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2022 441 articles Full coverage Festival / Market    I   2021 Full coverage / Sample of newsletters 
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Mariam's Amazing Race to Cannes: Day 10

Finally a moment that wasn't perfect; I got off the bus one stop later than I wanted to and had to walk further to the Carlton. But if that's all that goes wrong, I figure I'm doing pretty good. It was perfect timing when I arrived to meet with one of the major studios about bringing US Box Office hits to Cambodia and they were able to see me right away.

I walked back to the Palais and met some more distributors (is that getting boring yet?). I ate lunch and met more distributors. I had a break and met more distributors.

For those of you who may not know, here is the simple version of what I am doing. A filmmaker makes a movie. A sales agent or distributor represents the movie at a FILM MARKET where BUYERS license the film to show in their own countries (or territory). I buy rights for Cambodia.

It may sound simple but it is actually complex to buy the RIGHT films that the audience wants to see in each territory. There are many factors to consider, and it doesn't matter if I like a movie. If the audience doesn't like it, they won't pay to watch it. However, I am confident that I am buying the right films and providing an option to pirated movies in the process.

Since providing movies on mobile phones is one of the ways we will sell to the consumer (by streaming), I checked out the short film section of the market. These can be anywhere from 5 minutes to 55 minutes, which can be viable for watching on mobile phones, especially when there is some extra time, but not enough for a feature.

One thing I had been bothered about the last couple of days was shipping all this material back to Cambodia. I contacted DHL and they said my account wasn't international, so I couldn't use it and I would have to pay cash. Well, the market has a special deal with TNT, so I went to their booth. I'm going to ship my large tote bag full of 30 kilos of stuff for only $95 Euros!

While browsing the distributor booths, I ran into my friend, Mark Steinberg from LA. He used to do one of the most sought after New Year's Eve's parties! I caught up on all the latest news of our mutual friends.

On my way to a screening after dinner, I was so irritated by all the road blocks to separate stars arriving at the red carpet from fans and paparazzi. And every guy was walking around like a penguin. I think half of them just rent tuxedos to try and crash parties.

I attended the Japan Night party (by invitation) and saw new friends from whom I purchased films earlier in the day. It was crowded and fun but I left before midnight even though the party was just getting started. I'm going to have a long day tomorrow flying to Dublin and I needed to pack what I am shipping back to Phnom Penh.

So lying on the bottom bunk of a dorm room at a college in Cannes, I relaxed and savored the moment of making history. The Cambodia market has begun.

Mariam Arthur


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