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  • Writer's pictureLindsay Spiller

Are film and television markets like Cannes, MIPCOM, AFM, and EFM still relevant?

Updated: Dec 31

A sign atop a hill over looking Cannes with the name "Cannes"
Cannes is the worlds most prestigious film market

The film and television markets are in a state of flux. The traditional film markets like Cannes, MIPCOM, AFM, and EFM are still relevant, but the way that films are bought and sold is changing. The future of these markets is uncertain, but one thing is for sure – filmmakers need to be aware of these changes in order to stay ahead of the game.

A brief history of film markets and their relevance over the years

For decades, the world of international film and television has been a platform for ambitious projects, captivating stories, and unrestricted creativity. At the heart of this industry are the major markets such as Cannes, EFM, AFM, and MIPCOM – each with its own unique history. Cannes, often referred to as ‘the haven of cinema’, has hosted its International Film Festival since 1939. It was the first international festival to bring together innovative art films alongside commercial ones. The European Film Market (EFM) was made part of the Berlin Film Festival not long after Cannes in 1964; whereas American Film Market (AFM), which began in 1981 as an alternative to Cannes, has since become one of the biggest independent film markets in the world. Also looking back at 1981 is MIPCOM which began life in France as a home entertainment market for TV programs before growing into the multi-screen industry it is today – offering buyers from all over the globe access to content from independent producers internationally.

The changing landscape of the film and television industry - why things may be different in the future

The film and television industry is in a state of flux - the continued rise of streaming services and the effects of major global events are causing new disruptions, making now an exciting time for cinephiles everywhere. This changing landscape has made the role of film markets like Cannes, the European Film Market (Berlin), the American Film Market (AFM), and MIPCOM more paramount than ever. As filmmakers look to push boundaries with their projects, attending these events has become increasingly important for both producers and distributors to gain insight into trends in the industry, get early looks at upcoming films or series, strike deals for financing and distribution, and form collaborations between creatives from around the world. It'll be interesting to see how these markets - as well as the industry itself - will evolve in light of ongoing changes in technology, culture, finance sources, and more.

Tips for getting the most out of film markets, whether you're a buyer or a seller

If you're looking to get the most out of film markets like Cannes, the European Film Market (Berlin), the American Film Market (AFM), and MIPCOM, whether you're a buyer or a seller, it's important to do your research beforehand. Learn as much as you can about each market’s value proposition. Find out which networks or production companies are in attendance, and who is buying and selling at each event, and make sure you know how to navigate the marketplace. Before attending any film market, forming partnerships with the right people is essential if you want to maximize your value. An entertainment lawyer or business manager can prove invaluable for making these connections and surveying potential opportunities. The value of such an expert cannot be overstated--they can give invaluable advice that will allow buyers/sellers to make informed decisions regarding their transactions.

What the future may hold for film markets - will they continue to be relevant or will they fade away?

As the landscape and technology of filmmaking continue to evolve, it's natural to question what the future might hold for film markets like Cannes, EFM, and AFM. While many have predicted their eventual obsolescence due to digital streaming platforms, those who value the value of relationships know differently. Intimate gatherings of industry professionals that connect creators with financiers, distributors, and broadcast opportunities still offer essential connections essential for launching a project. So while it's true that advances in technology may change the scope of film markets as we know them, they'll continue to have value in forming personal networking relationships that can help productions reach the widest possible audience.

Whether you're a buyer or seller, if you want to get the most out of film markets, it's important to understand their history and how they've evolved over the years. The changing landscape of the film and television industry means that things may be different in the future, but with careful planning and a bit of luck, your project can still be relevant. Entertainment lawyers are uniquely positioned to help you navigate these changes and ensure that your project is well-positioned for success. So if you're ever feeling lost at a film market, make sure to ask for help from an entertainment lawyer - they just might be your best chance at finding success.

Spiller Law is an advisor to startup businesses, entertainment and media companies, and artists. Feel free to schedule a free consultation.


Spiller Law is a San Francisco business, entertainment, and estate planning law firm. We serve clients in the San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, and California. Feel free to arrange a free consultation using the Schedule Appointment link on our website. For other questions, feel free to call our offices at 415-991-7298.


The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers are advised to consult with their legal counsel for specific advice.


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