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Mel Gibson’s ‘Rothchild’ Movie? There Are More Bizarre Films for Sale at Cannes

Huck Melnick, a London-based script doctor and director, said although the digital revolution had “democratized” film production and postproduction, there was “still a bottleneck” when it came to distribution.

“You don’t have that many distributors, and you certainly don’t have that many exhibitors,” he said. So film producers hoped that their Cannes agents would sell their title to a distributor who would, in turn, pass it on to movie-theater chains.

Melnick said that film funding had dropped in the United States and Europe since the financial crisis, but that international players like China were stepping in. “Some doors close, other doors open,” he said.

Michael Hayes, founder of Prolific Pictures, set up a sales agency in California more than a year ago, with the goal of selling quality titles. His Cannes booth advertised “Battle Rattle,” about a war veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and “At the End of the Day,” about a conservative Christian professor trying to stop the opening of a shelter for L.G.B.T. youth.

Hayes said that Cannes was the best international market to be at, despite the expense, because buyers “know where we are: We’re in a directory, we’re on the map, our name is on the marquee.”

He said that colleagues were “feeling frustrated” because video on demand was putting pressure on the price per film, but, for his part, “as long as buyers show up, we’ll continue to come.”

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