The awards have been given out, hangovers have been beaten and everyone has arrived back home after experiencing the best festival of the year, that is Cannes Film Festival. Famous faces flock to the red carpet every year to exhibit their hard work and watch others in action.

This year’s top prize for the Palme D’or went to a Swedish film called the ‘The Square’ directed by Ruben Östlund, the film is based on publicity surrounding an art installation, and was partly inspired by an installation Östlund had made.

Darren, who is based in our London office was lucky enough to witness some of the festival in person, here are his highlights and insights into Cannes 2o17.

“Unfortunately, this year we didn’t get to see as many films as we usually do which was a shame as we usually watch 20 or more but work took over and we weren’t there as long as we normally are!

Darren took some of his own entertainment to keep himself occupied whilst waiting for film screenings.

“During the last weekend, all the films which are competing, play back to back in the cinemas, so we can squeeze in 8 or 10 movies in two days!

“We did see the Palme D’or winner ‘The Square’ by Ruben Östlund, I personally felt it didn’t amount to much at the end but the film was an entertaining look at the pomposity of the art world with a particularly exceptional, surprising and completely random scene involving a man pretending to be an ape as part of some performance art.

‘The Square’ actor Terry Notary reprises his performance as an ape on the red carpet. 

Cannes is home to endless parties, happy hours from most countries of the world promoting their films and talent, specific events and talks including some excellent ones at our very own UK Pavilion.

“It’s great to meet like-minded people, hear about the main projects and stories of getting films funded and made but also meet potential partners, collaborators, funders, sales and distribution companies in a more informal relaxed setting.”

“It can be hard though, I’m not bragging when I say, it became really hard work waking up early and getting back in the early hours every night from parties and socialising, you need a holiday when you get back!”

Tennis and networking may not be a natural fit but anything at Cannes Film Festival is possible. 

Virtual reality was a big theme at this year’s festival, there were a few exhibitions and films which were exploring the concept. Other new mentions which appeared at this year’s film screening’s were films by Amazon and Netflix, not all audience members were happy they were competing, boos were called during the opening to Amazon’s ‘Wonderstruck’.

It was surprising to see that the longest queues were not for film screenings but for a virtual reality installation called ‘Carne y Arena’ by Alejandro Gonzalez InarrituThe installation only allowed one viewer inside the hanger where the installation takes place.

The 6 1/2 minute installation is set in the middle of the Sonoran desert and tells the story of a group of immigrants journey across the US border.

After all the fun stuff like attending late night parties and watching endless movies, it is time to do the more serious stuff, such as meeting up with the most influential people in the film industry. The Cannes Film Festival is an opportunity to discuss any current or future projects but also the opportunity to spend time with people who are passionate about film.

Cannes Film Festival 2017 film screening of ‘Devdas’

The festival has the biggest film market in the world where thousands of films are sold all over the world. All the major funders, production companies, investors, everyone big in film or anyone interested in film is there. If you have completed a film, in production, or looking to get the financing, there are people and organisations at the festival who you can meet with and simply get stuff done.

Darren added, “For Ourselves, there was less of this than in recent years, with ‘Vigilante‘ just being completed and finalising our distribution plans, we were more focussed on our second feature film but we are not quite ready for a full on assault.

“This was more about speculative meetings and establishing points of contacts and starting relationships ready for the autumn where we will really push forward with that. Overall it was a great Cannes Film Festival, very tiring but amazing.

“It was good to get work done, catch up with work friends and meet new, inspiring people. We’re already planning a bigger Cannes 2018 for Blueprint: Film!”

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