Paris Cinema Fair adds to fare


PARIS -- The Paris Cinema Fair is gearing up for a second edition that will feature a range of new initiatives, including an industry consultancy service, workshops and a competition for made-for-Web movies, organizers said Thursday.

The fair, or Salon du Cinema as it is known in French, runs Jan. 17-20 at the Porte de Versailles trade hall. The first edition, which set out to give the public a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the filmmaking world, proved popular, drawing more than 50,000 attendees. Organizers even had to close the doors on three occasions to cope with the heavy numbers.

This year, the event has added an extra day devoted to "professional" admissions, with the hope that it will drive overall numbers up to 70,000.

The exhibition space also will include an industry corner with stands from some of France's main film organizations, technical services firms and exhibition companies, with a special focus on 3-D cinema and digital projection. Co-organizer Jonathan Bryant said the corner was set up to meet demand from within the French industry, with the aim to encourage industry sectors to mingle.

"The digital era is changing things so rapidly that people need to understand things beyond their own sector," he said.

Helmer Jean-Jacques Annaud is the honorary president of the forthcoming edition. The fair will have two main themes: music, to mark the 100th anniversary of the use of musical soundtracks on film; and humor, to mark the 30th anniversary of the death of Charlie Chaplin and the 25th of French comic actor Louis de Funes.

One of the novelties will be a user-generated video studio, where attendees can have a shot at making a short film destined for a slot on YouTube. Applicants must submit a pitch and arrive with two actors and a director, and they'll have 20 minutes to shoot on one interior and one exterior set before editing the material down to a two-minute film. The best three will be picked by a jury.

The event also will include conferences with filmmakers and industry players, master classes, screenings, exhibitions and workshops on such topics as how to obtain funding and how to sell a film to a television network. In the professional space, experts will be on hand to offer 15-minute consultations on such areas as legal affairs, accounting and how to set up a company.

More events and attendees are set to be confirmed in the coming weeks.