FRANCE

The Cannes caste system

Our Observers at the Cannes Film Festival - a young director in search of contacts and a cinema enthusiast on a film-binge - tell us about their experiences. First observation: you don't get very far if you're not part of the posse.

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Photo: "elsapresse" on Flickr

Our Observers at the Cannes Film Festival - a young director in search of contacts and a cinema enthusiast on a film-binge - tell us about their experiences. First observation: you don't get very far if you're not part of the posse.

"I get the feeling that people who know people are favoured over those with talent"

Cedrick Spinassou, 29, hopes to find a producer at the festival to finance his projects. He's promoting his film at the Short Film Corner.

I'm a bit disappointed with the Short Film Corner [a space in the palace where budding artists can show their creations]. There are too many films on show [over 2000] and not enough professionals here. Producers don't come here - there are other things to be doing in Cannes. I haven't met anyone who wants to come to see my film; they all ask for a DVD copy to be sent to Paris instead. I don't think these access panels [where visitors can get in contact with authors] work. I looked at the stats on mine, and I'd only had 21 visits in three days!

The only way to meet interesting people here is to be introduced by someone. I'm originally an engineer; my parents aren't part of that world. I just want to show what I'm capable of, but I get the feeling that people who know people are favoured over those with talent here. I have met some people though, especially in the evenings, and I hope that will serve me well in the long term."

"The festival works by feudal system"

Vincent Dozol, a politics student in the south of France, is at the festival as a tourist with members of his association Bobinophile. In his last post, he told us about his struggle to find tickets to the film projections.

I heard the president of the festival, Giles Jacob, say yesterday that Cannes is above-all for critics and cinema-enthusiasts. I don't get that impression. Those who come to do business at the festival are given an open access and queue-jump pass to every showing while we cinema enthusiasts can only go to the mini-projections outside the festival.

The festival works with a feudal system based on the pass you're given. There are those who have everything and those who are shunned from almost everything. For example, yesterday my friends and I waited half an hour to see The Third Wave. We'd managed to get hold of invitations and we were sure we'd get it. But we were refused. There seem to be two types of invitations - one with a big R which gets you in automatically, and then the ones we've got, which means you can enter if there are any places left. Next to us in the queue was the American actress Faye Dunawaye. She didn't have either invitation, but she had a word with the bouncers and they let her in anyway."