Festival Blog

Festival Countdown

Sat 26/09/09 16:24

Rory O'Donnell, the tireless print traffic co-ordinator, hard at work at his desk Saturday afternoon - when he could have been out sun-tanning. Such a gorgeous day in London

Festival Fever Grips Raindance

Wed 16/09/09 14:55

Constant clicking of the keyboards, ringing of the telephones, and chattering of voices create a rather newsroom chaotic feel in the basement office of Raindance—despite the similar drone of the keystrokes, quite the opposition to the calm, relaxed atmosphere of the fourth floor, window-clad office of Raindance TV, my new home. 

With sunshine shining through the windows of my office (only shared by one other intern!) at this very moment, the idea of working in an underground office seems rather dismal. However, the hustle and bustle commotion of Raindance emits a rather exciting, under pressure feeling that I thrive under. Both spaces, though quite different, provide for a unique, welcoming workplace.

Prior to starting as an intern at Raindance TV, my nerves took the best of me and my thoughts  wondered to the worst possibilities—running frivolous errands, making countless copies, fetching coffee and lunch. Would I become Anne Hathaway in the Devil Wears Prada, working under the tyrant Meryl Streep? I hoped not, but I certainly feared it.

After my first day at the office, my worries subsided. Friendly, helpful boss, a  sense of actually being needed rather than an inconvenience, and constantly learning new things—what more could I ask for? Being a new intern at Raindance TV makes me one lucky newbie. Not to mention, the no dress code. Anywhere I can wear jeans is alright by me.

In only a few weeks time at Raindance TV, I've gotten a feel for the company through daily interaction with employees and work on several projects. My first experience at an event, The Big Lunch Short Film Competition awards party, gave me a glimpse into both Raindance and Raindance TV. It seemed to me that the company motto should be work hard, play hard. As the awards concluded, the celebration continued at a nearby for a little after party celebration. I never would have anticipated my favorite night out in London thus far to be a work party!

I cannot wait to find out what the next three months have in store for me...


Inglorious Basterds

Taking a 'day off'
Thu 21/05/09 06:33

A bunch of us took a day off and did a side trip to the ancient sea side town of Antibes. We ate ice cream, drank rose, had a free tour of the amazing Picasso Museum and arrived back just in time for 6pm post-Cannes drinks with the staff of Hanway Films - our sales agent friends whose London office is literally around the corner from outs.

View from the Hanway Office

I notived a lot of limos below and swarms of people haeding towards te Palais. It was the start of the cavalcade of stars to the Inglorious Basterds screening. 

The mighty Questin arrives

Sadly, it was impossibe to get anywhere near the Croissette - there were hundreds and hundreds of fans. I managed to slip into the Majestic and saw the Man Himself arrive on a large flatscreen in the lobby - along with about 50 other rubberneckers.

Quite impressive.

Cannes is nearly over for another year. Despite all the negativity surrounding this years festival, the sales agents I know are pretty pleased with teh results.

On Sunday the winner of the Palm d'Or will be announced. My guess is that it will be Taking Woodstock or Inglorious Basterds.


Cannes 09 Attendence Down?

Check out this happening party an hour in...
Tue 19/05/09 07:20

Well, it got a bit busier later...

Everyone here is complaining about how quiet Cannes is this year - and we have certainly noticed that the expensive joints are really quiet.

Yesterday's Raindance party was a hit, however. Located at one of the few remaining and truly french bistros in the Old Town - over 100 filmmakers from all over the world joined the staff of Raindance for networking drinks. We were really pleased with the feedback.


Prostitutes and Church reading

looking for 314 bitches
Tue 19/05/09 07:18

After a small blag for a party invite at a pavilion, Elliot, Suzanne and I ended up on the Majestic Beach at a party so exclusive it was dead. Elliot liked to describe as 'like sitting in church' - you could hear your footsteps.

