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Cannes Day 2: Why Didn't I Brush Up On French?

05/22/2012 01:14 EDT | Updated 07/19/2012 05:12 EDT

I'm surrounded by clocks, but let me rewind a little.

Yesterday's travel was almost a full 24 hours before I arrived at the place I am staying at while in Cannes.

After I touched down in Nice, I grabbed my bags and hopped on a bus that goes directly to the Cannes Festival entrance. I was very lucky to run into my roomies, Dane Clark and Linsey Stewart, who also have a short film (Margo Lily) in the program with me. They had arrived a full THREE HOURS (!!!) earlier than me, but I wasn't able to make every bus up until that time. I believe in serendipity.

A multitude of accents filled the bus, as I heard English filmmakers yak about the awful American scripts they've read. I sat beside Ben, a cinematographer from England, but living in New York. It's his first time, too, and I hope to run into him again.

When our bus arrived at the festival you could feel the excitement and the ocean in the air. We grabbed our delegate passes, I rented a Euro # and Dan, Linsey and I began our arduous task, walking, pulling our luggage behind us, UP hill for 2 miles, as not a single taxi cab would stop for us.

Once we got to our enchanted villa, pit-stained and all, we swiftly unpacked and ordered pizza. Our fourth rookie was feeling ill, so I slept on the leather couches in the main entrance of the house. I'm an extremely light sleeper and might have been kept awake from the mix of excitement and six second hands ticking, but I actually drifted to sleep.

When I awoke, Dane and I decided to grab some groceries. We strolled about a five-minute walk to pick up some essentials: juice, eggs, fresh bread, salami, bananas. I made some breakie, and we decided to stroll (thank god it was downhill) into the festival and head to the International Pavilions.

We found the Canadian tent, grabbed an espresso and while waiting out the rain, had a chance to speak to other people in the program. About 30 minutes later my sensational publicist Andrea Grau from Torchwood PR came whirling to greet me with a big hug. I had no idea where the heck I was in relationship to any of the screenings, cocktailers etc, so she gave me a fantastic tour as she's been here a bazzilion times.

After the tour, we headed to the Toronto International Film party, where I bumped into Toronto Sun film writer Bruce Kirkland, who impressed upon me the uniqueness of a french Rose wine when I asked what I should be drinking. From there I was a business card dispensing machine, running into some familiar faces that I normally don't get time with in Toronto, like David Miller (who is producing Jay Buruchel's next film) to Tony Watts (The Samaritan with Samuel L. Jackson), to some other international folk who seemed eager to watch my short film.

After drinks had been drunk, we were promptly kicked off the Cannes beach. But that was okay with our gang, as we headed over to a delicious dinner where I sat sandwiched between the nicest agent I've ever met, Claude Girard (who reps Dennis Villeneuve's -- who is about to shoot a feature starring Jake Gylenhaal) and director Nathan Morlando (director of last years award winning TIFF film Edwin Boyd). We got into a fairly introspective conversation about the Dali Lama, manipulation, children dubbed Indigo Children by Allan Moyle (Pump Up the Volume) parents and insanity.

I learned a lot today, but perhaps my most valuable lesson was that I probably should have taken French past Gr 10 in high school.

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