This was an early, early morning. Had a 7:30 am breakfast meeting at The Carlton Terrace, apparently the place for meetings. Met with the founder of a highly successful UK based production house. She told us about her humble beginnings 20 year ago when she drove to Cannes on her motor bike to find a director she could rep. She managed to find one who was kind of quirky but passionate and the rest is history. She’s been back for the festival every year since then and off late as a jury member.
That brings me to my next point. Most foreign production houses are appalled by the fact that India producers rep many of the same freelance directors. So, what are we competing on? Price? And what value are we adding to these directors? Getting them one-off films? Really makes me think that maybe it’s time to say no. Maybe it’s time we got a commitment and made one in return.
Sparking a movement was the theme of the wonderful workshop conducted by Strawberry Frog. Sparking a movement when a change is needed takes courage. The risk is that maybe no one will want to follow you. But then again, one or two people might… then a third might. And three is a crowd isn’t it? Soon there will be more people joining in and finally it will be risky not to join.
The highlight was a talk by Robert Redford sponsored by Yahoo. The auditorium was packed. Robert spoke about hitchhiking in winter across Europe (at the age of 19) when he happened to get to Cannes late one night. He was so tired that he lay down in his sleeping bag on the beach, under the pier. He was drifting off to sleep when he heard sounds of music and laughter and looked up at the Carlton hotel wondering what it would be like to be one of the men in a tux at the hotel. Makes you realize the kind of struggle people go through before they make it.
Cannes is full of such stories. Stay tuned. More tomorrow.