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Cannes Diary: Soaked, Starving, and No Spielberg Sightings

Posted: 05/20/2013 9:43 pm

As part of Telefilm Canada's Not Short on Talent project, 40 short-film filmmakers from across Canada are travelling to the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, where their films will be highlighted in the market. The Huffington Post Canada is pleased to share diary entries from a selection of these filmmakers, who describe their experiences at Cannes as Canadians on the rise in the industry. Here is Moira Sauer with the second entry in our Cannes Diary series. For the first entry, from Kyle Thomas, click here.

I am three days late. Festival de Cannes began on the 15th, and I was still back home in my cabin, excited and nervous, borrowing a dress for each day I would be in France, since my wardrobe consists of carhartts, hoodies, and jeans. Upon my arrival in Cannes, the festival is in full swing.

It's night time. It's windy. It's busy and wild. It's ON.

Walking down a cobblestone side street, making a mental note of the lingerie store so that I will find my way back to the apartment (unaware yet that every corner has a lingerie store), I see that the crowds are out. Two local musicians stand near one outdoor patio and are wringing-out every traditional French song known to North America on a violin and accordion. Long tables are set up both inside and outside restaurants to accommodate the large, boisterous, filmmaking groups.

It's a sea of laminate. Everyone has their festival tag, hanging 'round their neck. It's a badge of honour. It's a stamp of approval. Yes, I belong here. I am welcome. I have MADE it.

For a series of blocks, the déjà vu repeats and repeats itself. Men in dark suits or tuxedos, with tussled curly hair, dark rimmed glasses. Women with glowing skin, perfect hair and make-up, dresses that have them shivering in the cool wind. Cigarettes. Jewelry. Wine. Flashes from passing photographers.

I keep walking. The wind picks up, the rain starts to fall. I decide to get a Panini at one of the many little food carts set-up along the concourse that follows the sea wall. This feels less painful then squeezing into some corner table in an overheated restaurant, surrounded by crowds, without even a phone to at least pretend like I'm busy or desired or important.

"Oui?" says the proprietor.

There is one other woman sitting at the bar in front of his window. She smokes a cigarette and watches.

"Un Panini de poulet, s'il vous plait," I attempt in French.

"Non, il n'y a pas paninis," he says.

"Oh, ok. Qu'est-ce que vous avez?," I continue.

"Rien," He states.

"Ah..." I respond, looking at the shelf of pastries and sodas. "Nothing. You have nothing to sell?"

"Oui."

And so I gather my umbrella, for the light rain has turned into a downpour, and I leave the Panini man (amidst the laughter of the smoking woman) and make my way back to the apartment (via many wrong turns) where I eat the three dry crackers I have left over from the 25 hour journey to France.
Flash forward to the next day.

The downpour has turned into a deluge. I look out my window, down onto the street to witness the boulevard, now with a distinctly more river-like quality. I dig through my suitcase. Those beautiful borrowed dresses... and ONE pair of pants. Remember to bring Sierra an extra special present home for being insistent on the black pants. Shoes, on the other hand, are a disaster of choice for flooding conditions. Good thing I'm tough and can handle some wet feet!

Flash forward a few hours.

I'm in tears, though no one notices because I'm so wet from the rain, it all blends together on my face. Let's just say that the highlight of my day was the really lovely conversation I had with the dude who arranged a cell phone rental for me. Now I can have all the free incoming calls I want, and pay a fortune to text anyone.

A vehicle passes so closely by my side I'm doused from head to toe in puddle water - you know exactly what this looks like because we've all seen it in the movies a thousand times, and yes, that's exactly what it looks like. I turn to see it's the beginning of the jury, making their way from a fancy hotel to the Grand Theatre Lumiere, accessed by the Red Carpet. This is how they travel: police motorbikes, six or so black Mercedes with flags and lights, followed by more police motorbikes. I know that if I look closely in the tinted windows, I will see Steven Spielberg, who is this year's President of the Jury.
But I find myself turning in the other direction. Toward lingerie shops and many more corners that will eventually lead me back to the apartment. There, I will have a hot shower, hang out all my wet clothing and crawl into bed. I think I have some Dexter on my laptop lent to me by my brother that I'll watch before sleep.

And then I guess I'll try and give this whole festival thing another go in the morning.


