Cannes Film Festival 2010 diary


The festival started in a muted atmosphere with a feeling of uncertainty as the coast had just recovered from a freak storm that had devastated the beachfront. Thankfully there was enough time for it to be ready to go.

Hopping over to the UK Film Tent after getting our badges was our priority to scope out what films to see, and where to get the all important free wifi access. The Ampav tent, despite the 10 euro daily fee was amusing to get into and to see what kind of people were attending this year. A smaller American presence than the previous year was notable, and many cancelled their trips due to the volcano.

I met some fantastic people over the course of the festival from journalists to producers and our team joined in the fun taking great pictures and films. A special thanks to Dom Dandrige from the UK, Jay Schroeder and Jessica de Oliviera from the US who helped us plan and film interviews in various hotspots at parties, on the beach, in hotels and elsewhere.

This was our first year as a network with a crew on the ground, and so we made the most of it, scheduling interviews, and some improvised to cap off the 10 days. Interviews will be made available shortly through our new channel.

I have to say I didn t expect the interviews to go as well as they did and it was inspiring to meet people who were behind some of the biggest films, and to really get to see who are the successful people in various parts of our industry. Too often mainstream media doesn t give any light to those that are integral to making movies and music videos happen, so it was a privilege to get that knowledge and expert opinion from working professionals.

Who could forget the SFC happy hour at 5pm? Short and documentary filmmakers squeezed into the bright green space to take a few beers and share their journeys in making their films. A lot of the filmmakers we spoke with were from Europe, with a very small presence from Bollywood.

Unfortunately our scheduled Film Industry Network meetup had to be cancelled due to a storm on the day. It was a great shame as many people were looking forward to a good networking opportunity. We will make up for it!

The market was also toned down, with production companies really cutting back on their promotional staff and sales people. Spanish filmmakers were rare to find unlike previous years where it seemed they had taken over parts of the festival with their events.

Moving on to the parties, it seemed like there was the usual flair of variety but lacking in scale. Everything was toned down. We drove up to the Villa de Rothschild (I think its called that) and converged onto a mini concert/ drinks promo with people giving out shots of absinthe mixed with a vile concoction (according to those who dared drinking it).

Where was Hollywood? Usually big names are talked about throughout the festival, but like many media agencies said it was very difficult to even get interviews with those who usually attend. This only exacerbated the situation of the already fragile entertainment journalism industry and will no doubt adversely affect big movies trying to get promotion in the future. Even though the festival has many big names in the Out of Competition selection, the hype was non-existent, bland, and the stars that attended the festival were generally not seen.

The independent film community was very much present, but it seemed that the festival had cut accreditations to a large portion of up and coming talent which soured the mood leaving those with only a string of credits in attendance. The balance it seemed was far from what we had seen in previous years. As the film industry crosses many cultures and boundaries, for the festival to deny people who are just entering the business defeats the purpose of a film festival, which is supposed to be open and transparent. No longer will Cannes be seen as a festival of opportunity , but one of status.

film industry network members