May 29, 2015

A Call to Adventure: The Cannes Film Festival

Photo Credit Creative Mind Group 2015.
My experience at the Cannes Film Festival was an extended Lynchian dream. For fifteen days, everything familiar to me was suspended; relationships, language, landmarks and vegetables were entirely replaced with something new and there was no time to integrate, just dive in.

I endured what I can only describe as an overwhelming wave of spectacle and intense human interaction.  To survive the daily experience, I developed a dependence on espresso. A real when in Rome predicament because caffeine makes me cagey, but that shit was delicious, free and you could select your poison: robust, bold, silky or woodsy with an intensity ranging from 4-12. Remember we're talking coffee here folks, not men. Although can I say "wow" and "thank you" to Europe? You know you're not in Canada anymore when even the UPS driver looks like a GQ model. Let's just say the scenery was magnifique! 
Everyday. Seriously every day.
South of France.
I was invited to Cannes through the Creative Mind Program. We all stayed in this amazing villa at the edge of the sea. I shared a very European room (note: narrow as fuck) with three American cinefiles (my baby ducks) and we pulled our mattresses into the main living space for a two week slumber party at Movie Star Camp.

Being part of the Networking stream of Creative Minds, my goal was to get a crash course in Producing, to charm the pants off of people (not literally) who could foster my talents and get a sense of whether my feature film actually has some traction. Winning the From Our Dark Side Contest from WIFTV and being invited to Cannes was a huge affirmation, but I needed to know... can I really do this? Can I make this film? And will anyone care if I do?
The Essentials.
It was a big step into the unknown and as any journey goes, things don't always turn out as expected. I've been told time and time again, it's not who you know, it's who knows you, that this industry is built upon face-to-face meetings, chance encounters and discussions over cocktails can get you further than any accolades. So any journey is an investment in forward momentum, no matter what remains unchecked on the bucket list, whether it's running into that certain celebrity or turning down a mountain of cocaine (wink wink Corena). And like any epic quest, it's your fellow travellers who make the experience unforgettable.

Within the first step of my 17 hour flight to France, I met Larissa (Toronto) and Sofia (San Francisco) who were in the same program. We ended up being on the same flight, same two rows, on a massive Air Canada plane that had NASA sleep pods in first class. Serendipity, non? After some bizarre LED manipulation that encouraged us to sleep at 7pm and mimicked the sunrise shortly after midnight, we landed in Frankfurt, Germany and hit some espresso.


Aren't we cute? Now imagine us sleep deprived, artificiality stimulated and coming for you. A lesser man would avoid us at all costs, but Jake (Los Angeles) became our fourth-wheel on the crazy train. We were instantly inseparable, this "Frankfurt Crew." Friends for life, bonded over a love of hot eggs, questions, long lines of rejection and one late night at a police station. More on that later...

No hero enters the void alone. Having an open heart and a few protein bars in your purse is a great way to find your tribe. And as Lucius Barre said on the first day of our Producers workshop, "If you don't let people know who you really are, how will the good people find you?" Consider us found.

COMING UP: The dark underbelly of Cannes, Netflix controversy, celebrity sightings, new mentors and crashing my way onto the Red Carpet.

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1 comment

  1. ✈️ Enjoyed the first leg of your trip ! Look forward to part 2.

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