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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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Virtual Market update: The San Sebastián and Zurich Film Festivals unite to strengthen Industry Activities


We had heard a few weeks ago about the international talent agency CAA moving into the marketplace platform business for its clients (a new challenge to Cannes) creating a streaming platform with networking tools adapted to meet the needs of buyers and sales agents. The Goal was initially announced as alternate solutions to Cannes Market.

With all uncertainities pending around the Cannes dates and the questionned feasability of a market and festival taking place in Cannes end june / early july, CAA took a definitive advantage from the new shifts in global festivals and markets and hit another strike with the announcement of the joint initiatives by San Sebastian and Zurich. 

this is the joint release we received today: Cannes has not commented yet.

"In a sign of solidarity for the independent film industry and in response of their request, José Luis Rebordinos, Director of the San Sebastián Film Festival (SSIFF), and Christian Jungen, Artistic Director of the Zurich Film Festival (ZFF), today announced plans to introduce a film market at their respective festivals. Marking a first for both events, SSIFF and ZFF will include buyers from across the globe, with programming that includes films originally selected to be showcased at SXSW and the Tribeca Film Festival and will introduce new sales projects.

The move signals a broader effort from the film community to support and create a marketplace for independently-financed  projects in non-traditional settings.  Working collaboratively with both entities, CAA Media Finance is supporting the initiative to transform San Sebastián and Zurich into sales markets that bring together a worldwide consortium of agencies, foreign sales companies, distributors, financiers, and buyers. The initiative is backed by major independent film companies, including Wild Bunch and Film Nation. 

"For the San Sebastián Film Festival, the most important thing now is the health of film industry professionals and spectators. But we keep working with the aim of making the 2020 edition of the festival a reality next September (18-26)”, said José Luis Rebordinos.  “If the Festival can be held under normal conditions, because the health authorities allow it, we want this edition to serve as an opportunity for films that have not been able to be seen at the festivals for which they were originally selected, to be shown to an audience of buyers and distributors and, at the same time, for these professionals, representatives of the most important companies in the world film industry, to get to know the size of the San Sebastián Festival, its line-up and its activities focused on the film industry". 

"We live in disruptive times which also shatter the traditional festival landscape and threaten Independent cinema. Many high-profile titles are orphans of a real premiere their cast and crew deserve. So we are happy to help out holding screenings for buyers together with our friends of San Sebastián", said Christian Jungen. "It is important to strengthen independent cinema and to help those titles in their launch for the Award Season. Zurich is one of the worlds financial capitals and an ideal place for a film market since it has a great infrastructure where you can do business in a leisururely atmosphere”. The Zurich Film Festival takes place September 24 to October 4 2020.

Specifics about the film screenings and programming will be shared at a later date.

ABOUT THE San Sebastián FILM FESTIVAL

The San Sebastián Festival is a competitive non-specialized festival accredited by the FIAPF focused on the film industry, whose attendance has tripled in the last ten years, on the media and on the public. In a city of 186,000 inhabitants, the Festival registered 178,000 spectators, 1,060 journalists from 551 media and 1,749 Industry professionals in 2019. San Sebastián is a meeting and business place for the global industry, with a special focus on the relationship between the film industries of Europe and Latin America and on new talents.

ABOUT THE ZURICH FILM FESTIVAL

The Zurich Film Festival was founded in 2005 and is dedicated to discovery of young filmmakers. In its three competitions (Feature film, Documentary film and Focus) first, second and third features compete for the coveted Golden Eye Award which is dotated with 25 000 Swiss francs. In its Gala section the festival showcases the most highly anticipated fall and winter titles and helps positioning them for the Award Season. With the Golden Icon Award (which among others went to Cate Blanchett, Hugh Jackman, Sean Penn, Michael Douglas), the A Tribute to (Alejandro González Iñárritu, Wim Wenders, Claire Denis) and the Career Achievement Award (Tim Bevan, Hans Zimmer, Aaron Sorkin) it acknowledges the greatest talents through the Industry. With over 117000 visitors, 650 media and over 500 industry guests it is the most important fall festival in the 100 million German speaking market."

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Chatelin Bruno
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