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How to survive the Festival de Cannes

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 Yukon filmmaker Moira Sauer was invited to present her film The Provider at the Cannes Film Festival this year. We asked her to document the experience, and this is her second report.


Festival de Cannes: Les Secrets.


I have a guardian angel. His name is Thomas Bibeyran. And though he may not know it, he was my key to unlocking the pleasures of Cannes.


Thomas is an artist and a teacher who has a beautiful apartment in Cannes, where I stayed for 10 days.  He collected me when I arrived to town, he sat up late at night to dig into those never-ending questions about life, love and the pursuit of happiness, and he joined me for dinner with other Canadians I was just getting to know. Thomas was my touchstone with reality, and without him, the Cannes experience would have been very tough.




Well, because Festival de Cannes is a mammoth machine made up of the film industry, media and then topped with the most elite in the world. And that recipe can sweep the thousands who are there at the festival up into a whirlwind of empty and desperate scenarios. There is a visceral hunger for this machine to take us all up onto its fabulous crest, and carry us along with the mega stars and the flash bulbs of the paparazzi.


Losing a sense of oneself is a challenge that must be fought each moment of Festival de Cannes.  So many of the participants have huge expectations riding on their outcome from Cannes, and where there are expectations, there tend to be nose-dives into disappointment.  My guardian angel Thomas helped me keep my feet on the ground, enjoy the experience and release any sense of overwhelm.


Finding a Thomas when going to Cannes - that's one secret.


Here are some more:

1)     Cannes imports the best-looking policemen from all around France to work the streets during the festival.  By that I mean, they actually only import the good-looking ones... I wonder what THAT process is like.

2)     Most women will not turn off the water tap in the toilettes after having washed their hands. (So guess who spent a lot of time cranking on taps?).

3)     All the outdoor corridors between the white tents that make-up the International Village are carpeted.

4)     No one ever just sits. One must always have a cigarette, phone or friend at all times.

5)     If sitting on the public beach, do not lean back against the wall.  The wall leads straight up to la Croisette where everyone walks...  Just trust me, and move further away, closer to the water.

6)     And finally, how to throw a successful party:


- Invite 6000 filmmakers.

- Set-up a massive tent structure opening onto a deck on the beach.

- Hire a staff of 50 to serve free champagne, beer and mixed drinks for four hours.

- Make sure aforementioned staff are dressed like GQ models.

- Hire two DJ's, both in tuxedos with suspenders, cufflinks and haircuts reminiscent of circa 1910.

- Have them spin some old school hip hop for three hours and then tell them to throw in Frank Sinatra's New York New York... Watch the awesome spectacle that follows.

 - If possible, add a full moon.  This will aid in the overall experience.


Shake and serve over ice.