[News] Frontières Announces Annick Mahnert As Executive Director
Photo Credit: Julien Chavaillaz
With COVID-19 shaking our certainties and the habits of the industry, the security and wellbeing of individuals is an absolute priority during this crisis. As such, anticipating the impossibility and difficulty for participants to undertake international travel over the next several months, Frontières has taken initiative and redesigned their upcoming event.

The Frontières International Co-Production Market will take place as planned from July 23rd to the 26th of 2020 – in a new digital format. While the market usually runs in conjunction with the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal the fest announced last week that it would be pushing its dates to later in the Summer due to regulations imposed by the Government of Québec calling for the cancelation of cultural events until August 31st, resulting in the two initiatives running independently. In this new adapted edition of Frontières producers and filmmakers who submitted projects will be able to pitch online to industry professionals, just as they have done in the past, without bringing any health risks to themselves or others.

Furthermore, Frontières is proud to partner once more with Cannes’s Marché du Film and will be participating in the virtual market, taking place at the end of June, with the annual Frontières Platform.

Following Lindsay Peters’ departure, Annick Mahnert, a long time collaborator of Frontières, will take over as the new Executive Director of the market. Born in Geneva, Annick Mahnert studied filmmaking at NYFA. While in Switzerland, she went on to work in distribution, programming and international sales at 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Pathé Cinemas, Frenetic Films and, later, Celluloid Dreams in Paris. Since 2013 Mahnert has worked as a freelance producer, acquisitions consultant and festival programmer. She is an expert at the Austrian Film Institute and the Albanian Center for Cinematography for film funding. Her last two productions, The Long Walk and Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist, both celebrated their World Premieres at the Venice Film Festival last September. Presently, Mahnert is a programmer at the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival and is the director of International Programming at Fantastic Fest in Austin.

Annick Mahnert first became involved with Frontières in 2013 as both an industry mentor and member of the project selection team, and in this evolved role will bring forward a new system to allow professionals and participants to engage in discussions around various projects.

As she explains: ’Frontières is an important event for the film industry and it was inconceivable to me that the market should cease. Lindsay Peters has proposed alternatives prior to her departure and we will build upon her ideas to create this year’s digital event. I am proud to take the helm of Frontières and though we won’t be able to meet in person this summer, I have no doubt that our partners and the genre cinema community will follow us in this new adventure.’

More information regarding the format and the technical aspect of the pitches for the Frontières Platform in Cannes and the Frontières International Co-Production Market will follow in the upcoming weeks.

Frontières is internationally established as the leading industry initiative for genre film professionals. It is organized by the Fantasia International Film Festival, with the participation of the Marché du Film – Festival de Cannes. www.frontieresmarket.com

The organization focuses on connecting with emerging and established genre filmmakers with leading industry professionals and promote international co-production and collaboration with Canada and Europe. Since 2017 the organization has produced 3 annual events: the Frontières International Co-Production Market (July, at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal, for projects in development & early financing); the Frontières Finance & Packaging Forum (February, traveling event, for projects at the midway point in their financing); and the Frontières Platform at the Marché du Film – Festival de Cannes (May, for projects in advanced financing & post-production).

The organization provides diverse and highly effective opportunities for filmmakers & producers to connect with partners and secure financing, sales representation and distribution. Current Frontières projects on the festival circuit and in release include Color Out Of SpaceSea FeverChained For Life, Black Conflux, Jesus Shows You The Way To The Highway, The Long Walk, Riot Girls, and Black Circle. Projects currently in post-production include Slash/Back, (d. Nyla Innuksuk), Censor (d. Prano Bailey-Bond), The Paper Tigers (d. Tran Quoc Bao), The Winter Lake (d. Phil Sheerin), Hatching (d. Hanna Bergholm) and Lamb (d. Valdimar Jóhannsson).

Sarah Musnicky
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