant increase in onsite exhibitors and industry events. The market hosted its largest lineup of conferences, workshops, works-in-progress showcases, and pitching sessions to date. With over 60 panels and conferences and more than 200 events, Cannes provided an unparalleled platform for networking, learning, and business opportunities. These events covered a wide range of topics, from animation to documentaries, fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing among professionals.
The 2023 edition of the market featured more than 500+ exhibitors, 60 pavilions in the Village International, 300 sales companies doing business inside the Palais des Festivals and 1,200+ market screenings
Cannes Investors Circle
A notable highlight of this year’s market was the launch of the Cannes Investors Circle. This groundbreaking event brought together top-level film and media financing experts and presented a curated selection of high-caliber film projects to exclusive private investors. The Cannes Investors Circle aimed to support artistically and financially ambitious projects and explored new funding opportunities through private investment. Guillaume Esmiol expressed his hopes for the event to grow in the coming years, emphasizing the relevance of private investment in the current financial landscape.
Spain—The Country of Honour
As part of its ongoing efforts to highlight different film industries, the Marché du Film introduced the concept of a “Country of Honour” recognition. Spain, a country known for its creative industry and strong incentives, was chosen as the inaugural country of honour. Spanish professionals showed great enthusiasm, with a significant increase in their representation at Cannes. This recognition further solidified the Marché’s commitment to showcasing the diversity and talent of various film industries.
“We chose Spain because it’s a very creative country, with a strong industry. They have super incentives and new products to present this year. And they participated in all of our programs, (Producers Network, Cannes Next),” said Esmiol.
China’s Resurgence at Cannes
Cannes 2023 witnessed a significant resurgence of Chinese professionals in the film industry, signaling a positive shift for the Asian film market. After a decline in attendance during the previous year, the presence of over 250 Chinese professionals at this year’s event marked a notable return. Although not reaching the pre-crisis levels of over 600 attendees, this resurgence was a promising sign of China’s renewed engagement with Cannes and the overall recovery of the Asian film industry.
By returning to Cannes, Chinese filmmakers, producers, and industry leaders showcased their commitment to international collaboration and co-production. The revitalized presence of Chinese professionals fostered a renewed exchange of ideas, partnerships, and business ventures, strengthening the ties between the Chinese film industry and the global market.
Revitalizing the Market Experience
The introduction of the new venue, Plages des Palmes, added excitement to the Cannes market experience. This venue became the talk of the town and provided an additional space for business activities and networking opportunities. Moreover, the Marché du Film announced plans to revamp Cinando, its digital platform, to enhance user experience and create new communities within the industry.
Beginning of a New Journey into the Future
Under the leadership of Guillaume Esmiol, the market successfully adapted to the evolving film industry, embracing new technologies and fostering business opportunities. Esmiolhas successfully embarked on his journey to fill the shoes left behind by Jerome Paillard, who led the prestigious event for 27 years. As the annual Cannes Film Market commenced, Esmiol’s strong start has been widely acknowledged by the global film industry.
Having joined in 2020, just after the all-online edition, this year’s market was Esmiol’s third. During his inaugural year, Esmiol focused on digital topics, communication, and the development of new programs like impACT, in addition to overseeing the hybrid conferences. He describes 2021 as a period of familiarization and getting his bearings. The following year, in 2022, he and Paillard served as co-directors, sharing responsibilities and collaborating closely.
Esmiol represents the face of an industry and market that embraces a future-forward, tech-savvy approach. With a remarkable background in the heart of the tech world, he previously held the position of head of innovation at TF1 Group and worked with the digital media start-up studio, Wefound, before joining the Marché du Film. His expertise and experience in the digital realm position him well to navigate the evolving landscape of the film industry and market.
Esmiolalso symbolizes the continuation of progress and innovation within the Cannes Film Market. His vision aligns with a future-focused approach, embracing technology and pushing boundaries to elevate the industry to new heights. With his impressive background and the support of an experienced team, Esmiol is poised to lead the Marché du Film into an era of growth and success.
The countries with the highest numbers of representatives in this year’s Marché du Film are the U.S., France, the U.K., Germany and Italy. Spain and Canada. Asian and Australian delegates returned to Cannes Film Market in bigger numbers