The amazing experience that is Cannes came through today as the following sequence of events took place.
First I attended the opening of the Indian pavilion. While listening to the numerous and somewhat tedious speeches from various Indian dignitaries, I started chatting with a fellow standing next to me who turned out to be an Indian producer based in New York named Nabeel.
Later that day I ran into Nabeel again and introduced him to Kirk Cooper from Film Market Access. In turn, he introduced Kirk to Sydney, a programmer from the Chungmuro International Film Festival in Seoul.
Cut to the evening when Kirk took me to one of Cannes’ top watering holes for indie film makers to meet his friend Selvaggia who programs the River to River Festival of Indian films in Florence.
When we arrive, the bar is packed, people spilling out into the street. And who’s sitting next to Selvaggia, but Nabeel! The fellow gets around. He’s also sitting with another friend of Kirk’s from South Africa, a film producer named Zaheer. All unknown to each other before this day started, now 5 people, including Kirk and myself are all connected from four different countries.
That’s the experience of Cannes, which is one of the largest festivals in the world, yet seems akin to attending an exquisite party where everyone eventually meets everyone else. I’ve only had a like experience at a cozy fest like Edinburgh Film Festival – well, Edinburgh eat your heart out.