Friday, May 20, 2011

Report from Cannes

Pictured above are the international pavilions at the Festival de Cannes. Our screening at the American Pavilion on Tuesday went very well. To Rest in Peace was one of five narrative student shorts selected for the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase. We were also in the Short Film Corner, where we had another screening on Friday morning.

This trip has been a whirlwind, and a great learning experience. Our festival accreditation meant we could enter the film market, where features were being pitched and sold. It was astounding to see the number of different projects, poster after poster of films that will either gain worldwide distribution or fade into obscurity. As a lover of historical dramas, there were a few that were particularly interesting, including a project in development about the Duke of Wellington. That's one I hope to see in theatres one day.

The American Pavilion have been generous hosts, providing opportunities to watch great films, meet filmmakers, attend industry panels, eat good food, and party on the beach. Monika Skerbelis and Walter Harris did a wonderful job making us feel at home.

One of the best highlights was the presentation of the Palm Dog award at the UK pavilion. This coveted collar is given for best performance by a canine at the festival. This year's winner was Uggy the terrier for his role in The Artist.

Host Toby Rose kept the audience roaring with the highest (or lowest) standards of british comedy. There was some talk of expanding the award categories to cats and other animals. If birds are ever recognized, I think Joey the parrot would be a strong contender.

Sadly, the trip is coming to an end. But it has generated a good amount of momentum for To Rest in Peace, and for some projects we have in development. It was an honor to take part in this year's festival, and we hope to be back with a feature film in the future.

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