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Morris Ruskin

Morris Ruskin

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Doing Glamorous Business at the Cannes Film Festival

Posted: 05/19/11 08:37 PM ET

I did not see Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie but I did hear the crowd roaring from the confines of our sales booth. I did not see the fireworks but I did hear the thunderous explosions outside as we were still busy late at night closing deals inside. There were plenty of pyrotechnics but these were as a result of a booming business. Yes, the market for independent films is back and in a big way: I haven't seen it this electric in many, many years.

We produce movies and manage writers and directors but, most importantly, we sell movies around the world, territory by territory. In some cases we are even able to sell rights before the film is made. Pre-sales help finance films but because there was so much product on the market, pre-sales had been scarce over the last several years. That all changed in Cannes this year.

As studios focus on tentpole productions, there is an opportunity for independent films to fill the gap. Yesterday I had breakfast with producer of The King's Speech and lunch with the producer of The Kids Are All Right. These two films have made over $400 million collectively at the box office, with a lot more to come from homevideo, TV and VOD, and are signposts of independent cinema's recovery.

Yes, there is a lot of pizzaz and glitz in Cannes but there are also a lot of people working hard to buy, sell and market movies. It's good to be able to report that the business side of show business is beginning to look glamorous once again.