Report Cannes 2000
Report Cannes 2001

Report On Portobello Film & Video Festival @ Cannes 2000

The Portobello Film & Video Festival greatly enjoyed their two weeks at the Cannes Film Festival 2000. We made contacts in the Film Industry and with the people of Cannes, we gathered many good films for this years film festival, we generated some great publicity, we substantially raised the profile of the Portobello Film Festival and we showed a different 4 hour programme of films from the festival (including a day dedicated to North Kensington culture) every day in the British Pavillion.
On a level of event management experience it was unsurpassed.

We all gained immeasurably in confidence and media expertise. We obtained our accreditation the first day, which gave us access all areas: to the trade fair where we gained some films, pitched for funding and got on some useful websites (e.g. Filmfestivals.com). The accreditation also gave us entry to the hotels where the film companies had their suites. We negotiated at the Scandinavian suite for "Dancer In The Dark" which later won The Palme D’Or and made good contact with a local film company, Palm Pictures (owned by Chris Blackwell of Island Records fame). We also saw a lot of films. A fantastic learning experience for Jonathan Barnett, Ray Myndiuk, Leona Hussey and Larbi Oumghar (who had to send home for more business cards!). Prior to leaving we were featured on the front page of the Kensington and Chelsea Times and consequently the Portowebbo website. On arrival we were featured in the Cannes Market News daily magazine and also filmed by London Weekend Television for Big Screen, which was subsequently transmitted.

Financially we did well, helped by the strong pound. Every evening the crew had a proper meal at Le Crillion-very reasonable and very good food. For lunch we had a baguette from the British Pavilion. The bar tab of around 200 was not bad considering the prices.

We had a monitor installed in the British Pavilion. Ideally we should have had a corner to ourselves, but people frequently stopped to watch the films and several film-makers came over from London to see their films. The most lively bits were when filmmakers brought films along, sometimes with a possible funder.

We also took some footage of Cannes, of the Festival, of George Rocca and Dorothy Chamaude reminiscing about the early days of twinning, and of the twinning ceremony itself. This footage will be edited when we have settled on a format and shown at this year’s Portobello Film & Video Festival. We also have some films from the Cannes Cinema Club to show. We must thank Mr. Rocca for his hospitality and help.

We must also thank the Mayor, Mrs Fraser, and her husband, and Councillor Francis Taylor for taking time out of a very busy schedule to come and see us in the British Pavilion. And also Chelsea FC for winning the FA Cup the day the Mayor came!

Thanks also to the British Pavilion for suberb hospitality especially Rae Sprintz and Alan McGowan for making it possible. Many thanks, too, to Ian Comfort and the Borough for taking us there. We are very keen to do it again, especially with what we have learnt now.

Some discussions were undertaken with Lilianne Scotti of Cannes Cinema about possibly erecting a megascreen next year. This project should be pursued now, as there is much enthusiasm for it. We were very impressed with The Forum, which gave public access to 26,000 people to the festival films which was organised by Lilianne and Erwan from Cannes Cinema. We hope to work more with them in the future. We also met a lady from Turin Cinema and are developing links there.

Finally thanks to Andrew Borge of Dr Martens whose initial vision lead to the Portobello/Cannes initiative and to Sister Anne-Pierre of CIMEM: what a perfect hostess and what a lovely place.

Jonathan Barnett June 2000 ...