In 2016 Greenwave Promotions Ltd were pleased to take on a project management role in the 69th Cannes Film Festival, managing a national pavilion from the successful tender stage through to completion of the event.
Some of the Films at Cannes Film Festival 2016
Around The Festival
Cannes and Environs
Woody Allen attended, with his film Café Society opening the 2016 Festival (screened out of competition), while British director Ken Loach’s film I, Daniel Blake won the Palme d’Or. Allen, (probably wisely) appeared to keep a low profile, away from the madding crowds and the paparazzi. Anyway, we didn’t see him, but then we are not celebrity-chasers.
Finnlsh director Juho Kuosmanen’s film The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki won first prize in the section called Un Certain Regard, which showcases young film makers and innovative films.
The Festival, a particularly important showcase for European films, thrives on controversy. In 2015 several women were turned away from the red carpet because they wore flat shoes instead of high heels. In solidarity, many female celebrities then wore flat shoes or went barefoot. Greenwave found the exclusivity of the red carpet area tiresome, but then we are impressed by talent, rather than status and privilege.
There were some fascinating films in and out of competition, including Or Sinai’s Anna, winner of the Cinéfondation First Prize. We saw some of the advances made in the technology of 3-D goggles and their associated films. We believe that 3-D films will progress from novelty towards being treated as serious films – at least in the commercial/promotional sector. (For example, we saw some stunning 3-D films featuring buildings of architectural, cultural and historical importance. The films were so spectacular, they would fire up most people who saw them to visit the building depicted.)
Greenwave, aware of the pressure on accommodation during the Festival, well in advance booked a villa in La Bocca, within easy reach of the Festival, for the Pavilion team. We enjoyed the ten-minute ride or slightly longer walk along the sea front into Cannes every morning in the spring sunshine. Inconveniently, our favourite café acquired a pneumatic drill as roadworks commenced 2m from the outside tables.
Aside from organising, writing, translating, proofreading, liaison in French with Festival staff and caterers, transporting, demonstrating goggles, acquiring leads and forging links, the Greenwave contingent and their colleagues managed to fit in some outings after work. We introduced our team to Grasse (home of the perfume industry), the medieval village of Eze, Sainte Agnès (picturesque medieval Alpes-Maritimes village), Saint Paul de Vence and its art galleries, Menton, Ventimiglia and Bordighera just over the border in Italy, Nice, as well as the Casino at Monte Carlo. (And we didn’t lose our shirts – visitors are welcome to view the spectacular interior of the building.) Meanwhile, road diversions showed that Monte Carlo was gearing up for a different type of Grand Prix, in motor racing. And we did a dozen airport transfers from and to Nice Airport for various members of the Pavilion team.
Fascinating and Frustrating
With preparation, the Cannes Film Festival itself and winding down, Greenwave spent 4 weeks in Cannes, plus 4 months’ pre-festival preparation. The Festival is crowded, exciting, and much of it exclusive – it keeps the paying public, without whom the film industry would not exist, at arm’s length. Meanwhile the financial negotiations on films take place at venues like the appropriately named Hotel Splendid. Politics are seldom far away from the films. The Festival is fascinating and frustrating by turns. If you love film, we recommend you go there at least once, for the experience, eyes open. Go to a beach screening. Enjoy the films and the atmosphere, and see what you can of the Riviera while you are there.
Robin Squire, screenwriter
Paul Wright Locian Photography