Loading Slideshow...
  • Actress Zoe Saldana poses for photographers during a photo call for the film Blood Ties at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

  • Zoe Saldana and Marion Cotillard

    Actors Zoe Saldana, left, and Marion Cotillard pose for photographers during a photo call for the film Blood Ties at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

  • Zoe Saldana, Guillaume Canet and Marion Cotillard

    Director Guillaume Canet, left, and actor Marion Cotillard pose for photographers during a photo call for the film Blood Ties at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

  • Marion Cotillard, Zoe Saldana, Guillaume Canet

    Actress Marion Cotillard, left, director Guillaume Canet, centre, and actress Zoe Saldana pose for photographers during a photo call for the film Blood Ties at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

  • James Franco

    Director James Franco poses during a photo call for the film As I Lay Dying at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

  • Marion Cotillard

    Actor Marion Cotillard poses for photographers during a photo call for the film Blood Ties at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

  • James Franco

    Director James Franco arrives for a photo call for the film As I Lay Dying at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

  • James Franco

    Director James Franco poses for photographers during a photo call for the film As I Lay Dying at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

  • James Franco

    Director James Franco poses for photographers during a photo call for the film As I Lay Dying at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

  • Zoe Saldana

    Actor Zoe Saldana poses for photographers during a photo call for the film Blood Ties at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

  • James Franco

    Director James Franco poses for photographers during a photo call for the film As I Lay Dying at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

  • Zoe Saldana, Guillaume Canet and Marion Cotillard

    From left, actor Zoe Saldana, director Guillaume Canet and actor Marion Cotillard pose for photographers during a photo call for the film Blood Ties at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

  • Marion Cotillard

    Actor Marion Cotillard poses for photographers during a photo call for the film Blood Ties at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

  • Marion Cotillard, Noah Emmerich, Zoe Saldana

    From left, actors Marion Cotillard, Noah Emmerich and Zoe Saldana pose for photographers during a photo call for the film Blood Ties at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

  • Marion Cotillard

    Actor Marion Cotillard poses for photographers during a photo call for the film Blood Ties at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

  • Marion Cotillard

    Actress Marion Cotillard poses for photographers during a photo call for the film Blood Ties at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

  • Marion Cotillard, Zoe Saldana

    Actors Marion Cotillard, left, and Zoe Saldana pose for photographers during a photo call for the film Blood Ties at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

  • 'Blood Ties' Photocall - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Actress Marion Cotillard attends the photocall for 'Blood Ties' at The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

  • Marion Cotillard

    Actress Marion Cotillard poses for photographers during a photo call for the film Blood Ties at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

  • Zoe Saldana

    Actress Zoe Saldana poses for photographers during a photo call for the film Blood Ties at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

  • James Franco and Ahna O'Reilly

    In this photo taken Sunday, May 19, 2013, James Franco and Ahna O'Reilly at the Art of Elysium Party, in Cannes, southern France. This is O'Reilly's first trip to the Cannes Film Festival, and she has two films on display. Both were in attendance as she was the guest of honor at the event, hosted by the charity Art of Elysium. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Invision/AP)

  • Keanu Reeves

    Actor Keanu Reeves poses for photographers during a photo call for the film Man of Tai Chi at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

  • Keanu Reeves

    Actor Keanu Reeves poses for photographers during a photo call for the film Man of Tai Chi at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

  • Keanu Reeves

    Actor Keanu Reeves poses for photographers during a photo call for the film Man of Tai Chi at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    US actress Zoe Saldana poses on May 20, 2013 during a photocall for the film 'Blood Ties' presented Out of Competition at the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. Cannes, one of the world's top film festivals, opened on May 15 and will climax on May 26 with awards selected by a jury headed this year by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 'Blood Ties' Photocall - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Actress Marion Cotillard attends the photocall for 'Blood Ties' at The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

  • 'Blood Ties' Photocall - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Actress Zoe Saldana attends the photocall for 'Blood Ties' at The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

  • 'Blood Ties' Photocall - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Actress Zoe Saldana attends the photocall for 'Blood Ties' at The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    French actress Marion Cotillard smiles on May 20, 2013 while posing during a photocall for the film 'Blood Ties' presented Out of Competition at the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. Cannes, one of the world's top film festivals, opened on May 15 and will climax on May 26 with awards selected by a jury headed this year by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 'Blood Ties' Photocall - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Actress Zoe Saldana attends the photocall for 'Blood Ties' at The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

  • 'Blood Ties' Photocall - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Actress Zoe Saldana attends the photocall for 'Blood Ties' at The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

