Originally posted on Variety:

The Cannes Film Festival will be dispensing awards to filmmakers this week, but they don’t give awards to dealmakers.

Yet as international co-financing pacts grow ever more complex and ubiquitous, the negotiators, not just the cineastes, occupy centerstage. And filmmakers these days worry less about their scripts than about their bridge, gap and mezzanine financing — not to mention their foreign pre-sales, rebates and tax credits.

Talk to members of the dealmaking fraternity and you learn that the market landscape has been changing in subtle ways. Buyers around the world are no longer intoxicated by star casting; they like high concepts in Russia and Brazil, too. Raunchy comedies seem to travel worldwide, as do horror pictures. And digital rights have become an obsession, especially in Asia.

International pre-sales are so important that a company like Stuart Ford’s IM Global (partially owned by giant Reliance of India) self-finances six or seven…

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