If you say the word Cannes to anybody, the typical image in their heads is likely to be fancy yachts, blue sea and expensive wheels. To me, Cannes means seven days of deprived sleep and a whole lot of unscheduled fun. Seriously. It’s tiring when you are setting off from India but the minute you are there, the energy is unbelievable and infectious.
I spent the seven hour flight from Dubai to Nice with just one comforting image in my head; the bed in my hotel room and how long it would take to get there.
ToI’s Bhaskar Das was on the same flight, too. He says Indian delegate registrations are down 50% this year. Less company at Gutter Bar, I note sadly. Last year, the place felt like Zenzi on a Friday night, except for the well-lit beach promenade in front. Unsurprisingly, the number of journalists seem to be the same, if not more. I shoot off a ‘Lets meet’ mail to a German scribe I met at The One Show last year, who will be at the festival as well. Interesting to know what her interpretation of the festival will be like. Germany’s fervour for creative awards is as strong as our fellow countrymen, if not more. At 2131 entries, it has the second highest total number sent in all categories, after USA.
Seminars are low on my priority list this year because my diary is pretty full of meetings. But I attend the Sapient-Coca Cola one and chat with Sapient’s Freddie Laker after. More on that interview elsewhere on the site.
Met Creativeland Asia's Raj Kurup on my way out, alongwith his colleagues Vikram Gaekwad and Anu Joseph. The trio has rented an apartment, and promise to whip up a fancy mallu meal for guests.Such claims need to be verified, of course.
I finish the sessions for the day and catch up with ENIL’s Sharath Chandra who is waiting for wife Meera to finish cyber judging. Shirty is feeling rather WAG-like, he tells me, considering he is waiting around for wifey to finish work. We catch a corner in a café next to the Palais. Meera joins us soon, as does Publicis’ Emmanuel Upputuru. Publicis Ambience’s Ashish Khazanchi and Prasanna Sankhe are called in, as they are passing by. Ray & Kesavan’s (now Brand Union) Sujata Kesavan also drops in as does Draftfcb’s Chax and soon we have all lost count of the number of people at the table. I promise myself that I am going to be back at the hotel by 10 pm latest. That’s being slightly optimistic, of course, because when you are in a large group like this, it’s easy to go with the flow. On Shirty’s recommendation, we all head to an Indian restaurant called Maharaja, get lost on the way and are rescued by Emmanuel’s handy Cannes map. After dinner there, we head onwards to Gutter Bar. Not the same buzz at GB, as one would expect and we don’t stick around too long.It’s a long day tomorrow and I need some sleep.
For more stories on Cannes Lions 2009, click here.