  • 'Blood Ties' Photocall - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Actress Zoe Saldana attends the photocall for 'Blood Ties' at The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    US actress Zoe Saldana poses on May 20, 2013 during a photocall for the film 'Blood Ties' presented Out of Competition at the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. Cannes, one of the world's top film festivals, opened on May 15 and will climax on May 26 with awards selected by a jury headed this year by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 'Blood Ties' Photocall - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Actress Zoe Saldana attends the photocall for 'Blood Ties' at The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    US tattoo artist and actor Mark Mahoney (L) and French actress Marion Cotillard pose on May 20, 2013 during a photocall for the film 'Blood Ties' presented Out of Competition at the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. Cannes, one of the world's top film festivals, opened on May 15 and will climax on May 26 with awards selected by a jury headed this year by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    US actress Zoe Saldana smiles on May 20, 2013 while posing during a photocall for the film 'Blood Ties' presented Out of Competition at the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. Cannes, one of the world's top film festivals, opened on May 15 and will climax on May 26 with awards selected by a jury headed this year by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    French actress Marion Cotillard poses on May 20, 2013 during a photocall for the film 'Blood Ties' presented Out of Competition at the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. Cannes, one of the world's top film festivals, opened on May 15 and will climax on May 26 with awards selected by a jury headed this year by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    French actress Marion Cotillard smiles on May 20, 2013 while posing during a photocall for the film 'Blood Ties' presented Out of Competition at the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. Cannes, one of the world's top film festivals, opened on May 15 and will climax on May 26 with awards selected by a jury headed this year by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    French actress Marion Cotillard (R) smiles on May 20, 2013 while posing during a photocall for the film 'Blood Ties' presented Out of Competition at the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. Cannes, one of the world's top film festivals, opened on May 15 and will climax on May 26 with awards selected by a jury headed this year by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    US actress Zoe Saldana poses on May 20, 2013 during a photocall for the film 'Blood Ties' presented Out of Competition at the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. Cannes, one of the world's top film festivals, opened on May 15 and will climax on May 26 with awards selected by a jury headed this year by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    French actress Marion Cotillard poses on May 20, 2013 during a photocall for the film 'Blood Ties' presented Out of Competition at the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. Cannes, one of the world's top film festivals, opened on May 15 and will climax on May 26 with awards selected by a jury headed this year by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    (From L) US actor Billy Crudup, French director Guillaume Canet, US actor James Caan and British actor Clive Owen pose on May 20, 2013 during a photocall for the film 'Blood Ties' presented Out of Competition at the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. Cannes, one of the world's top film festivals, opened on May 15 and will climax on May 26 with awards selected by a jury headed this year by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake

    Actors Carey Mulligan, left, and Justin Timberlake laugh as they arrive for the screening of the film Inside Llewyn Davis at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

  • Joel Coen, Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Ethan Coen, John Goodman, T-Bone Burnett

    From left, director Joel Coen, actors Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, director Ethan Coen, actor John Goodman and musician T-Bone Burnett arrive for the screening of the film Inside Llewyn Davis at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

  • Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban

    Actress Nicole Kidman, left, and her husband singer Keith Urban pose for photographers as they arrive for the screening of the film Inside Llewyn Davis at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 19, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

  • Garrett Hedlund, Justin Timberlake, Oscar Isaac, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman

    Cast members, from left, Garrett Hedlund, T-Bone Burnett, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Joel Coen, Carey Mulligan, Oscar Isaac, and Ethan Coen pose for photographers as they arrive for the screening of Inside Llewyn Davis at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 19, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

  • Garrett Hedlund, Justin Timberlake, Oscar Isaac, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Carey Mulligan

    Cast members, from left, Garrett Hedlund, Justin Timberlake, Oscar Isaac, T-Bone Burnett, John Goodman, Carey Mulligan, and directors Joel and Ethan Coen arrive for the screening of Inside Llewyn Davis at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 19, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

  • Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake

    Actors Oscar Isaac, left, and Justin Timberlake arrive for the screening of the film Inside Llewyn Davis at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

  • John Goodman, Justin Timberlake

    Actors John Goodman, left, and Justin Timberlake arrive for the screening of the film Inside Llewyn Davis at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

  • Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan

    From left, actors Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, directors Joel Coen and Ethan Coen pose for photographers as they arrive for the screening of the film Inside Llewyn Davis at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

  • Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, T-Bone Burnett, Justin Timberlake, Garrett Hedlund

    From left, actors Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, directors Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, actor John Goodman, musician T-Bone Burnett, actors Justin Timberlake and Garrett Hedlund arrive for the screening of the film Inside Llewyn Davis at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

 
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