Parties. Not just for the frivolous ne’er-do-wells anymore. Also for respectable, albeit underfunded, filmmakers (often as not, the two go hand-in-hand). But how to get into the parties, when one has lastminute.commed one’s way to Cannes, with nary a badge nor an invite?
Lucky for me I have friends who know people who know people in high places. Or at the very least, friends who are willing to form a phalanx around me, and distract the beefy guards with their badges while I skulk past unnoticed. A couple of these, who shall remain nameless lest they be tarred with the same brush as me, forewarned of my arrival, met Sean and I at the gate to the International Village. That’s what they call the place where all the pavilions are set up. It’s blocked to the public, so you have to show a badge there first, just to get the right to try to bluff your way into a pavilion later. That was Checkpoint 1. We used the old “I’m a producer and Carolyn is my guest and I’m taking her in to meet some Very Important People” ploy. It worked. As well it should. After all, festivals are supposed to be about doing business. I was there to do business, even if it was last minute business. While I understand the concept of trying to keep out the riffraff, I have never understood the point of restricting access quite so vigorously to people who are genuinely there to make films. The concept of fresh blood seems to be lost on some of these guards, unless it’s flowing out of the calf of an unlucky partycrasher who’s run afoul of one of the patrol dogs on the beach.
But I digress. (and I’m too tired to go back and organize my thoughts better) We got past Checkpoint 1. Checkpoint 2 was easy, mostly because it was the end of the party and the gatekeepers didn’t really care anymore. And no wonder. All that was left to drink was cider. Still, there were some cool people left inside, a couple of friends, like the unflappable and always entertaining Alastair Clark of Wellington Films, and a couple of new contacts. We were off to a roaring start. On to the South African bash down on the beach, where we managed to gain entry with some clever sleight-of-hand involving a ticket that somebody had. That one was worth the effort. Good food, if a little more meaty than I’d like, good drinks, good dancing, and an introduction to somebody that I think I’m going to do some work with. Just exactly what’s supposed to happen at these things, right?