Cannes party lines

Wild Bunch, avex group and more

Infinity Filmed Entertainment Party
(Croisette Beach)
Mumbai-based Infinity Filmed Entertainment pulled out all the stops at its Indian-themed party to celebrate its first film, "The Color of Passion." Beautifully decorated with live Indian music greeting guests both outside and inside the venue.
Attendees: Infinity Filmed Entertainment heads Aanand Mahendroo and Mehool Parekh; the film's producers, Deepa Sahi; the film's star Randeep Hooda; and director Ketan Mehta.
Cuisine: Delicious slow-cooked Indian food, and mixed starters. Took too long to open the buffet.
Highlights/lowlights: The exotic decor, including hostesses dressed in saris, and silk sheets draped around the beach-front location, along with the candles and flowers, made for a beautiful atmosphere. The music was interesting, but extremely loud and sounded like wailing, which is probably an acquired taste but not when it's blasting so loud nobody can hear.
Verdict: 3/5 martinis (Lisa Foreman)

Albertta Ferretti boat party for 'Che'
Taking place on the yacht Prometej at the foot of the old port, the Alberta Ferretti party was a star-filled event, mixing players from the film and fashion worlds, on a beautiful, spacious boat featuring minimalist wooden furniture and lounge-type sofas.
Attendees: Alberta Ferretti, Chopard head Caroline Gruosi Scheufele, Dennis Hopper, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Franka Potente, Bill Pullman, Allan Cumming, Santiago Cabrera, Julia Ormond.
Cuisine: Lots of delicious finger food, sushi, vegetable kebabs, mojitos.
Highlights/lowlights: The boat was beautiful and spacious, the crowd was fun. Lowlights included the bar being stuck in the corner upstairs.
Verdict: 3/5 martinis (Gregg Goldstein)

Wild Bunch
(Villa Babylon)
Expectations were high for this annual all-nighter after last year's event, when partygoers, aided by the sight of scantily clad performers, enjoyed what may have been the most raucous bacchanal of the fest. This year, a soccer theme (the party was nominally for Emir Kusturica's "Maradona by Kusturica") kept things on the tamer side, with human foosball and a goal kick challenge replacing lap dances and fishing for bimbos. But a blazing performance by the No Smoking Orchestra, spacious (if dimly lit) grounds and a laissez-faire vibe kept partygoers dancing and happy until dawn.
Attendees: The soiree featured one of the most industry-centric and internationally diverse crowds of all fest parties; a polyglot mix of French, German, Spanish and English could be heard on the lips of execs throughout the villa grounds. A-listers included Natalie Portman, Eliza Dushku and Kusturica, who fronted No Smoking. And then there was Maradona, who stoked the crowd when he appeared on stage and was feted with chants of "Die-go!"
Cuisine: The party's notable faux-pas. A barbecue pit at the far end of the grounds verged on chaos as partygoers held out plates and pushed forward like pigs at a trough for the odd scrap of hot dog; less polite types reached hands directly on to the grill. Bar lines also were often crowded, with long waits and a shortage of available alcohol.
Highlights/lowlights: Take your pick. The enthusiastic and and chatty crowd? The thrill of a party lingering as light breaks? A naked man swimming in a pool (we're not sure if that's a highlight or lowlight). By the time the weary, well-dressed types waited by the side of the road to board return buses, the party had more than acquitted itself -- though we might put in a gentle request to bring back the scantily clad ones next year.
Verdict: 3/5 martinis (Steven Zeitchik)

avex group
(Hotel Martinez)
In its first try at throwing a party in Cannes, Japanese outfit avex group managed to put together an event reminiscent of some of the grand parties of the past, elegant and classy that left the appetite sated and the spirit lifted. The staccato beat of the barehanded drummer that opened the event and the DJ-provided techno exclamation point bookended a sumptious dinner of sushi and French fare washed down by a never ending flow of a selection of fine sake and vino. The night was perfectly paced -- meaning the speechifying and promotions didn't get in the way of the food and drink -- and the cozy sofa tables for eight meant you could actually talk to the people you were dining with. The evening's entertainment, which included drummer Shonosuke Okura, geisha Katsuno and singer Alan, culminated with a preview of John Woo's new film "Red Cliff," which received a rousing reception.
Attendees: avex honchos Masato Matsuura and Ryuhei Chiba played host to a guest list that included director Woo and his cast, producer Bill Kong, Tony Leon, the Tokyo International Film Festival's Tom Yoda, Toho-Towa managing director Hiroyasu Matsuoko and producer Taka Ichise.
Cuisine: Crab croquettes with oyster sauce, beef sashimi, three types of tuna sushi, eel and salmon prepared by chefs from Tokyo restaurant Kanesaka started the meal with a decidedly Japanese flair. The Martinez's La Palme d'Or kitchen and chef Christian Sinicropi followed that up with yakitori style chicken, shrimp and squid en brochette, and mussels and clams served with a wasabi mustard sauce.
Highlights/lowlights: An emotional Woo introducing the cast members of "Red Cliff," whom he called his "seven Samurai." The sake, served by master sake sommelier Katsuya Kimura, flown in from Tokyo for the occasion. The sushi, also flown in for the occasion. Alan singing the title song from "Red Cliff" while clips play on the big screen behind her. The sake. The traditional Japanese dance. Avex co-CEO Ryuhei Chiba's greeting, a stand-up routine that had everyone in stitches. And did we mention there was sake?/No dancing.
Verdict: 4.5/5 martinis (Dave Morgan)
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