Time to say goodbye. After ten wonderful days full of hope and despair, I say goodbye to the Festival the Cannes and the Cannes city. I have so much idea’s and energy that I can’t wait to go home and make a strong continuance for the distributing of Dance Iranian Style and a motivated start for the next film project.
This morning when I woke up, it was a sunny day like every other days during my stay in the Cannes, but the sun went down and the clouds came up when I packed for leaving. Kind of ironic as if the Netherlands is calling me. Time to go home!
Thanks everyone for reading my blog and thanks for your kind Likes & Comments. I would love to read and hear your reactions on these blogs and of course your feedback. So long!
There are less en less young girls in pretty dresses standing outside of Palais des festival asking for an invitation. Of course because there are no premieres with glamorous stars anymore. Now there are men and women who hope to catch a last minute free ticket for a film.
Cannes is getting empty. Inside of the palace many companies or organizations are already gone. Other are busy packing or try to catch a last film too. Some others like me try to meet and speak to festival representatives or a distributor who happens to be still here. I approach them with care and respect, because I don't want to bother them if they are packing, but many of them make time the minute I show them the brochure of DIS. My business card is right now not representative as our brochure but they don't mind. Today I walk around, say goodbye to my new friends and use the last moments to ask a little more attention for our film. In my mind lessons I learn, inspirations I gather and the ideas I have running around like a firework. I wrote many things down, but still!
I am still overwelmd with the whole idea of the Cannes film festival and have to take time to make a place for all the information I saved in my head. It must be a sign that I have to be here at the Cannes 68st edition. I take that as a beautiful sign and keep it in my heart for more energy.
There are more than one set of the red carpets. Every morning around eight o'clock the red carpet will be changed and a clean set will be spread. That happens every day. I take my moment as well as you can see. But there is another reason for this photo. I had to give away my ticket for the film Youth, one of promising films at the Cannes, because the dress code was Black Tie and my gown and high-hill shoes were at home! My real red-carpet-moment I lost and this Is just a compensation.
Although there are less cameras right now but some of journalists and the passengers just go on making pictures and films. And it continues the whole day. Look at the festive gown of the reporter. Actually this is how the most women look like at Cannes these days.
Meeting great people is always inspiring. It gives an extra boost, especially when they are exactly how you imagined them. That is my feeling when I meet and talk to Ally Derks, the director of IDFA: very down to earth and kind but at the same time you can see a lot of fire and determination in her eyes. I always admire her for doing such a fantastic job with one of the most important documentary festivals of the world.
Our meeting is short but very effective. I tel her about my two ideas for IDFA. and we plan to meet again in Amsterdam. As we in Dutch would say: my day could not be better (mijn dag kan niet meer stuk!)
I am so excited about meeting Ally Derks that I am almost late for my next meeting and as it is not bad enough, I can't find my business card anywhere. The minute after I say goodby and leave the meeting I find them in the place where they should be and why I didn't saw them during our meeting, I wouldn't know. I send het immediately a message and apologize for the messy impression. She found it wonderful, she wrote.
While I’m walking to the next place for the next appointment, I enjoy the view of the sea. and the selfies are coming up too!
Yesterday it was one the warmest days during my stay at Cannes. Today I wear a lighter dress and to my surprise the day appears to be cold. Of course it is still a beautiful day and the sun shines every now and then. I am very much satisfied with my meetings and it doesn't matter it rains or it is sunny, the day is beautiful as long as you are happy. And I am happy, really happy for Dance Iranian Style. I am so proud that my first visit on Cannes must be because of this wonderful film made by the love of so many people. I hope I can make them proud by finding DIS a wonderful home.
Today is a good day! Not because the sun shines. The sun shines here every day, so the first days you notice that and you are very excited about it, but after a couple of days it becomes normal.
