Report Cannes 2000
Report Cannes 2001

Portobello Goes To Cannes Part 3

It was very much a different Cannes for the Portobello Film Festival this year.

For the first year we did not screen any films due to a breakdown of communication with the DTI (who were due to be part funding a bigger stall at the British Pavilion) and a non functioning Video projector at a bar we had lined up as an alternative venue.

However this gave Festival Representatives, Jonathan Barnett and Raymond Myndiuk, the opportunity to more fully explore the Festival itself and forge better links between the Portobello Film Festival and sympathetic industry partners.

It is worth noting that the Cannes Film Festival itself, like the Portobello Film Festival, is free. Accreditation has to be obtained by email but is very easy. The Cannes Market supports the Cannes Festival, much in the way our funders and sponsors support us. The public have access to Cannes through our sister organisation Cannes Cinema, run by Lilianne Scotti and Erwan Bontonneau, with their Cannes Cinephile festival-within-the-festival. And for the persistent cinegoer free tickets are available outside the Palais from overticketed accreditees.

In France Cinema is regarded as The Seventh Art and the international films that are shown truly put the British and Hollywood Film Industries to shame (festival Programmer Raymond Mydiuk has especial praise for Russian Ark and Chihwaseon, neither of which will probably get a UK release) although it is worth noting UK was well represented this year by new Ken Loach and Mike Leigh movies and the US presented Woody Allen's „Hollywood Ending" and a 20 minute trailer for Martin Scorsese's „Gangs Of New York". Polanski's „The Pianist" an understated epic about Nazi persecution of Jews in WW2 rightly won the Palme D'Or.

Wim Wenders and gave a very informative presentation about broadband internet, suggesting that in perhaps as little as five years this could replace existing TV completely and provide an endless variety of TV channels through your computer: Portobello Film Festival TV24 anyone!

Once again Industry sources suggested our archive of independent movies from the past six years was the real goldmine, and after the Festival we intend to Write our best films onto DVD with a view to both presenting on the TV, with welcome royalties for all you impoverished filmmakers out there, and diffusing throughout the UK to venues where they have DVD projection.

Apart from the humorous and impressionistic Mavroscoufitsa, the Courts Metrages (shorts) were by and large no better than an evening at the Portobello Film Festival Video Café. This is not to criticise the selection at Cannes but is more of an indication of the excellence of our own archive. The Official Selection of Courts Metrages at Cannes were all made on film and much of the interesting contemporary shorts are made on video especially digital.

We were impressed with the Espace DVD, a large lounge of plasma screens playing a selection of movies including Amelie, with both headphone and small pa amplification. It is something we would like to feature at our festival.

We hope to be back at The British Pavilion next year showing films again. A lot of people were asking for us there.

Many thanks to Ian Comfort and Linda Warner at RBK&C Community Education, Sister Anne-Pierre at Lochabair, Bob Bingham at the British Pavilion, Alan McGowan from Button and Lilianne Scotti at Cannes Cinema.