The following blog post was written by guest blogger Megan Laursen, a RTA Media Production student at Ryerson who went to The Cannes International Film Festival. Enjoy part two of the series, and make sure you check out Part One in this series if you have not already!
The Cannes International Film Festival is known as the most prestigious in the world. If you looked at it from a distance, you’d see successful filmmakers and stars walk the red carpet as locals and tourists watch in awe every night. It is movie magic at its finest. But, it is also a celebration of storytelling through film, and the hard work put into selections from around the world.
At the Pavilion, I worked 8-hour videography shifts every other day, meaning I had tons of time to explore all the festival had to offer on my days off. Thanks to The American Pavilion’s ticket liaison, Pip Chodorov, and his student team, I had the privilege of going to 11 screenings, including the red carpet premieres for prestigious PALME D’OR winner, Manbiki Kazoku and BEST DIRECTOR winning film, Zimna Wojna. There’s this indescribable feeling of magic when you walk the length of the red carpet. It’s surreal to see the cameras flash around you and the filmmakers and actors follow you into the theatre. That feeling stays with you in the Grand Lumiѐre theatre when you see the Cannes Festival opening, the film, and the applause. And it stays with you long after you leave France.
I shook hands with Black Panther director Ryan Coogler and Christopher Nolan after attending their “Rendez-Vous” talks. I attended student roundtables sponsored by SAGindie, and learned from actor Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton, The Walking Dead, Blackkklansmen) there.
I had the chance to experience the re-mastered 70mm print of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was also introduced by Christopher Nolan. I had a conversation with Joonas Suotamo, who plays Chewbacca in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Cannes is something every filmmaker or emerging filmmaker should experience at least once in their life. Behind all the action, the glamour, and the magic, there are so many lessons you take away from the festival and The American Pavilion’s Film and Business Program. There is so much perspective and motivation you gain from hearing these filmmakers speak about the process that lead them to their work and watching them succeed.
But I’ll save that for the third and FINAL blog post in this series.
All images belong to Megan Laursen, unless stated otherwise.