Cannes, a beautiful, sprawling city in the Côte d'Azur region of France, is one of the most glamorous, captivating, and chic cities in the world. It also happens to be the gracious host of one of the most prestigious annual celebrations of film, le Festival de Cannes. For those in the business of film-making, it feels like the centre of the universe, the à la mode place where anything goes. For its annual spring visitors, Cannes represents the place where luck, years of hard work, ambition, dedication and drive are tried and tested; dreams are realized or disappointments are faced.
The allure is what inspires Delia Antal, an actor and the film-maker to document the magic of the festival. In Cannes, Delia shows us the ins and outs of the festival, the front lines and back-end action, the true struggle of her journey as a new film-maker and the life changing events that occurs at this important site of the film business. She introduces us to the hard work that takes place behind the scenes, beyond the glamorous Red Carpet. Delia has had the opportunity to meet and interview industry heavyweights, including the successful writer and talented actor Paul-Loup Sulitzer. She is an experienced professional whose straight-forward approach counters what one often expects of a star. She gives each meeting 30 minutes, regardless how important the person is. If the meeting starts well, she pushes that momentum forward, exchanging as much information and interest from the other person. If the meeting is presents a dead end, she is able to determine this within 5 minutes and politely moves onward.
But Cannes represents more than film. The city is comprised of beautiful people, cinemas, historic homes, churches, monuments, museums, new architecture, modern art, parks, shops, cafés, bars, beaches, events, premiers of the films, after premiers parties, ceremonies, and some of the most posh clubs in the world... All types of people from every corner of the earth descend upon Cannes: the mega rich, business savvy, artists of all forms, successful, starving artists, celebrities, up-and-coming actors, the ambitions, the greedy, professionals, baggers, or gold diggers.
Some come to absorb the beauty while others bask in hedonistic pleasures, but everybody is united in the mood of enjoyment and fun. For many, this is all part of a dream to become either a celebrity or an overnight success. The prospects of finding work and dedicating your life to what you love to do... At the end of the day it is all about business, networking; everyone hopes for something, deals are made every second, but also bullshit is sold sometimes.
So what makes the Cannes festival so enticing? I suppose it is different for everyone. But the most common aspiration is the Red Carpet. To walk it, to stand alongside the edges as a voyeur. Your proximity to it reflects your success. For outsiders, those outside the film industry, it represents the fantasy of watching your favorite artists take their part. It is all about film: the deals, collaborations, celebrations! One can argue that those of us aspiring to feature our work here live in a superficial world. Many of us are aware but the level-headed ones know how to play the game. We become a part of it, and it becomes a part of us. The Red Carpet at the famous Palais de Festival symbolizes making it for most of us.
Delia Antal is a multi-dimensional artist. She wrote, directed and produced her first feature film D'ORA, and also played the lead role. She is heading to Cannes to meet distributors for her first film, but is also seeking investors for her upcoming projects. Her down-to-earth approach combined with an easy going attitude keeps her inspired to continue aspiring to work hard until one of her films is presented in the official competition. She strongly believes in hard work, in herself, and in the magical realism of Cannes. It is a true story told through a new filmmaker’s eye, her real life: an actor, writer, director and producer.
Synopsis by Chisomo Kalinga,
Editor and Literary Researcher