Would you like to read about the Cannes Film Festival from first-hand?

Mamas corner beauty and kids bar

What’s the vibe like? Where do glamorous parties take place? Is it possible to make deals in coffee shops in Cannes, too? Would you bum tickets in expensive evening attire?

Ana Ilic is the CEO of SFA (Serbian Film Association) since it was founded and a board member of AFCI (and, as of recently, a cluster council member with the Serbian Chamber of Commerce). In the following article, Ana and her team give a special account of the impressions and the atmosphere at the Cannes Film Festival for the readers of SEEbtm magazine.

In addition to the Berlinale, which takes place every February in the German capital, the Cannes Film Festival is most definitely the biggest European and global festival and market that is right behind the Oscars by its glamour.

Since 1947, when it was first organised, the festival runs every year in May, with with a few skipped years. During these twelve days, the French Riviera’s crown jewel turns into a universe with many parallel worlds.

[quote_box_right]Tickets are very hard to get, and viewers must adhere to a very strict dress code, so during the day the red carpet is under siege of men and women in expensive evening attires, trying to bum tickets like hitchhikers.[/quote_box_right]

The main festival ceremonies, the market, and the press conferences are held at the Palais des Festivals, which was specially erected for the festival in 1982, where once a casino stood. Thanks to the film festival’s and the MIPTV festival’s (launched in 1965) success, the city of Cannes got two theatres that in time became home to many other events and gatherings.

Ana Ilic, CEO of SFC
Ana Ilic, CEO of SFC

Along the coast around Paleo, you can spot yachts of international millionaires and rows of white tents with pavilions of countries from all over the world.

Serbia promotes its cinema within the South-East Europe Pavillion, and the Serbian Film Association strives every year to make new contacts and attract a part of international filmmakers to Serbia. However, perhaps the biggest portion of the business is conducted outside Palais des Festivals.

The number of luxury hotels per one square kilometre is one of the highest in the world, but despite their head-spinning prices they turn into offices of production companies and people from the business are swarming, so it can easily happen that you’re sitting at a cafe drinking coffee as a tourist while Tarantino sits at the table next to you and negotiates his next project.

The festival glamour has been attracting great numbers of tourists of all ages for decades who come to join the parade, take pictures with their favourite stars, and enjoy the Riviera spring.

Tickets are very hard to get, and viewers must adhere to a very strict dress code, so during the day the red carpet is under siege of men and women in expensive evening attires, trying to bum tickets like hitchhikers.

Meeting of the EUFCN
Meeting of the EUFCN

The countries that have Palme d’Or candidates compete in organising glamorous parties at the beach or at exclusive hotels, expensive brands and cars are promoted, there are roof-top parties and campaign of any kind imaginable, all part of advertising that costs hundreds of thousands of euros.

You can see what it all looks like from a film veteran’s perspective in a new documentary directed by Alec Baldwin, Seduced and Abandoned.

[quote_box_left]The number of luxury hotels per one square kilometre is one of the highest in the world, but despite their head-spinning prices they turn into offices of production companies and people from the business are swarming, so it can easily happen that you’re sitting at a cafe drinking coffee as a tourist while Tarantino sits at the table next to you and negotiates his next project.[/quote_box_left]

The numbers also speak of the importance of the festival:

  • EUR 4 million of state subsidies are granted by the Ministry of Culture, the National Film Centre, and local and provincial bodies.
  • More than 12 thousands of registered participants and around EUR 4 million of revenues from the registrations.
  • EUR 2.4 million are revenues from the renting of exhibition space.
  • EUR 5 million of sponsorships (the biggest sponsors under five-year contracts are L’Oreal, Renault, and Chopard).
  • EUR 6 million is the cost of the broadcast rights bought by Canal Plus.
  • EUR 2 million is the direct sponsorship of the city of Cannes, plus another two million of public and community services that operate every day (police, waste disposal, fire departments…).
  • EUR 194 million is the income the local economy realises during the 12 days of the festival.

[quote_box_center]The Serbian Film Association is an independent association of companies and service providers in film, advertising, and TV production that was founded in 2009 with the purpose to promote Serbia as a location fit for international film projects. The SFA helps connect foreign clients with local production companies, develop cooperation with the public sector in creating an encouraging environment for film production, and improve the competencies of local filmmakers.[/quote_box_center]

Milica Bozanic

 

 

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