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Series Mania Digital Was a Success Despite Challenges – Variety



The primary worldwide pageant to have taken the digital route amid the coronavirus disaster, Collection Mania’s digital version has been hailed as a hit by organizers with 1,500 members registered from 40 nations and the equal of 106 days of screenings. Nevertheless, challenges securing some key titles for the platform level to enduring challenges for on-line fests within the months forward.

All however one present within the French competitors lineup and half of the worldwide competitors roster weren’t made obtainable on the pageant’s platform, which was accessible to trade professionals and journalists from March 25 to April 7.

Netflix’s “Unorthodox,” Fremantle’s “No Man’s Land,” WestEnd Movies’ “Valley of Tears,” ITV Studios’ “Little Birds,” Amazon’s “El Presidente” and France Televisions Distribution’s “The Parliament” have been among the many anticipated reveals that weren’t on the platform regardless of being in competitors.

Laurence Herszberg, founder and head of Collection Mania, acknowledges that these have been hurdles for the occasion. “Collection Mania was the primary pageant to go digital and (it) did so proper when coronavirus was beginning to unfold globally, (so) many individuals weren’t totally prepared to interact in enterprise conversations and dealmaking, whereas others considered different pageant alternatives and saved again their collection,” explains Herszberg.

“One of many learnings of this version is {that a} digital occasion works finest as a sidebar to a bodily pageant or market reasonably than as a standalone,” says the trade veteran. “I agree with Alberto Barbera and Thierry Fremaux (the inventive administrators of Venice and Cannes, respectively) — nothing can exchange the vitality and sparks of an enormous pageant.”

The explanations behind producers and gross sales brokers’ selections to carry off on their reveals assorted.

Haut et Court docket TV boss Caroline Benjo, whose “No Man’s Land” was chosen for the worldwide competitors, stated she and her collection companions determined to carry it again as a result of they wished to take extra time to complete the post-production. “We had rushed the post-production to have the ability to ship the primary two episodes by the deadline, and as a result of circumstances, we determined to take the mandatory time to complete correctly,” says Benjo.

One other producer says his firm selected to withdraw their collection from the platform as a result of they have been hoping to indicate it on an enormous display screen at one other pageant this fall with the expertise attending.

“We made this resolution based mostly on the idea that festivals scheduled later this yr can be maintained, however because it seems, all festivals would possibly get scrapped at this level,” says the producer.

Some French producers additionally held again their collection as a result of air dates have been placed on ice by broadcasters. “I feared that the collection’ premiere can be pushed again to September and didn’t wish to threat displaying it too early…the entire concept behind a pageant is to construct a buzz round a collection and launch it proper after, on the channel or service,” says the producer.

Nonetheless, assembled in file time within the wake of the pageant’s cancellation, Collection Mania’s Digital Patrons showcase drew 60% of patrons, commissioners, producers, distributors and sellers, and 40% of screenwriters, programmers and journalists. The portal acquired 10,000 visits, whereas the tasks in growth garnered 5,000 hits.

“This world disaster prompted us to adapt our digital technique urgently and the end result was very optimistic,” says Herszberg, referring to “excessive participation from professionals world wide, the creativity of challenge pitches and the excessive viewing numbers.”

One-third of trade professionals have been from France, adopted by the U.S. Different nations effectively represented amongst members included Germany, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Russia and Canada.

Herszberg says subsequent yr’s pageant will “mix the 2 varieties — digital and bodily — to create a good greater and higher occasion within the years to come back.”

“We predict that this sanitary disaster will change some behaviors and lead sure individuals to keep away from touring so will probably be helpful to have a digital various,” says Herszberg.

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