Thursday, May 29, 2008

61st Fesival de Cannes Redux

I'm back from the 61st Fesival de Cannes, best described as the United Nations of Film. My first time attending the biggest film festival in the world! My film I Heard the Mermaids Singing was in the Cannes Short Film Corner and was very well received, and I have been getting many lovely emails from folk who watched the film in the Short Film Corner screening rooms and loved it. Another fabulous part of being in the Short Film Corner is that you get to meet fellow filmmakers from all around the world and share stories, ideas and piches.

I had the priviledge of seeing a number of premieres of the major international feature films in competition at the Grand Theatre Lumiere, this included Un Conte de Noel de Arnaud Desplechin, starring Catherine Deneuve, Le Silence de Lorna de Jean-Pierre et Luc Dardenne (Award for the Best Screenplay), Entre Les Murs de Laurant Cantet (which walked off with the Palme d'Or), La Frontiere de L'Aube de Philippe Garrel and all of the Courts Metrages (short films) in competition, screened at the Salle Debussy. Most enjoyable watches for me were Le Silence de Lorna (a story that unfolds in the most stunning way) and Jerrycan the Aussie film in the Courts Metrages Competition - watch out for what Julius Avery does next.

My favorite event that I attended has to be Quentin Tarantino's masterclass, he told many hilarious and interesting personal stories about his journey as an actor/filmmaker, between clips screened from his movies and his passion for acting and filmmaking is a great inspiration to filmmakers everywhere.

Films which I missed (there's so much going on all at once!!!) and are on my must-watch list include Clint Eastwood's Changeling (every one I spoke to about it got a misty, dreamy look in their eye and simply said "it's Clint Eastwood"), Woody Allen's Vicky Christina Barcelona (the crowd went bananas ... and folk I asked about it smiled in recollection of the Hall and Johansson "sex" scene). Also on the list is Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut Synecdoche, New York (let's face it I'm a fan, even if the critics say he tried to do everything at once). But I kept telling myself, it's easy to see all those American films in America, I'm in France I want to see international films that I might not get the chance to see otherwise.

So you wanna know about parties??? Yes we went to some legendary parties, including a yacht party for the film Skeptic starring Tom Arnold and Tim Daly, a private party for Jennifer Lynch's film Surveillance, starring Julia Ormond and Bill Pullman and an amazing closing night party thrown by the Cannes Short Film Corner at the Majestic Barriere with private beach, club and pier to party on and on and on .... and the restaurants in Cannes feature simply divine French Provincial cuisine, that alone is worth the trip. If you ever go to Cannes, make sure you take the time to find Le Suquet (the old district) for a romantic dinner - and take un parapluie -umbrella :-)

Here's an official film business wrap up ...

The 61st Annual Cannes Film Festival wrapped this past Sunday, having been the scene of big Hollywood premieres like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and smaller but no less anticipated ones from filmmakers like the Dardenne brothers, Arnaud Desplechin and Atom Egoyan. In the end, it was a French film that won the Palme d'Or — the first homegrown feature to take the top prize since 1987's Under Satan's Sun. The film, Entre Les Murs was a late entry in the competition, directed by Laurent Cantet and follows a year in the life of a teacher in an inner city Parisian school.

Here's a complete list of the prizewinners.


Palme d'Or:
"Entre les murs" (The Class), directed by Laurent Cantet

Grand Prix:
"Gomorra," directed by Matteo Garrone

Prize of the 61st Festival de Cannes ex-aequo:
Catherine Deneuve for "Un conte de Noël," directed by Arnaud Desplechin
Clint Eastwood for "Changeling"

Award for the Best Director:
"Üç maymun" (Three Monkeys), directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Jury Prize:
"Il Divo," directed by Paolo Sorrentino

Best Performance from an Actor:
Benicio Del Toro in "Che," directed by Steven Soderbergh

Best Performance from an Actress:
Sandra Corveloni in "Linha de Passe," directed by Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas

Award for the Best Screenplay:
"Le Silence de Lorna" (Lorna's Silence), directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne


Palme d'Or:
"Megatron," directed by Marian Crisan

Jury Prize:
"Jerrycan," directed by Julius Avery


Caméra d'Or (for best first film):
"Hunger," directed by Steve McQueen (Un Certain Regard)

Caméra d'Or Special Mention:
"Vse Umrut a Ja Ostanus" (They Will All Die Except Me), directed by Valeria Gaï Guermanika (Critics Week)


Un Certain Regard Prize:
"Tulpan," directed by Sergey Dvortsevoy

Jury Prize:
"Tokyo Sonata," directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Heart Throb Jury Prize:
"Wolke 9," directed by Andreas Drese

The Knockout of Un Certain Regard:
"Tyson," directed by James Toback

Prize of Hope:
"Johnny Mad Dog," directed by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire


First Cinéfondation Prize:
"Himnon" (Hymn), directed by Elad Keidan (The Sam Spiegel Film and TV School, Israël)

Second Cinéfondation Prize:
"Forbach," directed by Claire Burger (La fémis, France)

Third Cinéfondation Prize:
"Stop," directed by Park Jae-ok (The Korean Academy of Film Arts, Corée du Sud)
"Kestomerkitsijät" (Roadmarkers), directed by Juho Kuosmanen (University of Art and Design Helsinki, Finlande)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Cannes à la Flip Short Film Competition

Winners were announced yesterday at the Shrt Film Corner in Cannes.

see the films here:

my favorite:

Dressed for Success

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mis_Taken filmed in Cannes

Somehow amidst all the parties, pitching and meetings. We managed to film a 3 minute short film in Cannes. Well, we had some motivation from the lovely people at Flip camera who gave us cameras to test and a competition with a $10,000 prize to get us motivated!

The talented Ms. Jane Clark came up with the scenario and I play Carolina Metrage a self absorbed action film star! The city of Cannes is lit beautifully for filming, just like the city of New Orleans, it's almost a ready to go movie set .... here's a still.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

off to Cannes May 14-24

Mermaids has been selected for the 61st Festival de Cannes,
to be featured in the Cannes Short Film Corner, May 14-24, 2008

Will post from there.