FEC student on recent Cannes experience

Fan Yije was recently invited to join FEC graduate Mengchen at the Cannes FilmCannes Festival. Here she blogs about the experience.

Cannes Film Festival Report

This is my first time to Cannes Film Festival, which I dreamed of going to. Obviously, it’s an unforgettable experience. The lovely weather, large number of films, booming film market, countless parties and red carpet steps, all these things left me a deep impression.

During these 12 days, filmmakers, reporters, buyers, sellers from all over the world were gathered in this small town to enjoy the film carnival. I worked at China Film Foundation Pavilion in International Village which is an exhibition space and a meeting point for all countries producing films. China Film Foundation Pavilion is organised by China Film Foundation-Wu Tianming Film Fund for Young Talents in partnership with Movie View. It hosted panel discussions, conferences and meetings about film festival and Chinese film industry, including Chinese Film Market, Co-production Strategies and Mutual Investments, Navigating the Festival Circuit, International Film Funds: Talents Oriented Strategy, New Talents and Marketing: Young Producers Projects and Investments in Movies and Entertainment Companies in China: How It Works. In particular, I would like to talk about the Navigating the Festival Circuit which provided an overview of the cultural, economic and social role of the film festivals. This panel discussion invited the programmers and directors from various international film festivals like Sundance Film Festival, HKIFF, TIFF, and BIFF. They talked about different types of the festivals and their film selection, whether premiere is really such important or not, how to balance personal taste, audience tastes, and other element.

Cannes Film Festival is a typical “business festival”. The film market is the core of the festival. Meanwhile, Marché du Film is the world’s leading market. For me, the film is still the most attractive part of the festival. There is no doubt that Cannes Film Festival gathers a very large number of the best films of the whole year. And luckily, you can see these films in advance. But Cannes Film Festival is an event for film professionals only. So all films are not available for the public but opened just for the registered members. Another interesting point of Cannes is that it’s hierarchical. In Cannes, your badge is your rank. It’s a caste system and what the colour of your badge says about you. Press, market and festival badge have different priorities. Every screening, hours before the screening, the line of the festival and market badge was long. People with blue press badge just needed to wait a short time, then, the pink and white badges were much shorter and enjoyed the prime seats.

At last, giving a little tips. As film students, we can apply the festival badge by ourselves so that we can go to the market, international village and some events. While this kind of badge can’t request the invitation ticket for the competition and hons completion screenings in Lumiere theatre (the main cinema with red carpet), but audiences can queue the Last Minute for theses film and also for most of other screenings.