What future for film financing? Speakers at Cannes Next give their opinion

– CANNES 2022: Marché du film event covered new financing models like blockchain-based Decentralized Pictures and XYZ Films’ “transatlantic model”

This article is available in English.

On May 20, Canes Next hosted a 90-minute panel titled “Future of Financing Summit: New trends in Equity, Venture Capital, tokenized film investment, NFT’s and beyond” and moderated by AC Coppens.

Coppens introduced the speakers, namely Logical Pictures Group and Waterfall 8‘s Yannick BossenmeyerXYZ Films’ Maxime CottrayDecentralized Pictures’ Leo Matchett and Michael MusanteZoan’s Laura Olin and NFT Studios’ Hewie Rattray.

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Musante and Matchett talked through the activities of Decentralized Pictures (launched at last year’s edition of the Film Market) and its mission to support independent filmmakers. The idea at the core is to use blockchain “to find talent from all communities by using a fair, democratic and transparent protocol” with a portion of financing dedicated to voices who don’t have enough “representation and amplification” alongside “a reward system to encourage participation in the curation process”.

Cottray compared two production models. The first is the “Anglo-American” one “where you come to Cannes, you pre-sell, you bank these presales and then you shoot your movie with some tax credits,” which, he argues, is harder and harder to implement. The second is the European model, supported by a great funding system. However, it is geared to support more mainstream titles, leaving little room for genre films, which are the ones “that can travel best” as they tell “global stories”.

European producers are therefore forced to finalize financing by “begging and praying” private investors or striking a deal with a multinational streamer: “You become just a glorified gunfire, becoming a service producer but you don’t own anything.” Cottray proposed a new “transatlantic model,” where one can cherry-pick the best of both worlds. In it, productions would be still rooted in Europe, physically produced in Europe with a lot of talent behind the camera being European – so that they can be in receipt of European funds – but with extensive work done with an American partner to navigate the agency system to bring an actor who can bring global recognition to the flick as well as a good distribution and sales partner.

He then spoke about how such model is applied to the joint fund managed by XYZ Films and IPR.VC: “We take movies from filmmakers we like; we package them by mixing European and American cast, we shoot and post them in Europe but we use the ‘American sales model.’ An example we made is Riley StearnsDualentirely shot in Finland, set anywhere and not location-specific, where we brought Aaron Paul and Karen Gillian in the cast.” The production also benefited from the national and regional tax credits in Finland.

Later, Rattray spoke about NFT Studios, set to be “the first Web3 production company,” whose primary mission will be “transforming the existing paradigm through which media is created using web3 technologies.” NFT Studios promises to facilitate a new era of community-driven creative freedom by modernizing financing processes, providing creators with a highly composable platform (where they can fairly share work and rights) and leveraging the collective strength of a Web3 native community for content creation and governance.

Next, Olin spoke about Cornerstone, a photo-realistic metaverse project previously introduced by Mikka Rosendahl at the Market. She highlighted how this new virtual environment can offer promotional and funding opportunities through carefully planned NFT drops and exchanges, metaverse releases and fan meetings.

Lastly, Bossenmeyer touched upon the activities of Logical Pictures, Logical Content Ventures and Cascade8. The first focuses on equity financing against international rights, ideally on projects shot in English and with international outreach, “budget efficient” and with “optimized subsidies”. The initiative backed 20 features, including Pleasure [+lire aussi :
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, The Deep House [+lire aussi :
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and revenge [+lire aussi :
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. The second is a fund launched last year aiming to finance $50 million of new content. To date, $10 million were raised through private investors and family offices. Some of the projects supported by Logical Content Ventures include Tchaikovsky’s Wife [+lire aussi :
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, The Dive [+lire aussi :
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and Blazing Neons (read news). The fund is characterized by tokenized assets, with the investment secured by two remuneration components – an annual yield with a return rate between 4-6% and a capital gain with a library of approximately 150 titles over the next eight years. Finally, Cascade8 aims to develop blockchain and software solutions for entertainment industry professionals. In particular, Bossenmeyer spoke about the division’s long-term roadmap and its work on Blood Machineswhere NFT buyers can gain ownership of virtual collectibles, based on the film’s characters, spaceships and weapons.

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What future for film financing? Speakers at Cannes Next give their opinion


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