FRANCE

Far from the spotlight at the Cannes Film Festival

The beach at Cannes yesterday. Photo: "G-Rome" on Flickr From our Observers on the scene, we're following the international film festival in Cannes. Not the stars, but young actors, directors and film addicts who are taking part in the prestigious event for the first time. Here, a young filmmaker who has come to promote his short film and a student who spends all day attending projections and all night in quest of a party invite.

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The beach at Cannes yesterday. Photo: "G-Rome" on Flickr

From our Observers on the scene, we're following the international film festival in Cannes. Not the stars, but young actors, directors and film addicts who are taking part in the prestigious event for the first time. Here, a young filmmaker who has come to promote his short film and a student who spends all day attending projections and all night in quest of a party invite.

"Summer blockbusters don’t need attention at Cannes!"

Nick Plowman is a student from Johannesburg, South Africa. He runs the blog Fataculture.

I don't think Cannes is as influential this as it has been. All the high profile movies in the festival mean that it's nothing different from the other hundreds of film festivals out there. It needs to get its focus back onto smaller films that are actually in the competition, which are getting pushed aside. Summer blockbusters don't need attention at Cannes! Hopefully enough people will have a bad enough reaction to films like Indiana Jones and Kung Fu Panda being fussed over that things will change next year. I also think that having Sean Penn and Natalie Portman on the jury will help, as they are more concerned about smaller arts films."

"Yesterday, I worked from half nine in the morning until half eleven at night"

Jonathan Kugel is an intern for the "Un Certain Regard" selection at Cannes.

"For my work I have to accompany the film crews to their "photocall" - the photo shoot when they stand on a terrace in the festival palace. I never stop. Yesterday, I worked from half nine in the morning until half eleven at night. I do it because I'm passionate about film - I study it at the Sorbonne. I must be mad because we only get paid €300 for the fortnight and we have to find housing with that too.

 

For now it's going well. The film crews that are part of Un Certain Regard are rarely stars, so they don't look down on you, even if they are very demanding, like everyone here. This morning I had to get Michel Gondry and we got stuck at security because he didn't have the right badge. He didn't get angry though and carried on having a laugh. Nice guy."

"The hardest part is getting into the parties"

Vincent Dozol, a politics student in Lyon, is at the festival as a tourist with members of his association Bobinophile.

"I'm at the festival with three friends. We've always dreamed of coming to Cannes so we wanted to find out what it's all about. It's not far from what we thought, just smaller. The steps for example - you get the impression the place massive on the TV, when in fact there's not enough space.

 

We were able to get accreditation thanks to our association, so we can watch projections too. Not the big ones in the festival palace; but the smaller ones shown nearby. To see the films in the competition, you have to fall in with the right crowd. We met a guy who was well connected and had plenty of tickets. Then we got some from people who had passes but weren't dressed well enough, so we took their places. I keep my tuxedo and bow-tie on all the time. Nothing special, but it gets me in.

Our programme is really busy. We try to see five pieces a day, and the last one finishes at 2am. Then it's on to the hardest part - getting into the parties. They're all private. You have to have an invitation and I don't know how to get in with the jet set to get hold of one. But I'm sure we'll find a way to have fun."

"I'm hoping to accost people"

Cedrick Spinassou, 29, has come to Cannes to promote his short film, Jour blanc

"I came to the festival with my co-screenwriter and our PR representative. We've rented an apartment half a mile away. We're at the event to get contacts and show the film to professionals. Jour blanc will be shown in the "short film corner" with 2000 other productions. It's on the second floor of the festival palace. There are interactive access points where producers, directors, etc. can come to watch the films. If they're interested in a piece they can find out who's behind it thanks to these access points.

I've just got here so I don't know what it will be like. But I'm hoping to accost people at the festival to show them Jour blanc. I've prepared flyers, DVDs and t-shirts to give out. I hope I'm going to succeed in convincing producers to take an interest in my film."

The trailer for Jour blanc.