On my way to the Weinstein party last night, I spent forever trying to find the 314 Club, and arriving at the club/Hotel, despite ignorant staff, bumped into some friends who advised there was a 314 bitches club. After asking a handfull of people if they knew where this was, somebody exclaimed 'oooh BEACHES!'...

Talking about Majestic, if you have an iphone or blackberry with bluetooth, turn it on anytime after 1pm, and you'll inundated with hookers messaging from across the room. I find it funny, but maybe you're into that, just don't tell me about it...

That guy who sold his life on ebay is in Cannes selling himself again.

A photographer friend was being really pathetic almost crying yesterday waiting to catch a glimpse of Ken Loach for the newspaper. Ken's receiving rave reviews for his new film Looking For Eric!

We're off to meetings now, whilst some friends are off to sleep through their hangover in a meeting.

Find us in the Media Pavilion if you're around.


Ken Loach Stirs Cannes

Finding Eric Scores
Tue 19/05/09 07:05

Crowds lining up to see Raindance patron and indie auteur Ken Loach on Monday 18 May

Ken Loach and Eric Cantona might be the Awkward Squad of filmmaking, but judging by the bittersweet humour and moments tof true passion, this terrific film may indeed find American distribution.

A total departure for Loach - who is always finding new ways to inspire. 

Cannes '09: Up or Down

Recession or no Recession
Sun 17/05/09 19:20

It's Elliot here. I have been burning the clock meeting dozens of filmmakers from all over the world who want me and the Raindance team to look at their work and consider it for the 17th edition of the festival. The standard of work we have seen so far is exceptionally high, and choosing this year's festival lineup is going to be difficult.

Getting a reliable internet connection from Cannes is notoriously difficult, BTW!

This year is definately quieter. I have been attending since 1995, and I can't remember such a quiet Sunday. There seem to be about a third fewer market screenings, although I havent done the mathematical research.

With less hoopla, its actually better - its a lot easier to see people and set up meetings. And after all, everyone attending the Cannes Film Fetival is more interested in getting their movies made and seen, than worry about whether or not a restaurant sells its target quota of canapés.

Cannes is great this year.


Verbal Diarrhea, Tarantino and Hangovers

n' Schmoozin
Sun 17/05/09 13:38

The one thing I really hate about Cannes every year, is how full of tripe so many attendees can be. For some strange reason, out of anybody not working at the festival (ie: in the market, hotel offices, or pavilions), almost 90% have no reason to be here. I've met a few filmmakers who every year return to Cannes with a new supposed project 'in development', or with a film 'to sell' so old that the BFI is close to archiving them. Some of these guys run around pretending to be a Mr Grand Fromage, making out they're off to meetings (with their right hand I'm assuming?), which is why I increasingly believe that albeit the glam of Cannes, festivals like Berlin, Toronto or even Rotterdam are the festivals where serious filmmakers or practioners attend and seal deals.

Even worse is the fact that most of those ninety odd percent congregate solely in the UK Film Centre which really doesn't help the brits meet people who could actually make a difference.

Yesterday Quention Tarantino was caught out by a flood of fans at the screening of Jane Campion's Bright Star, that security had to interfere to remove them from the cinema! Strangely half the room was asleep hungover from a late night of partying.

How to turn people down from parties

Sun 17/05/09 08:11

Do you ever get tired of people asking what you're doing 'later'? Ever not been sure whether to lie and play it down, or go through the hassle of inviting them?

After many years trying and testing at Cannes, here's one for you:

Ask Them First!

They'll get the impression you want to crash their gig (if any), and you'll never need to lie again.

Body Parts Dipped In Hot-Tub

And Midget Dancing
Sun 17/05/09 08:05

Running off to meetings this morning and trying to recollect what happened last night. Elliot turned into a pigeon (see image below), a girl in a wedding dress was dancing in the sand with a midget, and when somebody spilt their coke on Rory, he washed it off in a giant glass hot tub.

