Kathi Kamleitner ´s Cannes confession

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Cannes is overwhelming. I arrived in the middle of the festival to find everyone else basically settled in. When picking up my badge or asking for directions a billion times, I often got weird looks and had to explain myself not just once. It took however just one quick tour with the Nisimazine team and a day of wandering around by myself to learn my way around.

I came here with a preoccupation – a glamorous festival, whose glamour would only be exceeded by its exclusivity and restrictions. A fancy crowd of celebrities and wannabes, industry people with purely commercial interests and little appreciation for real good cinema. But, man, was I mislead.

It took a mere glance at the festival palais from my seat in the airport shuttle to realise that I was all wrong. Yes, Cannes is an industry festival. Yes, people come here to be seen and to do business. But beyond that the air is sizzling with internationalty. The Croisette is crowded with cineastes from all over the world, ready to discover the latest gems of world cinema. And I am right among them. At the moment I am queuing for Ryan Gosling’s “Lost River”. The enthusiasm is incredible.

Before I had dinner on the beach by the deep blue Mediterranean Sea and wondered at the golden hues of today’s sunset. What else could I ask for? I came with no plans other than to let myself be surprised by the films I would see and the people that I would meet. So far Cannes has proved itself to be an excellent opportunity for me as a young journalist. Jonas Alexander Arnby’s coming of age / werewolf debut “When Animals Dream” introduced me to the versatile selection that the festival would hold for me.

Technical issues during Cronenberg’s “Maps to the Stars” showed that even Cannes is far from perfection. The passionate discussions overheard in the streets promise a common enthusiasm among the festival crowd. And even though I’m as far away from the ominous glamour to be found in Cannes, I’m right in the middle of it all.

The festival reached out for me, wrapped its shawl of excitement around and sucked me right in. Two days in, I wished it would never stop.

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