Better start today – I got up on time! In doing so, I amusingly discovered a room-mate still hadn’t come home from the night before (a Parisian scriptwriter hoping to find a director for her film – what a party animal!). For me, today was the Day of Shorts. First up was the press screening of all the short films in competition; I got there early, like I you have to for seemingly everything, but the demand wasn’t as big. Which was a total shame given how a majority of the films were of a very high standard. I talked with a Ukrainian journalist who felt the same – her experience of Berlin’s festival being more focused on its shorts had stayed with her. Ahhh Berlin… great place!
Interviews with Nash Edgerton (Bear) and Sam Holst (Meathead) went well after location difficulties — and after my phone surprisingly held out for the recording thought what a journalist do nowadays without their recordings? Write it all? Never! On a different note, they both said they’d pick each other for the Short Palme d’Or if they couldn’t win it. No rigging, either. They had only just viewed each other’s films for the first time. Australasia sticking together!
The next hour was a scramble — or as the kids are calling it, a ‘Major Fail’ — as I tried to get a copy of the short that centred on my next interview from the digital library. It never made it to my press box. The next major fail came shortly after when I was met with yet another massive lineup. What is this?! I don’t understand why there’s so much WAITING involved, for EVERYTHING. Humph. Anyway, the interview gave me a glamourous moment – on a patio-type thing overlooking the beach. The sand was right there. People from across the industry were just lying around, taking a break… wouldn’t that be nice?
To end the day, I caught a screening that I found to be really important. This year, Cannes are paying tribute to the Egyptian film industry under a new initiative – and as part of this, a collection of shorts regarding the January 25 Revolution and its aftermath was banded together to form the film 18 Days. What I didn’t realise is that it was the world premiere, meaning ladies started to rock up in full formalwear and men in their dashing tuxedos. While the press were as casual as always, I still felt a bit under-dressed. The collection of films were interesting, focusing on different experiences and inspirations for stories. Filmmakers and cast before the film talked of the spirit of freedom and how they wanted to carry that within their films. The result was an extremely eclectic mix of ideas. For me, having been in Egypt two weeks prior reminded me of the environment and my own experience of seeing the people’s simultaneous joy and confusion first-hand.
Riding the train home has reminded me to sit on the right side tomorrow. Hopefully, I’ll greet the morning with an early sunrise on my way to the new Pedro Almodovar press screening, The Skin I Live In. Excellent.
For more of Katina’s coverage of the 2011 Cannes film festival, click here.