I received an invite to "A Prophet" after party at a Villa up the hill from a photographer friend but the Belgian Party was just too crazy to leave!

Elliot Grove, Director of Raindance Film Festival, updating the weekly e-zine

Belgian Party


Feeding Grace

Free croissants, biscuits and nespressos
Sat 16/05/09 17:01

Our fabulous intern Grace joined us on the Croisette today, in time for the Raindance tour. In meetings later she was so hungry she lunched on the free biscuits in the Media Pavilion...

Cannes seems to have picked up speed this year, and Saturday being the busiest day meant queues all around. I forgot how desperate many seem to be to get party invites - so much so I've stopped answering my phone. If anything I'm as likely as any to blag my way into anywhere for a glass and a canape. This year though I don't seem to have seen any champagne and there's definitely fewer yachts out at the sea.

Our friends at WFTV also organised a fab talk with Tessa Ross in the UK Film Centre - who was recently recognised as one of the 100 most influential people this year (Time Magazine). They will be hosting their international reception on Tuesday.

Bright Star and Precious are some of the hot tips for this year.

2pm on Tuesday, at the Majestic Bar, the 'Filmmaker's Network' is also organising an informal drink do, open to all.

Free coffee


Georgian Screening

and the world famous Raindance Tour
Sat 16/05/09 07:47

Today at 3pm you can catch a screening of the top picks from Georgia at the Majestic!

But, we're also hosting a Cannes Tour for first timers, 11am Palais Entrance (outside security checks).


Premiere Journee

It's nice in Nice
Sat 16/05/09 07:38

We arrived in Cannes to a delightfully rainy day. I'm not too sure why everybody was so excited, at least if it was going to be anything like last year!

Arriving down on the Croisette one thing was instantly noticeable: the Americans were back! Last year saw a huge fall in numbers, but more importantly a drop in film sales. We could instantly notice the American Pavilion's crowds queuing up for a talk, but without further adue we collected our accreditation, ghasped at the disgusting new Cannes bags (they get uglier every year) and rushed to Japan Pavilion to see friends.

In all honesty, I didn't expect that on the first night there I'd bump into so many people, or for that matter attend so many impromtu parties; Czech/Slovak Drinks, Mexican Happy Hour, Japanese Happy Hour, the Toronto Party and the Japanese Party.

Every evening the Short Film Corner seems to host a Happy Hour at about 5pm, and the short of cash filmmakers stuff themselves with the bowls of crisps, haribos and peanuts - but it's still one of the best places to meet people if you're ever on a loose end!




The Cannes 2009 Image Revealed

Tue 12/05/09 14:49

This tear's Cannes Festival is all set to go for another year of frenzied film feeding.

  The recession has meant that there are less than half the parties compared to last year.

   Have you checked out our Cannes Party Planner?

    If you don't have an invite, you might actually have to watch some films!

    Are you a newbie to Cannes? Try our Cannes Survival Guide = packed with tons of useful stuff including contact details of al the Brits in Cannes.


Top Tips Cannes 2009

Tue 12/05/09 13:49

Take a pair of comfortable shoes and some foot spray. Seriously.

Richard Holmes, Managing Director Kruger Films

Hang out with a friend who has been there many times and they will bring you up to speed. Befriend people but be able to understand when someone wants you to shut up and move on. Find an apartment centrally.

Phil Hunt, Director, Chunky Monkey

Every year I go to Cannes I see a lot of ill prepared young ‘movie entrepreneurs’. Some carry

scripts, some carry video tapes, some carry DVDs of their work. Few have meetings, even fewer have meetings with people who can make the difference. If you go to Cannes without a focus and without a plan you will end up being and feeling rejected and downhearted. It’s just my opinion but Cannes is not a place to come to make contacts. Ideally it is a place to go to once you have already made contacts so that it is easier to be introduced and mix with the right people. If you are a writer or a filmmaker, stay home, put your money into your script or film, make it as good as it can be. Do not think what Cannes can do for you, but what you can do for Cannes.

