What better place to begin my overview of the rest of my experiences at the Cannes Film Festival than the press office wi-fi cafe? I have managed to get into the festival buildings a couple of times now thanks to Rikki and a spare pass from the UK Film Council.
This place is huge, and every time I go for a wander I find something new and interesting. I asked Rikki where I could go with the pass, and apparently it will get me into most areas except movie screenings, and so I have been exploring.
The pass really does seem to get me pretty-much anywhere, and I have adopted the tactic of simply marching around with a confident air, and looking surprised when even asked to show my pass. I am usually politely waved through into a new area to explore.
The other day I somehow found my way up to the rooftop terraces, which have a spectacular view across the harbour, which is jam-packed with multi-million dollar yachts.
Rikki has been a fantastic help here, and without him I would be in the crowd outside, straining to get a peek over the fences, and wondering just what goes on in here. He put me in touch the other day with Rupert, managing director of Motion Picture House, who just happened to be searching for someone, on behalf of CNN, who is going to chase cheeses down the big hill in Gloucester next week. Rupert put me in touch with Don in London.
Rupert is also working on a web-based show here in Cannes, about the festival, and after a quick cup of coffee, and a chat to producer Stephen, I found myself in front of the camera being interviewed by Oscar.
Haha, as I am midway through writing this blog, I have found myself ejected from my first festival location. I made the mistake of leaving my comfy press desk to go and get a glass of water, and coming back in past the security guard, was told that without a press pass I could not come in. It took a bit of explaining to retrieve my computer from inside, and the guy practically stood over me as I packed my stuff up.
However, every cloud has a silver lining, and just below the wi-fi place I found the Nespresso bar which gives out the most fantastic free coffee! I have been a regular visitor there ever since, and am working my way steadily through their extensive coffee menu.
I had to move house midway through the week, and was a bit disappointed, as I had settled in nicely to my city centre apartment. But I went back to see Lao at Azure Alive again, and he said he had another vacant place that I could use. And believe it or not, this one is ever nicer. It’s a very modern luxury apartment with a huge balcony overlooking the main street, Rue d’Antibes. Fantastic.
I have wandered around the town and up the hill in the old part of the city. I took a bus out into the hills to visit Jean-Claude, where I stayed last time I was in Nice. I have visited the film festival a few times and hung out with Rikki, watching UK show Newsnight being filmed, and have met up again with Valerie and family here in Cannes.
All in all it’s been a very relaxing and pleasurable week. I could get used to this sort of lifestyle! But I have to get up early tomorrow and catch the train to Marseilles, and then a flight to London. On with the next part of the adventure.
Once again, a big thanks to all who have made my stay in the south of France so much fun. A bientot, mes amis!
Merci à toi aussi Ian ! Ce fut un plaisir de te connaitre on se dit à un de ces jours ici à Nice ou downunder ?
Valérie Pierre Andréa Thibault et l’autre Pierre