Today is a good day because I meet very nice people and the workshops are pretty awesome. I haven’t seen a single film yet and to be honest I don’t miss it at all. It is crazy because I used to be a die-hard festival addict with five and sometimes even six films per day. Now I find the workshops, the seminars and the events more interesting. Perhaps because I also know that the most of the films at Cannes are going to be seen in the cinemas.
I miss a film I had a ticket for, because there is a really good seminar at Canadian pavilion where the panel members tells us about the co-production with Canada and the benefits of it. After that at the Doc Corner we meet the director of TIFF and he tells us about how to apply a film to his festival, how to handle when you are a first feature director/producer and I get a compliment from him and the audience for a very delicate question. I’m sure you are curious about my question, but I have to tell you about the whole seminar to be able to tell my question and I’m not going to bore you with all that.
Today I miss also another film because the brochures of DIS that I ordered yesterday, are arrived and I have to fold them up, all 100 of them! I manage to do 50 of them, when my phone rings and I realize I have to run to a very very important meeting with a festival director who is interested to program DIS. I leave the rest of it at the Printing office and I run. When I come back after two hours, the rest of the brochures are folded up by Angela, the lady in charge of the printing. I’m so moved and touched. Thank you Angela!
As I said before, today is a good day. I get to know some of of talents from Arab Cinema at Marina show and every time I say goodbye to the one, I say hello to the next one. I’ve run out of my business cards and have to write down my email address for seven eight times in an hour. I also meet Philip Rashid in person and it feels we already know each other for a long time. Talented guy!
It’s about seven o’clock when me and Fleur, who already got me an invitation for Producers Network party’ go for a drink. It’s not a dancing party, these are always at late nights. This party is a networking party, where everybody tries to sell his thing, whether it is a film project, a finished film, facilities for the film making or something related to the film making. I go along!
Cannes is mainly about who you know and who knows you!
There are many beautiful films at the Cannes Film Festival, but according to a French photo journalist, who covers The Cannes for her magazine every year for about 25 years, Cannes is mainly about who you know and who knows you! And that brings me to Natalie Portman: Would you, could you say NO to her?
There is not much discussion about her film. The conversation usually goes about what she has done before and what she is going to do in the future. I haven’t seen her movie yet, but I'm wondering if she's here because she is Natalie Portman, or because she has brought a beautiful film.
Back to the business. Today I take the holy book of Marche du Film Guide with me (it's so heavy!) to learn more about the participants of the Cannes. There are more than 80 Dutch companies/organisations present at the Cannes 2015. it is amazing. I don't even know some of them, but it is handy to learn more about them and let them to get to know me too while i'm here. I am secretly (not a secret any more!) proud of my place among them.
I am very tired today. An early night isn't it, but the sooner I sleep the better I perform tomorrow. But before sleeping I want to share with you the view that I enjoy every night while i'm waiting for the bus to go back to my room.
That is very much true. I have never been so closed to the stars. I am standing face to face to Costa-Gavras, the guest of honor of Cannes Classics 2015, and don’t know what to say. I casually say hello and he responds charmingly hello back and wishes me a good day. I found it rude to grab my phone and take a picture of him, pity though!
I also saw some of Hollywood stars with fake smiles and bored looks from very closed. Of course Matthew McConaughey not included! But the real stars are the people who stand at the roads, taking a lot of crap and limitation from the security guys and wait for a glimpse of their beloved celebrities. I ask some of them if they are waiting for a specific Hollywood star and who might that be. To my surprise every one of them waits to see a French star. A small relief!
I haven’t been to many big festivals, but this crowd and this eagerness reminds me of film festivals in Iran and how hungry people were to see their stars. This journey takes me more than it should back to my home country!
This is what I hate the most; the moments within a terrible feeling of belonging to nowhere. Luckily it just happens sometimes and this morning is one of those moments. Every time I walk to an Iranian stand, there is a polite but cold and aloof feeling, I can guess their thoughts: there she is, the Iranian woman who doesn't live in Iran anymore and so she doesn't belong to us any more. The same happens when I walk to a Dutch stand: there she is, the Iranian woman who happens to live in the Netherlands and to speak our language but she doesn't belong with us. She remains the foreigner for ever! Funny that this must happen today when I actually should be very happy with the day.