Alberto Lopez, Senior Accountant Executive, Variety

1. Take one finished, cast-and-financing-friendly project that you own. Be prepared to prove chain of title.

2. Be willing to swim to Corsica to make the film. Make it clear to all you meet that this is the most important film to ever be made and that it cured disease and save lives and inspire children and make grown adults weep and you will make this film or die. Mellow doesn’t work. In Cannes, there are no lights under the bushels.

3. Know which film business you 1) want to be in and b) are actually in. Micro-indie? Mega-major? Guerilla indie? Mini-major? Euro auteur? Studio hack? Figure it out before you arrive.

4. Why will your project enrich anyone you meet? They won’t want to waste time with you unless you can clearly answer this question. Is it for their street cred or their wallet or their relationships with actors or their deep, longing need to save the world? No one cares about what’s in it for you. What will it do for them?

5. Whose life is it anyway? You are there to make someone else rich and/or famous or beloved or all of the above. Who is it? Why? Do your homework (Raindance/Variety etc) and know how the hell the business works before you open your mouth. If not, don’t open your mouth, just them your card and your script and smile like you have Paris Hilton’s private number.

Steven Gaydos, Executive Editor Variety

1. Book your accommodation in advance (now!) and, if possible, stay central. Screenings and

parties go late into the evening plus it’s always nice to have your accommodation easily

accessible so you drop things off, take power naps & get changed for the formal screenings

without having to worry about travelling back and forth. Cannes has hostels, flats and

reasonably priced hotels. If you are unable to book anywhere central look to the surrounding

areas Cannes La Bocca, Vallarius, Le Cannet, Antibes, Juan Les Pins, Mougins and Golge


2. You need to sort out accreditation. Do this before you go! You are not allowed into the Palais or the village without accreditation.

3. Try to arrange some of your meetings BEFORE you arrive in Cannes as everyone has very

busy schedules although be ready for the impromptu meetings too. Meetings are not just to

introduce yourself but to discuss specific projects – be prepared!

4. If you have a film to screen book a screening well in advance and try to screen it at the

Market (ie: in the Palais) so you will be taken seriously. If possible take your film to Cannes

with sales agents.

5. Book your airline ticket to Nice well in advance as the prices go up dramatically closer to the start of the festival. From the Nice airport you can take a bus/coach directly to Cannes. The

bus stop in Cannes is right near the Croisette – it is very central. This is the most affordable

and convenient way (besides cab or limo!) to travel to and from the airport.

6. When you arrive in Cannes, check into accommodation and head for the Palais on the

Croisette where all the action is!

7. You can walk to all screenings as it all happens within a few blocks of the Palais. Bring

appropriate shoes for dashing between meetings and screenings during the day but bring

formal/black tie wear for the evening red carpet screenings in the Palais, as it is required,

and if you aren’t dressed properly you will not be allowed in.

8. When choosing a restaurant avoid eating anywhere with menus in English or multiple

languages ie: tourist traps and stay off the over priced Croisette. Take time to eat meals and

drink lots of water as you don’t want a day wasted due to a hangover!

9. You should be aware of pickpockets and your personal belongings especially when you are out in the evening networking at parties. Never let your mobile out of sight. One of the worse things that can happen to you at the festival is a lost mobile.

10. Network! Visit the International Village, especially your country’s pavilion for support and info re events/seminars. Can’t sleep after a screening? The Petit Majestic is the perfect place to meet fellow Brit insomniacs.

And enjoy yourself! It’s one the greatest film festivals in the world!

Norma Heyman, legendary producer, Mrs Henderson Presents, Gangster No1.

Where to schmooze? Anywhere in Cannes. Running into people on the street is just a good a place as any.

Johanna von Fischer, British Independent Film Awards

Quick tip: Don't rush to judgment. And remember: not everything is either a peerless masterpiece, nor a grotesque failure. Most films lie in between.

