A couple of weeks ago I was at Cannes Film festival, mostly accompanying my partner, Fred, who was promoting a film he was producer and editor of, and attending the premier of another film, My Feral Heart, which he also worked on (more about that wonderful film in another post).
It was a fantastic experience just being in the city of Cannes for the buzz of the festival alone – the glamour, the excitement, the sunshine, the people I got to meet…. But it was told it would be even better if I could get into the festival itself, so I decided to apply for an accreditation pass. This involves being vetted so that the organisers are absolutely certain you aren’t blagging it and really are involved with the movie business (because when the likes of George Clooney are the other side of that fence and there are networking meetings galore, complete with complimentary drinks, there would probably be a stampede to get in otherwise).
So, with slightly sweaty palms I queued up in order to be interrogated. I had my business card ready and was accompanied by Fred, who could verify that I had worked as a stills photographer on his film. Finally we were invited to step up to one of the windows, where I couldn’t help but notice that the woman next to me was being given a severe grilling, for trying to convince the guy that the person next to her really had worked on her film when she had nothing to show for it. I hoped that they would be suitably impressed by my credentials to save me the discomfort of such an interrogation. I was asked immediately for my business card, which fortunately included a direct link to the film section of my website. I then let Fred, who is French, do the speaking for me in his native tongue.
From my limited French I heard Fred offer to show the gatekeeper my website, but he replied with a smile that it was fine, he already had my website up and was issuing me with a pass – no questions necessary.
“That was easy!” we agreed as we made our way into the hallowed ground. Then I realised what may have helped. The first picture in the film section of my website was a photograph of none other than Gilles Jacob (who was interviewed for a documentary for which I was stills photographer). He just happened to be the honorary president of the Cannes Film Festival!
So I guess you could say that the president himself gave me my accreditation! Little did I know when I was photographing him that within six months I would not only be entering his festival, but also dating one of his fellow countrymen. So, maybe taking this picture proved lucky for me in more ways than one….