Catalan Films & TV

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Celebrating a good run of Catalan production, the regional film body threw a Spanish-style cocktail party at Croisette Beach to introduce its films in the official lineup at Cannes. Sadly, the Spanish penchant for late dinners proved challenging for many partygoers, who were disappointed by the lack of hors d'oeuvres for the first two hours of the event. Ambience was inviting, with black and red decor, Spanish music and plenty of sit-down space lending the feel of a genuine Spanish bar. The beachside venue meant guests could enjoy the festival's 60th anniversary fireworks display from a privileged setting.

Attendees: Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu walked arm in arm from the dinner to the party. The Catalan production teams and cast of Cannes festival entries "Solitary Fragments," "The Orphanage" and "Yo" were there, as was Sitges festival director Angel Sala; Wanda Films' Jose Maria and Miguel Morales; Notro's Adolfo Blanco; Latido's David Castellanos; institutional insiders Angela Bosch and Carmen Puig of Catalan Films & TV; and Paz Alvarez of the Spanish Foreign Trade Institute.

Cuisine: Raw vegetables with dip, skewered tomatoes and mozzarella and other light finger food were the first to make an appearance. The bar served only soft drinks and wine, with no hard liquor. There was a noticeable and lamentable absence of sherry.

Highlights/lowlights: The first hours were marked by overcrowding and a crush at the bar, making it hard to access the one source of nourishment. Lively music boded well for a dance-packed long evening for those with patience, while comfy beanbags on the beach enveloped guests relishing a bit of downtime.

Rating: 1.5/5


Festival de Cannes 60th Anniversary Party

"To each his own champagne" was the theme of the Festival de Cannes' 60th birthday bash on Sunday sponsored by Chopard, and Gilles Jacob made sure that the bubbly flowed after the cameras rolled. Following the official 60th anniversary ceremony and screening of "To Each His Own Cinema" and an official dinner, the best of the best of the world's directors and talent headed to Le Parc de la Roseraie to fete 60 years of Cannes with at least 60 famous faces present. A who's who of the Gallic big screen scattered throughout the large dome, some heading to the dance floor, but most chose to schmooze outdoors. With hostesses offering mini-desserts on silver trays and servers seeming to walk by with an endless supply of already-filled champagne glasses, the ambiance was just what you'd expect from an official celebration: mellow and tres, tres chic thanks to Chopard's elegant touch. The crowd was mostly French, with relatively no stars and stripes in sight. It was certainly a Gallic affair. The bash was short-lived, with most guests opting to jump into official black cars to head to after-parties at Jimmy'z and Le Baron 3.14.

Attendees: Thierry Fremaux put a pause in his hand-shaking to raise a glass with Roman Polanski, Faye Dunaway, Isabelle Huppert and Juliette Binoche. Guillermo del Toro guarded his signature smile as he awaited his flight back to Budapest to continue filming "Hellboy 2." Brett Ratner made an early "X"-it after the dinner, perhaps to avoid the late-night "rush hour" on the Croisette, and Josh Brolin also snuck out early. Jim Jarmusch added a bit of international flavor to the oh-so French evening complete with Ludivine Sagnier, Emmanuelle Seigner, "Lady Chatterley" Cesar winner Pascale Ferran and Louis Garrell, star of Christophe Honore's "Love Songs."

Cuisine: Guests ended the night on a sweet note with no salty appetizers offered. Desserts included Mini fruit cups, mini walnut tarts, mini lemon tarts and mini cream puffs.

Highlights/lowlights: Few Americans present. The parquet floors were easy to slip on and a corner area resembled more of a black hole than a dance floor.

Rating: 4/5
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