Shane Danielsen (2001-05 Director EIFF)

What to wear? Don't wear anything but the most comfortable shoes you can find. flip flops make you look like more of a pro than stilettos!

Wendy Mitchell, Screen International

Where to eat? In the old town, Le Suquet

Zara Balfour, NPA, Picture on the Wall Prds


Festival accreditation: April 3rd

Press accreditation: March 31st

Market/ Marche Du Film: April 30th (317 Euros), Walk In (380)

Cinephile: 6th March

Producer’s Network: April 10th – 30th Limited to 500 people maximum, capacity

Short Film Corner: April 21st (film has to be received by 21st). Even if you already sent your

film to the short film selection committee of the Festival de Cannes, register it with the Short

Film Corner as well. If your film is selected by the Festival, they will reimburse the fees you

paid to subscribe to the Short Film Corner.


Competition: March 17th

Cinefondation: Feb 16th






Guide to Cannes

Tue 12/05/09 13:27

By Xavier Rashid

I – Before leaving for the airport

First thing’s first: It’s a good idea to clean up your image for Cannes. From Stephen Wooley to

Steven Speilberg, everyone is on a social networking site like Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter.

Unless you’ve restricted your profile, consider binning those naughty. If you’re bragging your way into Cannes, remove your job title of ‘Student Union Barstaff’ and replace it by your newly registered production company name. There’s a good chance that most people will flick through their Cannes business cards after the festival and check up on your credentials.

This might also crop up if you’re buying last minute accreditation: they will want to check and see if you really do work for a company. When applying for different festival accreditation, having your name on a few film-related websites could mean the difference between being granted accreditation or receiving a email asking for confirmation of employment. A friend of mine was once asked to send her company’s end of year Annual Accounts Return certified by her bank.

Meanwhile, some companies might ask for your business card before offering you a party invite, asking you to return later or offering to contact you back. In this time, they’ll Google your information.

When you get to the airports


From the second you exit the tube or cab, your schmoozing cap is on. Any plane, terminal or bag drop-off queue is likely to be filled with industry executives. A couple years ago British Airways overbooked and whilst replacing my ticket/complaining at the Customer Services desk, I was joined by members of PACT. 2 hours later I was seated next to a sponsor of the ‘Death Proof’ yacht party and offered an invite.


The cheapest and easiest way to get to Cannes is by buying an open return coach ticket. These cost about 30 euros return and leave almost every 10 minutes from all terminals taking almost 40 minutes. Cabs will set you back about 100 euros. If you book a 3 person helicopter in advance, to and from the Cannes heliport would cost you about £30 a head and takes 10 minutes.

II- Where to stay?

During the two weeks of May the festival attracts over 60,000 visitors and hotel or villa prices soar at times over 500%. Accommodation prices descend the further from the Croisette and are oftenbooked out months or even years in advanced. Many flats are furthermore taken over to install temporary offices /accommodation for sales agents, PR companies and distributors.

The advantage of nearby accommodation is not worrying about returning to your flat to shower or change. If you stay further out, even with the option of catching a cab you are likely to save yourself a small fortune.

Cannes la Bocca is one of the most popular alternative locations: it is a short bus ride in the

morning (rush hour), however, much cheaper and with a wealth of hotel options available (Les Agapanthes resort for instance is strongly recommended).

Mandelieu la Napoule is slightly further away. I was offered a room in a converted castle which came in at under £200 for the entire week. This was also where Soho House hosted its party last year.

Antibes is even cheaper but a trek away. Some catch the train (last one is about midnight) or bike. Again even including cab fare comes in at a bargain.

You can buy a cheap weekly bus card for fewer than 10 euros for the mornings. The return cab to La Bocca costs about 10 euros.

III- What to bring?

Business Cards: You don’t want to be caught printing these at the local supermarket. Have a

couple hundred printed before leaving; it’s inexpensive and a bare necessity. You will need these to attend certain screenings, you will be asked for these at parties (some invites clearly state ‘RSVP, no entry without invite and business card’) and primarily you will need them when you schmooze.

