"Internationalism!" was the cry for indies at this year's Cannes Film Festival as panelists at the various industry events stressed the importance of foreign markets to the success of non-Hollywood product. However, a casual stroll through the Cannes Film Market's assorted sales agent offices revealed that relatively few American independent pics had much of a presence for overseas buyers. Cannes entries Sunday, In the Company of Men, and A.B.C. Manhattan... made a splash; Good Machine and the Shooting Gallery unveiled new foreign sales divisions; and some filmmakers, like the makers of A Gun for Jennifer, handled sales themselves. But many of the films from the past year's Production Update columns were nowhere to be found.
As the films in this issue of Filmmaker make clear, international markets are increasingly important, even for no-budgeters, in this age of diminishing domestic possibilities. Producer Juergen Bruening financed Ela Troyano's no-budget Latin Boys Go to Hell through foreign pre-sales. The fest winners mentioned above may see sizable returns from their Cannes presence. And, as Claire Best points out in this issue, international coproduction financing is not so irrelevant anymore for American independent producers.
Of course, to attract new audiences, filmmakers have to think about them in the first place. That's not a problem for this issue's directors; a strikingly cosmopolitan mix of filmmaking styles is present here. We also talk to Next Wave Films founder Peter Broderick in this issue. Next Wave Films is both a new source of completion financing for American independents as well as a sort of beneficent proselytizer of the no-budget aesthetic. The fund has targeted not only American independents but no-budgeters the world over. The message to American no-budget filmmakers is clear: innovate or watch the mantle get picked up by someone else!
Finally, speaking of border crossings, I'd like to offer a fond farewell to IFP Executive Director Catherine Tait, who leaves the IFP to become the President and Chief Operating Officer of Salter Street Films in Halifax, Canada. Catherine was instrumental in starting up Filmmaker, and we'll miss her sophisticated, helpful and enjoyably irreverent input on what we do here at the magazine.