Frontieres Unveils Genre Lineup for Virtual Cannes Market

Finn Wolfhard - Getty - H 2020
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'Rules for Werewolves,' the new project starring 'Stranger Things' actor Finn Wolfhard, is among the highlights of this year's Frontieres slate, which will screen for buyers at next month's Marche du Film online.

Feminist werewolves, Estonian imps and working-class Kung Fu masters will be on display — and up for sale — at this year's virtual Cannes Film Market.

The Frontières Co-Production Market on Wednesday unveiled the selection of genre titles it will be presenting at the first-ever Marché du Film Online, the virtual film market set to run June 22-26.

Films that are recently completed or in postproduction will screen footage for buyers, sales agents and festival programmers in the Buyers Showcase, while in-development titles in the advanced financing stages will present in Frontières Proof of Concept section.

Highlights from this year's Buyers Showcase include Quoc Bao Tran's The Paper Tigers, a martial arts comedy featuring three working-class stiffs out to avenge the death of their Kung Fu master; and Amelia Moses's Bloodthirsty, a thriller billed as a female twist on the werewolf film. XYZ Films & AMP International are handling sales on Paper Tigers.

Other Buyers Showcase selections include Jens Dahl's Danish thriller Breeder, which sales group Level K is repping; the Italian/Chilean mystery Io Sono Vera from director Beniamino Catena; Pat Mills' Canadian feature The Retreat; and Kratt, a horror comedy from Estonian director Rasmus Merivoo featuring mischievous creatures from the country's traditional folklore.

Among the proof of concept titles, which will be searching for financing and production partners, are Dogman from Argentine filmmaker Tamae Garateguy, which won the creative excellence award for best project at the 2018 International Film Festival & Awards Macao; and Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux's Rules for Werewolves, a feature-length adaptation of his SXSW-selected short, both of which star Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard.

The 2020 Frontières initiative, organized by Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival, will be the first under its new executive director, the Swiss industry veteran Annick Mahnert. It was one of the first industry events to confirm it would be part of Cannes' virtual film market.  

"Despite the disruptions, the Marché du Film fought to exist in a digital way, and I am sincerely grateful we can be part of it," Mahnert said in a statement. "The filmmakers have all put a lot of work into their projects, and it is capital that they should now be able to share their work with their peers. … I’m looking forward to the industry discovering these gems."

Added Marché du Film executive director Jérôme Paillard: "As our industry is facing unprecedented challenges, we wish to provide the industry with a platform to facilitate the development and distribution of genre films."

The online Marché du Film will run alongside a virtual film market organized by the film sales divisions of the top four talent agencies and several indie production and sales operations. Both markets are set to kick off June 22.