Mobile: Everyone has a BlackBerry at Cannes and some companies do offer a French mobile

service (usually very expensive).

A spare mobile phone: Useful if you intend on buying a French sim card. Buy this once and keep each year.

Gum/Mints: If you want to meet people, it’s not tough to understand why you might want these

handy. For smokers, Nicorette is essential. France is now smoke free, so don’t be rushing out of venues to catch a smoke, as you might not be allowed back in.

ProPlus: You will undoubtedly wake up hung-over and exhausted at least a couple times. Cannes is about late nights and early mornings, so be prepared!

Umbrella: Cannes is known for its temperamental weather and you’ll usually find a couple rainy spells during the two weeks of the festival. In 2008 it rained every day.

IV- Collecting your accreditation

For those who are accredited, this is an easy process and the staff are usually students doing work experience or part time work for the last two weeks. This should be done the second you arrive as the office closes in the evening.

If you are applying for last minute Accreditation, you can buy 1 or 3 day Market passes on the day. Sometimes industry executives who have been accredited for years will be declined their

accreditation for reasons such as working too heavily in television for the last year. If this is the case, keep in mind that even feature films made especially for television are NOT Cannes material. I knew an oddly dressed Indie filmmaker who was turned down because he wasn’t good at talking to people and looked like a hippie.

There’s a number of different hierarchies in accreditation:

Some are reserved for industry distributors, sales agents, film festival executives, etc. To obtain Short Film Corner accreditation you simply need to submit a short film – these are not selected, so it’s the easiest way to get in.

Some parties or hotels will check your accreditation badge. Hotels such as the Palais Stephanie (previously Noga Hilton) or Majestic are unlikely to authorise Cinephiles and sometimes Press in order to suss out journalists or photographers who might want to interview celebrity guests whilst at the same time retaining its exclusive image.

V- What to Wear?



Suit if you intend on having meetings. Dress smart; you can wear almost anything during the day when there is no dress code, but stay safe rather than sorry. Usually shoes, nice trousers/jeans, a shirt, a blazer in hand and sunglasses is the best option. You can always change later in the day before hitting a party or premiere. Some membership pavilions will allow you a pigeonhole in which you can leave your bag.


Tuxedo. Without exception. Unless you’re important, a celebrity or specially invited, don’t risk an unironed shirt or un-polished shoes. There have been cases where the security check the label. You can get away with a black suit. No trainers.



Anything you like.


A nice evening or cocktail dress. And keep in mind you might want to get changed for the afterparty.

VI- A quick history lesson

Created in 1949 as a response to a Venice Film Festival’s support of fascism under Mussolini,

Cannes was selected from a number of towns but picked due to the then rainy climate in an attempt to develop tourism there, and primarily compete with the Italian festival. Its competing city for selection was Biarritz on the Atlantic Coast. Louis Lumiere, the founder of film (1885) was appointed President of the Jury, whilst claiming Cannes was never intended to compete with Venice, supported by a lucrative secret deal by which both festivals would run in alternating years. This never occurred. By 1968, Cannes Film Festival was enjoying 22 years of growing spotlight. With paparazzi lining the catwalks and the wealthy bourgeois walking the Croisette, it was escaping the reality of turmoil in France. During the film screening in ’68, a number of acclaimed directors and artists stormed the ‘Palais du Festival.’ Le Coup du Cinema swarmed through the gates of the 21st Festival de Cannes and abruptly brought it to a halt. In France students had been protesting against the Gaulist government and their recent decommissioning of the president of the Cinemateque Francaise. Led by the world’s leading film industry members, Francois Truffaut, Louis Malle, Milos Foreman, Roman Polanski and Jean Luc Godard, they held an unannounced press conference. Two days later the festival was annulled. The organisers were taken by alarm cancelling the festival that year. The move resulted in the setting up of the ‘Director’s Fortnight,’ a selection of films

specialising in world cinema and unknowns.

