The Cannes effect: from unknown to star in one day



Sat, 27 May 2017 - 11:43 GMT


Sat, 27 May 2017 - 11:43 GMT

Photo courtesy of Cannes official website

Photo courtesy of Cannes official website

Cannes, France - 27 May , 2017: The Cannes film festival -- the world's greatest movie showcase -- celebrates its 70th anniversary this year.

AFP asked actors and directors who made their names at the festival to recount their highs and lows at the star-studded event.

Bosnian filmmaker Danis Tanovic, whose film "No Man's Land" won the Cannes prize for best screenplay in 2001 and best foreign film at the Oscars the following year, said there is "a magical effect of the Cannes film festival".

Before the festival in 2001, Tanovic's team searched for internet mentions of the film and "there were some 30 or 50 sites announcing it," he told AFP in Sarajevo. "The next day, there were 350,000 sites that were mentioning the movie. The effect of Cannes is really incredible."

But his most "important" memory was after the film's screening.

The applause "was not stopping. The whole theatre room was standing," he said. "Cedo (producer Cedomir Kolar) was counting, it was lasting more than 12 minutes. I was completely lost. At one point, I turned towards my parents who were there and I saw that they were crying. That was maybe the best moment of my life."

"We had survived the war and all that it had brought to us, and then comes this sincere moment of joy and their gaze, you see pride in the eyes of your parents, the joy of seeing their child who succeeded to escape a bad dream".

Tanovic said Cannes can be "an incredible springboard" for those with films that succeed, but "if you get there with a bad movie, you disappear before even making the appearance".

All of Belgian director Jaco Van Dormael's most significant images of Cannes happened the year his film "Toto The Hero" premiered at the festival and won the Golden Camera and Youth awards, in 1991.

When the huge crowd in front of the Palais des Festivals finally managed to make its way inside, "I found an abandoned shoe on the steps. It's a very 'Eisensteinian' image," he said, referring to a scene in the 1925 film "Battleship Potemkin" by pioneering Russian director Sergei Eisenstein.

Italian filmmaker Matteo Garrone won the Grand Jury Prize in 2008 for his film "Gomorra", which is also the year of his first and best memory of the festival.
"I was with my partner who was at the time pregnant with my first child and we mounted the steps before the screening of the film," he said.

"When we entered the great hall, we hadn't been told the cameras would follow us live all the way to our seats. We unexpectedly saw our faces on the giant screen amid the applause of 2,000 people. We were shocked with emotion."

Garrone said it's that arrival, first and foremost, that comes to mind when he thinks of Cannes, "more so than the phone call, a few days later, that informed me the film had won an award".



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