By ALI NADERZAD – May 27, 2007
The Cannes festival is the world’s second biggest media event (can you guess which is the first one?); journalists come from all over the world to cover the films, the people and the news. This year I met a small group of journalists from Iran who who told me about the nuances of working for the press under the current regime. I met an Englishman, Dave Michael, who will soon be coming to New York City to work on a book and a website-based writer named Sperling from California. My new friend Kiki works for a Bavarian-based print news and radio station; shame you didn’t like the Fatih Akin, Kiki, I thought it was just as strong as the first one. Nice to meet you, and I’m sure you can’t wait to be reunited with your son. Then, there is my good friend Carol Guerrero who is based in Paris but works for a Colombian-based radio station. That girl worked so hard, I ran into her regularly on the press balcony. Her and I ganged up on a German journalist who kept lighting up cigarettes nearby; we complained until he left–not hard feelings. During a press junket I had the pleasure of meeting Andrew O’Hehir, the contributor for salon.com and William Booth, the Washington Post Los Angeles bureau chief. These accomplished writers and myself attended the Persepolis luncheon during which we met Marjane Satrapi, the author of the Persepolis books and now, the film. Meeting like-minded people who hail from different corners of the world and arguing about movies. That’s the real Cannes. Oh, and let’s not forget Sandy Gillet, who runs www.ecranlarge.com. Sorry we did not agree on James Gray’s We Own the Night. In this case it really is hard to separate the formula from the movie and predictability always ensues. However, I’m glad we met and hope we can face off again next year on the next big Hollywood movie. Good luck with Ecran Large. And, finally, Fabien Tucci, my cameraman partner. Him and I worked on a video diary for Anthem Magazine’s website, meeting on the Palais’ rooftop balcony to shoot ten-minute clips rounding up the day’s screenings and funny happenstance like running into Jeremy Piven on the Croisette while he was shooting a special Cannes Entourage. Hopefully the montage should be ready for broadcasting pretty soon. Keep working hard, Tucci, your short that we screened in the Short Film Corner was hilarious, as I told you. Now it’s on to pitching time. See you next year!