Recently the festival has faced a number of further political tensions with countries such as Iran and Germany, lashing out at the selection. The rivalries often have roots with the very origins in which the festival was created. Dr. Loredana Latil of Sophia Antipolis University explains ‘since the beginning of the century the industrialised States wanted to claim themselves the cultural domains. As a result, cinema became an instrument for the propaganda of totalitarian regimes. Venice did this […] and in 1938 the two dictators (Mussolini and Hitler) shared the winnings. […] In a similar manner, Cannes was set up in France to affirm its position in the international foreign political context.’ Later French politics saw de-favourable films such as ‘The Battle of Algiers’ (Gillo Pontecorvo 1965) and the ‘Small Soldier’ (Jean Luc Godard 1963) banned from Cannes due to their anti-war feelings, ironic considering Cannes’ attempt at positioning itself on the international scene, often screening films banned elsewhere. In 2005 the German government criticised the Cannes official selection, where no German films had been selected. Minister of Culture Michael Naumann

stated his disappointment claiming, “ It would be unacceptable if it was permanently the case that a German film was not accepted for the competition in Cannes.” Cannes enjoys defending itself as a stark representation and defender of culture. And since the war in Germany represented counter culture, or more so, the removal of culture, and in sixty years Cannes has, debatedly, failed to recover from its bitterness.

In 2004 the Palme d’Or was offered to Michael Moore for Fahrenheit 9/11 at a time when France opposed the war in Iraq. The move was labelled controversial and many reporters criticised the award as having been awarded for a film with little artistic merit with one magazine sarcastically citing the prize was ‘surely’ awarded for ‘purely cinematographic criteria’: ‘the humour, the cut, the auteurship etc, but not its political message!’ The day after the awards, the Jury President Quentin Tarantino faced a press conference in which he lashed out at journalists describing the film as ‘peu cinematogaphic.’ A year on the head of the festival Gilles Jacob reaffirmed the prizes be awarded ‘for filmmaking, not politics’ with the jury’s acclaim for that documentary […] out of the ordinary event that probably won’t be repeated.’

Cannes is synonymous with ‘politics’ and for filmmakers and ‘Cannes go-ers’ who enjoy manifesting their opinions; it is wise to stay out of the way. In 2007 a distributor for a London based company was caught out without his accreditation around his neck when de decided to join a little ‘manif’ (protest) near the Croisette. When the gendarmerie arrived he was in for a shock as they began to beat him until he was able to pull his badge out of his pocket before they apologised.

VII – How to bullsh*t your way into parties

This is a favourite topic of Cannes-goers and one I’m still not an expert at. Sometimes you get

invites from having worked or done work experience with companies. Three years ago I simply emailed BBC asking, because I had worked for the BBC Films website that year. I later found out that my invite was worth hundreds on the ‘black market.’ At this same party Tessa Jowell (the then Minister for Culture) had to wait over half an hour because the venue had reached capacity.

One year a colleague had gotten the date wrong and we handed over an invite (that is, for the three of us) only to be welcomed into the Puerto Rico party. You’ll also find many sales agents organise these and would invite you if you are in conversation with them. Elsewhere, just try and look confident. If you have a reason to be there or if you are with an invited friend, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Keep in mind that parties are nonetheless often restricted. A two hour party on a beach costs over £40,000 for 250 guests, and that’s over £170 per person—so don’t expect to be selective!

At the same time, parties should not be your reason to go to Cannes. If you are there to network, fund or sell your film—or even watch films—then you are more likely to obtain invites by doing this, not by gate-crashing (or attempting) to crash parties in a successive order.

Several London based members clubs such as Century, Soho House, M1NT and Groucho set up temporary clubs in villas or beach tents at Cannes. If you have a membership or temporary Cannes membership to these you are then allowed into any party hosted there. These can set you back several hundred pounds, but is refunded if you are invited to join the members club.

