This is an unbelievable year for Canada at the Cannes Film Festival. In addition to our film The Captive by Atom Egoyan, there are two other Canadian films in competition (Maps to the Stars directed by David Cronenberg and Mommy directed by Xavier Dolan). That's three Canadian films out of just 18 films in the Official Selection. In addition there are several films by Canadians in the sidebar competitions including Stephane Lafleur's Tu Dors Nicole and of course, Ryan Gosling's directorial debut Lost River. It's also a very special year for Atom Egoyan. It's been 25 years since he first came to Cannes as part of the Director's Fortnight with Speaking Parts and 20 years since Exotica screened in the Official Competition. The Captive is Atom's sixth film in competition.
This is my fourth trip to the Cannes Film Festival but this year it's different. In the past I've come here to be part of the Marche du Film, basically a convention of thousands of film producers, distributors, government culture agencies and sales agents, scrambling to meet and sell their projects. Very unglamorous in a very glamorous setting on the French Riviera. Oh, the indignities I've had to suffer trying to get into a party! Literally pushing myself through a throng and past security clandestinely because my market pass didn't quite cut it in the mysterious hierarchy of Cannes. I'm told that having a film screening at the Cannes Film Festival especially in the prestigious Official Selection section of the festival is like sitting at the cool kid's table and access will magically appear. I look forward to confirming this in the next few days.
I sat with my friend Teri Hart, on air host with TMN, on the plane on the way over. She asked if I was nervous at all and surprisingly I'm not. I'm honored and thrilled to be part of the film but not nervous. As a producer, we are more behind the scenes so we tend not to get as anxious as the director or the stars of the film who are in the forefront and put their creative hearts on their sleeve. It has been a long process making The Captive -- we shot the film in February and March 2013 and developed the script and financing for at least three years before that. Getting a film made is a long process but this has been relatively quick I and am grateful to work with a director of Atom's stature who can "fast-track" a project.
As I mentioned producing is a more behind-the-scenes job. My producing partners, Jennifer Weiss and Simone Urdl and I arrive in Cannes today to confirm all of the logistics of the next few days. I could never have imagined the work that goes into organizing all of this. Friday morning there is a press screening, then a press conference, then meeting with French press. There is a pre-screening cocktail reception sponsored by Chopart, the red carpet, the screening and after-party at Silencio -- the Cannes pop-up version of the famous underground (literally) Parisian private members nightclub owned by David Lynch. Then Saturday is another full day of press and events. So not only do all of these events need to be set up and organized but there is the added complication of getting our five movie stars here (along with their agents, managers, publicists, stylists and hair and makeup people) and getting them from event to event. Luckily. we have a great team here to make this happen. So stay tuned in the next few days and I will be sharing all the fun details.