June 25th, 2021 | by Mathieu Gayet

"It is our role at the Marché du Film to support all innovations" - Guillaume Esmiol (Cannes XR)

The Cannes Film Festival returns in July for a very special edition. Its professional counterpart, the Market, has also had to adapt - from 2020 - to anticipate the problems of a health situation that was still unknown when the dates were confirmed. For Cannes XR, located in the Market, it is first of all the bet this year of a virtual exhibition, "XR3", and of hybrid appointments, online and in Cannes for the festival-goers.

Cover: UNDER THE PILLOW by Georgy Molodtsov, selected for the VeeR Future Award

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A special edition of the 2021 Marché

Guillaume Esmiol - For the Marché as a whole, this has been a special year. In 2020 we were one of the first major international events to go 100% online. For 2021, we had to consider a totally hybrid solution to meet the new needs - both on site and online. It's obviously a double dose of work to get both parts of the Marché moving at the same time, not to mention the health uncertainty. As a result of our postponement, it looks like everything may be moving forward as we hope. This is a first victory! Theaters, public places have reopened, vaccination is progressing well, we will be welcome everyone at 100%.

G. E. - Even if there are still constraints on international travel, limitations for some countries, some professionals will come from all over the world - and on our side strict rules will be applied on site in terms of sanitary measures. PCR tests can be performed directly on site free of charge. For the rest, the online Marketplace will be able to meet international needs. All conferences will be broadcasted on our platform in live and replay. Online screenings are proposed, according to requests, from this month of June (Pre-Cannes Screening 100% online). We must remain agile in the face of the situation.

Virtual appointments for Cannes XR

G. E. - Initially, the Marché welcomed all immersive innovations in the Cannes Next section, which was gradually detached from Cannes XR following the success of VR, AR, MR formats... This is clearly a sector in the making, but one that is still looking for its business model, its distribution. It is the role of the Marché to support this type of innovation, of narrative form that interests many cinema professionals. I believe immersion in virtual reality is also a premium proposition, as in the cinema, in its discovery of content. There is a real link with our other activities.


G. E. - This year for Cannes XR, there is clearly a more digital orientation to discuss with the immersive community and propose a virtual meeting. We have renewed our partnership with the Tribeca festival in New-York, and NewImages in Paris, to propose an online XR3 exhibition in a virtual museum (the Museum of Other Realities or MOR) over two periods in June and July. Our VeeR selections will be presented there in July, along with a virtual garden proposed by Unity. Two prizes will be awarded, more than 55 projects presented.

The Marketplace, a cradle for all storytelling technologies

G. E. - On the conference side, Cannes XR will offer a series of conferences in Cannes and online (with Tribeca and NewImages to talk about XR3, a Development Showcase with Artizen, VeeR on distribution and monetization, TableTop Stories about augmented reality, Positron on LBE...) from July 7 to 9. Our partner Orange will have a tent dedicated to VR, with several experiences available - as well as a presentation of EVOLVER Prologue on the evening of the 8th, accompanied by a conference with part of the team on the 9th. Finally we will propose a space to access the MOR. The Development Showcase with Artizen is completely online.


G. E. - This is also true for the technology side. Cannes Next continues to discuss related topics, including virtual production, VFX, real-time engines, etc. We explore these technical topics across all of our sections.

G. E. - The XR3 exhibition, we made it first for the professionals of the XR sector. But we want to take advantage of the momentum of the Marché du Film to also make the link with the traditional world of Cinema. We also hope to encourage collaborations and new projects through networking. Bringing in EVOLVER, produced by Terrence Malick, is also where we are relevant.



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