Two years ago I was about to catch a late night cab (after 1 hour wait) when two women ran up asking for a lift. They turned out to be executives from one of Germany’s leading production houses an invited me to the New Line Cinema party and launch for the Golden Compass.

Also in 2007, BBC Film, Brit Film, Film London and some other Brit company all hosted their party at the same time. For two hours everybody hopped from one to the other.

In some cases it’s a good idea to surf the web an contact companies directly regarding invites: the worst that can happen is being told ‘no.’ In most cases, those publicised online (Screen, Variety and the Hollywood Reporter usually have a list) are likely to be the biggest and least likely to offer an invite. Don’t publicise that you’re desperate for an invite, but if you feel you have a reason to attend (did work experience, worked part time with the companies) then your email is likely to be well received.

One handy trick is to know your PR staff! There aren’t many companies specialising in film in the UK so know their faces, eg:

Freud Communications, McDonald & Rutter merged with Premier PR, The PR Contact, DDA Public Relations, Greenroom Digital, Digital Outlook:

IX- The Cannes Dailies

Everyday Variety and Screen International and the Hollywood Reporter publish their free journal for pick up at the entrances to the pavilions and the film market. These include the summary of up to date news, recent sales, screenings, parties, photographs, etc.

You might want to keep a few of these magazines, the sales agents’ production releases or kits, the books you might have picked up, etc. For these you can find a DHL or ‘La Poste’ (post office) in the basement of the Film Market. Sending parcels back to London are much cheaper than paying the surplus in the airport.

XIII - Food and Drink

It’s been known for people to do the full two weeks spending zero quid on food and drink: it is

possible to eat nothing but what’s offered at the numerous ‘networking breakfasts’, cocktail parties, receptions, lunches and evening parties or after parties. There are however a number of excellent restaurants in the back streets of the Rue d’Antibes at reasonable prices. Le Petit Majestic also serves until the early morning.

XIV - Football

It is possible to watch the big matches in Cannes. You’ll be surprised at the number of industry members wearing their football t-shirts down the Croisette and some fly back especially to watch the games (returning that same evening). The UK clubs usually have screens (M1NT or Century) during which time you probably won’t need a membership. Elsewhere the Irish Pub near the train station screens most games. These are easy opportunities to network since you’ll have in common with the other fans.

XV - The International Village

The ‘Village International’ welcomes over a hundred different countries hosting their national pavilion on the beach, yards away from the Marche du Film. On one side you will find the largest industries including the British, French, Canadian, Indian and American pavilions. The American Pavilion is the only non-government funded one and requires a membership at a fee of approx £25 for the duration of the festival: for this you can reserve places at their guest talks (usually excellent) and usually have free drinks. You can also grab a Kodak Pavilion pass for free (in exchange for a business card) which offers the same advantage. The UK and Media Pavilions also have meeting space, internet access, a bar, a number of sponsored ‘happy hours’ and promotional material including studios, funding programmes etc. The Media Pavilion requires a membership which includes a pigeon hole, free croissant and coffee daylong, and a room to stock your suitcase or pile of material collected at the Film Market.

XVI – And Finally

Cannes Film Festival has been the world’s leading film festival for six decades. The town of 70,000 welcomes over 40,000 industry, press and cinephiles. Cannes is the only place a film student would be asked to write an essay on ‘why do you deserve accreditation?’ to receive one, and classifies accreditation badges under over 20 different levels of hierarchy.

Expect sleepless nights, controversy, partying and deception, walking out of screenings or

journalists booing at the end of them.

Good luck, and don’t forget to join us for a tour on the Saturday 16th May, 11am.

We are looking at Submissions

Fri 17/04/09 15:54

What have you got?

We are looking for shorts features and documentaries.

Early deadline in May 1st

Final Deadline is June 19

Submission details are here