Cannes Launches Remake Market for Film Adaptations

Cannes is getting into the remake business.

The Cannes film market, the Marché du Film, is launching a one-day event focused entirely on remakes and local-language adaptations of existing titles.

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Together with the CNC, the French national film board, and with support from Spain’s Institute of Cinematography & Audiovisual Arts (ICAA), Italy’s Directorate General for Cinema and Audiovisual-Italian Ministry of Culture (DGCA-MiC) and Rome-based studio Cinecittà, the Cannes market will host Cannes Remakes, a one-day event on May 20 highlighting handpicked European IP ready for new film adaptations.

The inaugural program will include a pitching session presenting a curated selection of IP titles from France, Spain and Italy judged to have the most potential for film adaptation. This pitching will be followed by a series of pre-arranged one-on-one meetings between IP holders and producers capped by an invite-only networking cocktail on the CNC Beach.

The remake market is undeniably booming, driven by investment from global streaming services in local language adaptations and an increasing desire to limit risk by betting on the proven success of existing IP.

Last week, See-Saw Films, producer of Oscar winners The King’s Speech and The Power of the Dog, signed a deal to adapt Michael Ende’s German fantasy novel The Neverending Story, the basis of a film franchise in the 80s and early 90s, as a series of new live-action feature films. On Friday, Netflix will release Julien Leclercq’s The Wages of Fear, a new French feature adaptation of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s 1953 French adventure thriller of the same name (which William Friedkin used as the basis for his 1977 nail-biter Sorcerer). Nimrod Antal’s 2023 Liam Neeson enclosed thriller Retribution is a remake of Dani de la Torre’s 2015 Spanish feature El desconocido. And on and on.

“Remakes are injecting a fresh dynamism into the film industry, hinting at a notable shift,” says Guillaume Esmiol, Executive Director of the Marché du Film. “It’s not just about English-language remakes; there’s a rising trend of adaptations across various languages. Audiences are drawn to narratives that resonate with their distinct cultural nuances, paving the way for diverse, global storytelling”

Jérémie Kessler, director of European and international affairs at the CNC said supporting remakes has become a “strategic priority” for the French film board as the demand for European IP continues to grow from both “American studios and buyers from Asia” on the hunt for original material to adapt.

The Cannes Remake market “fits in with our massive support for exports but also our strategic priority of defending strategic cultural assets and promoting European IP,” says Kessler. “For it is these IPs that create value for producers, international sellers and companies, and make it possible to support truly free and independent European creation.”

Cannes Remakes is part of a series of new initiatives at the Marché du Film backed by European subsidy body Creative Europe Media. The 2024 Cannes Market runs May 14-22. The 77th Cannes Film Festival runs May 14-25.

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