Monday, May 29, 2006

And the award goes to ....

The winner of the Palme D'Or last night was Ken Loach for "The Wind that Shakes the Barley" - yay, a British film maker wins for the first time since Mike Leigh ten years ago. And Andrea Arnold got the Jury award, hoorah for her. Best director was Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for "Babel", and Pedro Almodovar got best screenplay for "Volver", which also won the best actress award for its ensemble of women including Penelope Cruz.

All the awards are here at the offical website:
http://www.festival-cannes.org/index.php?langue=6002

The site has clips from all the press conferences and photocalls too, it's quite funny watching them now I'm back, and thinking "ooh, I was there for that film!"

I have to say I'm surprised that "Barley" won, not because its not a good film (it's a very good film with stand-out performances from Cillian Murphy and Padraic Delaney) but last week all the buzz was around "Babel" and "Volver".

So, Stacie wanted numbers and Viv wanted my awards, so here's my very personal summary of the festival:

Films seen: 21
Business cards gathered: 29 (a pretty feeble number, but 6 will get "let's do business" follow ups, and I'll do 9 "it was good to meet you, let's keep in touch" emails)
Receptions: 5
Parties: 2
People met: too numerous to even begin to count

Best film in competition: "Babel" (but bear in mind I didn't see them all)
Favourite film: a tie between "Paris Je T'aime" and "Ten Canoes"
Best actor: Daniel Bruhl
Best laugh out loud moment: "Over The Hedge" when the gas cylinder kicks in;
Most tears shed: over Juliette Binoche's performance in "Paris Je T'aime"

Best food: Moule frites at Chez Freddies, and spinach salad at the American pavilion

Things I learned:
- Robert Downey Jr is very funny;
- Keanu Reeves is very tall and very funny;
- it is possible to see three films a day for several consecutive days, and yet remain sane (you may disagree with the sane bit);
- comfortable shoes are the most important thing you can pack;
- always take more business cards out with you than you think you will need;
- you will never understand the ticketing system, so just give up and accept that some parts of the universe are random;
- take whatever tickets you get offered - it might be a dud, it might be the best film you've ever seen, but one way or another it will be a good experience;
- people in Cannes want to talk, that's why they're there - so say "hi" to everyone you meet even if all they did was ask you if they might share your table at lunch;
- almost everyone walks into their pavilion on their first day to find it heaving with people deep in conversation, and thinks "what am I doing here? I'm the only one who knows no-one";
- the faster you learn that in fact most people feel the same, and most people want to get into conversations, the faster you'll start to enjoy yourself;
- say "yes" more than you normally would;
- eat when you get the chance.

High spots:
- sitting on the beach by the UK pavilion at happy hour, having a beer with people who are all film nuts;
- walking up the red carpet for the first time ever;
- hearing those magic words "I'd love to read your script";
- listening to Richard Linklater talk about writing and making films;
- watching almost as many films as I could ever want in a day.

Regrets:
- being too tired to appreciate "Scanner" after looking forward to it for so long;
- burning my shoulder on Saturday, despite sun cream;
- not seeing more films - wish I'd seen "Volver", "Jindabyne", "The Page Turner", and a few British romcoms that were in the market;
- no-one fell in love with me - the only one of my pre-Cannes targets I didn't achieve;
- I have to wait almost a year before I can do it again.

And now all I have to do is go through Darren's emails and finalise the forms for our funding application for "Echoes" so we can hit the Wednesday deadline. At least I know a bit more about being a producer now. And I met a short film distributor in Cannes who told me to get back in touch when we'd made the film - forgot to mention that bit earlier. Now all we need is the money. And I need to unpack. And cut the grass, which is so high I could hide standing up.

Cannes photos will follow shortly.

6 Comments:

Blogger Viv said...

Youhaveadistributor!!! How can you miss out such a vital piece of information?! That is such good news.

I do like the look of the numbers :) Anyway, its the quality of the business card/contact that matters, not the number.

3:46 pm  
Blogger Stacie said...

Good counts and interesting choices! It was so much fun to follow your adventures!

Must run. Resume to edit....

9:04 pm  
Blogger Mollywags said...

A fascinating analysis of the Cannes experience. Many thanks. You could use this blog as a promotional tool in persuading a paper next year to appoint you theier Cannes correspondent. Hope you've got your bid in ok. Now the mystery of an earlier comment makes sense. Is it still possible to invest in British films - after the rules changes the other year and things like that Tulip film by D Moggach got put on hold.
Good luck with the grass. You might need to buy a goat!
Love from us.

4:09 pm  
Blogger Dom Carver said...

I just wandered in and thought I might as well practice for next years Cannes.

Hi, who the bloody hell are you??????

How was that?

2:33 am  
Blogger haze_e said...

In reply to Dom. She's a writer, producer and in demand at Cannes! Watch this space and see her name in lights / on the screen in the not too distant future! Well done S, you got so much from your manic time at the festival, I so can't wait to hear the next installment and how all the followups go! lol Lizzzz xx

10:54 pm  
Blogger Optimistic_Reader said...

It's been interesting to read about your experiences on the Croisete Sal - think it is my idea of hell (sun and schmoozing are two of my least favourite things) but well done to you for getting out there and enjoying it. I'll be interested to hear about how things pan out post-Cannes.

12:25 am  

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