Cannes: Hollywood Finds Global Business Partners at Festival (Column)
The growing globalization of the film biz is on display in Cannes like nearly nowhere else in the world, and at this year’s festival it seems particularly pronounced.
The Cannes Competition alone has numerous films with a multi-national mix of components. For one, Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives, shot in Thailand with a Canadian lead actor and backing from Europe and beyond.
“The market feels energized,” said WME agent Jerome Duboz at French producer/distributor Gaumont’s windy beachside cocktail party on Friday evening. “You have French producers making English-language films with American actors. European production companies have been given the tools to make English-language films over the past several years, and it’s now coming together in a long-term way. And more Hollywood producers are coming to Cannes to see how they can put together movies in a different way.”
Also at Gaumont was former Universal chief David Linde, who is well versed in the international aspects of the business thanks to his lengthy background in foreign sales.
The Gaumont party was just one of the French fetes that night. Wild Bunch had its own infamously rowdy gathering. “Leave it to them to find a swingers club as their party venue,” said Sundance Film Festival director of programming Trevor Groth. “I'm only sad I never found the ‘cuddle’ room.”
French distributor Studio Canal, meanwhile, had a decadent bash at Moulin de Mougins. One of the night’s most ballyhooed parties was the bash thrown by the aptly named Worldview Entertainment on the Carlton Beach, which had been transformed into a Bungalo 8 Beach Club for the night. Boy George headlined the packed party, which drew lots of execs and talent.
Among the revelers were Benicio Del Toro, Danish actor Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Sony Classics' Michael Barker, and Anonymous Content's Steve Golin, Michael Sugar and Keith Redmon.
Del Toro stars in another of the fest’s multi-national mixes, Worldview’s Montana-shot Cannes Competition film Jimmy P. by French director Arnaud Desplechin.
But the problem with the worldly and well-traveled set is that even the most extraordinary events can feel like just another night in Cannes. “Meh,” sniffed one L.A.-based exec about the Worldview extravaganza. “It's like the Red Granite party and Kanye West a couple of years ago — same gimmick, same location, different company.”