Cannes, was a completely different experience altogether and as mentioned earlier, I had no clue about what was expected of me. I had no idea as to how and in what way my efforts at this event could benefit our immediate project at hand or my future endeavours in the film industry. Anil, on the other hand, had quite some knowledge about the conduct of the festival and also had a few of his friends who were regular to such events, also attending. We were given to understand that we would be able to meet a lot of prospective investors, actors and other technical professionals who might be willing to co-produce. However, we had to plan out our approach and home on to prospective individuals and take prior appointments so that we have an opportunity to pitch our movie to them. Though I had no clue as to how one should pitch a movie to a stalwart in the field, I was excited and ready for the adventure.
We set about making our preparations, took appointments, planned out activities for each day and made our bookings. All of which was again an interesting process. We landed at Cannes on the designated date and as I had expected, it was something beyond my imagination. The entire setup was spread over an area of about two square kilometres with a plethora of events such as star-studded parties, event nights etc all happening simultaneously. I found myself completely overwhelmed and trying very hard not to look out of place and out of sync. I didn’t know most of the celebrities and famous film personalities who were greeted with huge cheers by the crowd present. It was, however, a wonderful opportunity for us to network and reach out and we did that with a lot of success.
We met a lot of people including a few friends at the Indian Pavilion as well as among the other diaspora and congregations, attended lectures and presentations given by many prominent figures in the international film industry, made contacts, got a lot of proposals and suggestions for our casting and crew and also met a lot of people who were ready to help us. The ‘Red Carpet’ experiences were an icing on the cake, an unimaginable feeling which can be understood only if experienced. To sum it up, we spent our time with the crème-de-la-crème of the international film fraternity and soaked in all the pomp and fair. We returned home very happy and content and probably had the contagion hangover of the overwhelming experience for a few days. Dr Alex was equally elated at hearing our tales. He desired that he wanted to see us with the insignia of Cannes Film Festival, the ‘Olive Branch’, on our hands, when we returned from the adventure the following year.