My First Time Experience At Cannes Film Festival 2015.

Being an aspiring filmmaker I take it upon myself to go for every opportunity presented to me. This year has been one of those moments. Being at Cannes did not just come to me, it had been years of preparation sometimes without me even realizing it. My sister two or three years prior my visit to Cannes had been traveling and when she arrived in Cannes she bought me a Filmmaker T-shirt which sowed the seed. A few years passed and the travel bug in me caused me to seek International opportunities and this is where the story begins.

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THE CREATIVE MIND GROUP
I have written a feature on the Creative Mind Group Program before. This is the program responsible for getting me to Cannes. Last year I had been searching the Internet for International opportunities and I came across Creative Minds. I knew this was the one. It accelerated my chances of attending a film festival versus waiting for years to premiere my own film. I applied and got accepted, naturally I chose Cannes Film Festivals for two reasons; one, It is the South of France and two, it meant a two week long stay.
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There are three options to choose from the program. I decided to work an Internship and I was placed with California Pictures. Day one was orientation then the rest of the time we all did what we were assigned to do, Filmmakers went to shoot their films, Networker’s networked and the Interns went to their companies. It was brilliant. Rob Ford the Creator of the program had a dream, a vision and it is because of him that The Creative Mind Group participants lived their dreams in Cannes.

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WORKING MY INTERNSHIP
I decided to work an Internship. I was placed with California Pictures. On top of being a production company California Pictures also are in Sales and Acquisitions. I learned the real business behind show business. As much as the festival is organized for film premieres there is a whole other side to it. The Palais where the films are screened also hold another function. Film companies from across the globe rent space to sell their films to Buyers that cover certain TV and Film territories.
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There are three floors holding hundreds of these booths. Drama as a genre is highly disliked, so if you would like your film represented by such companies it is said it is best to avoid this. I enjoyed my time with the company, it is through them where I was able to have access to parties and red carpet premieres.

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RED CARPET
Red Carpet is obviously the main attraction at Cannes. The first premiere was Mad Max, Fury Road. Red Carpet is just as glamorous and elegant looking in real life as it is on Television. The world’s biggest stars and filmmakers walk the red carpet in tux’s and couture gowns. I walked the red carpet twice but nothing will ever compare to the first time. I attended Irrational Man by director Woody Allen and I lost my mind! The experience is quite hard to describe but I will try to explain. Walking the red carpet at Cannes for the first time was something out of this world, the ambience, the environment, the flashing lights and energy came together to create this really magical moment.
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It was beautiful. The theatre seats 2600 people and it was a full house. Much to my surprise popcorn and cool drink is not supplied. Which is alright I suppose, cleaning up a theatre that large would not be ideal. I did my second red carpet walk to Mountains May Depart. I acted cooler the second time around but I still took a selfie. On the actor’s: The females love the attention, they could easily spend close to ten minutes having hundreds of pictures taken of them from every angle, everyone has their moment to shine. It’s just a great experience.

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LESSONS, THOUGHTS, EXPOSURE.

Prior to attending the Cannes Film Festival, I had expectations but I was completely blown away. Nothing could’ve prepared me for what was to come from my two week stay. I worked an Internship with California Pictures; I understood the business language behind the movie business. I did red carpet, I watched great films, partied and did all the things one does at a film festival. While I was on the flight home, I thought deeply of my experience. I was grateful; grateful to have been shown what my life could and should be like so long as I keep on persevering.
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Two of the most fundamental things I walked away equipped with; the first is having met the most talented, full of potential and highly driven future filmmakers. I call them the future because they are and I am so glad to have been part of that group. I have met and made really great friends and contacts. The second is having my dreams and ambitions affirmed. I know now more than ever, I do not want anything else but be in this Industry, tell stories and do what I can in my power to effect change with I have been given. My high school motto only has one word ‘Persevere’, I shall always. People are chasing their dreams and are very quickly living it. I am a part of that movement.

Live the Dream.

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3 Comments

  1. Hi! I have a few questions about the Creative Minds program and your journey there. Did you have any prior film experience? Also, was your internship a business internship? What exactly did you do as an intern?

  2. Hi.
    Thanks for leaving a response.

    – I did have film experience before getting into the programme.
    – I am not quite sure with the business Internship question but I went there as an individual so I paid for everything myself.
    – As an Intern I was placed at an acquisition company. They sell films to various territories. So I had to schedule meetings, sit in them, screen films, do daily errands, collect film magazines and the sorts. I was able to get quite a few red carpet tickets too :).

    I hope I have answered right?

    Best,
    Nthabi.

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