Today I learn many things about theatrical screening on demand, a very successful way of screening art house movies in Canada, US and Australia. The bad news is that I hear at the end of the session that the Amstelfilm initiative 'We want cinema' which follows more or less the same way is stopping soon. It seems that it is not working well in the Netherlands. It is sad to hear but i'm not surprised at all. I still don't know why but the same goes for the crowdfunding in the Netherlands. It works of course for small projects and small amount of money but still without a success for big projects. I spoke to a guy from Denmark who made three feature films just by crowdfunding. He gathered every time a budget of almost two million dollars. I was shocked. I remember our four months of hard and at the end unsuccessful crowdfunding campaign for Dance Iranian Style just for 30 thousand euro. I still hear from, so called, friends complaining about my update-mails every two weeks. They are the one who actually never paid a penny and never supported our film in any way. And they also have never heard of the word UNSUBSCRIBE! that helps them get rid of my emails in a minute. Alright, I have just got to get it off my chest. Enough wining!
Today I talked to four buyers. They were interested in our material. I have a followup meeting with two of them and the other two want to see the whole film first. An Iranian distributor who approaches me himself for a talk about our film advises me not to make an art house movie any more and specially not a human rights related movie. He says that there is no market for it at all. 'People around the world are tired of films with humanistic subjects,' he says. 'Everybody wants to have fun.' When I tell him that my next feature movie is going to be a Bollywood film (joke!), he immediately gives me his business card and makes me promise to contact him as soon as I begin with the production. He even gives me his private email address in case I cannot reach him on his business address. The only condition he has is that the film must have a happy ending. Not like A Separation a foggy unclear ending which gives people a bad feeling. But he won a Oscar, I say. Yaaaa, he was lucky, but not everyone can get away with such a film, and he certainly didn't deserve it, he says. I loved it, I say. He doesn't answer me, but suddenly he has a urgent meeting that he has to attend to. It was though much fun talking to him.
After a long day meetings and talking I got a surprise invitation at the Fortissimo Film where I meet my dear Niloufar and Aydin and many other interesting people. There is drinks and nice food but when I see delicious gherkins, I forget all about the other food. i love gherkins and Im not even pregnant, hahaha.
The storm is getting heavy when I walk to the bus stop heading home. The weather reminds me of Dutch weather. There is rain in the air and it is chilly when I get off of the bus.
Now, I say 'sleep well' to you all, my dear friends in the Netherlands and around the world and hope to tell you more tomorrow.
PS Sorry not much pictures today. Tomorrow more :)
This is the famous red carpet of the Cannes Film Festival that every one desires to walk on. Of course not now and not without hundreds of camera’s flashing and clicking.
Today is a good day, I can smell the goodness of it in the air. I am not totally lost any more and step by step I will find my way to the right destination. One look at the list of names and I began my little journey towards finding Dance Iranian Style a shelter to nestle. I am good at talking and today I can talk as much as I want and to be honest, what is sweeter than talking about your baby? The parents among us know that very well and the artists among us know that even more!
The first thing I do is finding Dutch Pavilion. It feels home when I switch from English to Dutch and tell why I am there. Erik introduces me to his colleagues and gives me a telephone number and an email address. I see a friend from past (Fleur) who gives me also some useful tips. It’s
always nice to meet friends in a place where everything is unknown.
Before my first meeting I check the DOC Corner and its library to be sure DIS can be found there as well. DIS is not a hundred present documentary but for its documentary part it is also registered to the Doc Corner.
The first meeting is formal but hopeful. I get a good feeling about it when I shake the hand of an interesting distributor who immediately plans a second meeting for talk further after seeing the whole film.
