Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Festival de Cannes - day 1

Even volcanic ash can't stop Cannes.

But it did keep me from making my connection in Frankfurt and forced me to fly to Zurich and spend a few hours there before flying to Nice. I made good use of my stay in Switzerland to buy some chocolate.

Arriving in Nice after 11 means that there's no way to get to Cannes except by taxi, which can cost upwards of 100 Euros - $150 Canadian. Ouch.

At least I met a sales rep for the country of Taiwan's film industry at the bus stop and we agreed to share the cost of the cab fare. Upon arriving at the Villa Maupassant apartment hotel in La Bocca, near Cannes, where I was staying, the night clerk had no record of my reservation. It took about 45 minutes of discussing Indian culture before he found my name on a list and handed me a key. I had been up, aside from a few moments nodding off on various plane rides, for 36 hours straight.

But after a sleep and a shower, I joined Kirk Cooper of Film Market Access who guided me on a tour of the festival's venues today. It's all very grand and we've seen these theatres in movies but to see it all up close is akin to watching the Oscar set up. The festival is unlike most, including Toronto's in that only industry are able to attend. There are no tickets available to the public.

A bonus of attending Cannes as a registered member of the Canadian contingent means that the Canadian pavilion welcomes you with a VIP pass to hang with your Marche badge and even provides a locker for your use! This comes in handy because the bag that's filled with festival catalogues must literally weigh as much as both Toronto phone books.

So after obtaining a French cell phone, my pass and enough market reading material for many trips to the bathroom, I finish this blog entry staring out on the Cote d'Azur from the lovely Canadian pavilion and flip the bird to volcanos.

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