At the second meeting with a distributor from Italy tells me happily that he already saw the film. He says how much he loved DIS and how much he admires the makers for choosing this difficult genre (Docu-Fiction) to tell the story. While he mentions some of his favorite scenes, I begin to think that I have already a distributor at the first time, but my happy thoughts melt away when he says that his company suffers from the recession and now he just distributing commercial films, with pain in his heart, he adds.
The rest of the day is less disappointing. There are distributors who are just at Cannes to sell their own films and there are other distributors who have a nice nick name: Buyers! I need the last one. So I send Farshad Aria a message and ask him to find the buyers. In one hour I have some names: Team working!
I don’t know if I can find DIS a good distributor at Cannes or not, but one thing I know for sure: in the next days I think I will gather a list of very interesting people with whom I can exchange experiences, connections and above all the passion for film.
Today I learn also two lessons. One: Don’t underestimate the invitations from producers, distributors and film organizations you get by mail and specially don’t ignore them. Two: If you see people drinking wine/beer at 10 o’clock in the morning, don’t check your watch assuming it’s not working, just be aware that you are in France and it is normal!
After a nice day I walk towards Dutch Pavilion to have a drink. It is not 10 o’clock in the morning but almost 7 o’clock in the afternoon, so it is safe! The sun is gone and it is a little bit chilly, but the view is still so beautiful and dreamy.
I drink to a happy ending to my journey and am ready for whatever comes across my path.
On Wednesday may the 13th at 17.00 o’clock I arrive in Cannes. It is a fantastic spring weather and watching people walking around in short sleeves and short skirts and trousers seem unreal. It felt like a dream, now is a reality. Months of preparation. It began with just a simple registration, but taking part to Marche du Film Cannes takes more than just a registration. Everything should be ready. Designing poster and dvd cover, printing some, uploading everything including the whole film on #Cinando and booking a hotel, tickets and answering about forty emails and setting meetings and appointments everyday while life is not just about Cannes only and there are more things to be done.
Finally everything is ready thanks to enormous effort of our director Farshad Aria by making two beautiful trailers of the film, a fantastic dvd cover/ poster, uploading film, pictures over and over again and filling many forms.
And after many sleepless nights and long days and not to forget hours of traveling ( Cannes seems to be at the next corner, but truly it took me 11 hours from a to z to be here.
In Nice at the bus stop to Cannes there is a huge line. Everybody goes to Cannes Festival, everybody is excited but more than that tired of travelling. A TV journalists is running between the passengers and Nice own habitants asking people about Film Festival Cannes and showing them big pictures of Sean Penn and Quentin Tarantino and asking if they know them. Of course all the travelers know them, and to my surprise almost none of the habitants.
In the bus to Cannes I try to enjoy the beautiful nature that passes me through the windows, I can’t! I am too tired and fall in sleep. And believe me I am not the only one!
The first thing I notice in Cannes are the people in beautiful dresses heading to the Festival Palace. It reminds me of Iranian New year,’ Norouz’ when everybody walks around in beautiful gowns and dresses.
It is busy, very busy and the security people seem to be in charge. I have seen the pictures of the festival so many time, I don’t even need to ask where should I be. I walk to the Festival Palace to get my badges and information. There is again a huge line but soon I have my badge and a heavy bag full of information. I wonder where I should get the time to read all these books.
The opening is in an hour, I sneak to the press balcony where I have a good view on the red carpet, but I lost interest soon. I know that Cannes is not just about the films only, unfortunately, but that other side of the festival is is not part of my world.
Outside of the palace is super busy with people who try to take a view of the red carpet and its stars. But what strikes my attention is a big group of pretty girls in beautiful dresses who hold a paper board with the text: Invitation Please! It took me a couple of minutes to get the meaning behind this action. These girls did everything to get a ticket to the opening show and I think, by the look of it, some of them can be very lucky.
I walk away from the palace with my heavy baggage and a huge amount of information and heading to my first appointment at the Majesty Hotel. The street is much busier than before and the security guys have only eyes for the celebs. The rest should wait, even the pretty girls in pretty dresses. I feel lost in this chaos!