Thursday 12th May: Alarm goes off at 1.30am. That’s 0130 hours. Ohmygod. I somehow drag myself out of bed, get dressed, have a cup of coffee and head over to collect Tim. By 2.15am, we’re on the road to Gatwick. The road is empty, so much so that I barely recognise where I am in the dark expanse that unfolds in front of me. As a result, I miss the turn off for the M25. But no matter, we quickly navigate ourselves back on course, and we make it to Gatwick on time. It’s still way too early, about 5am, but we must be chattering excitedly because someone asks ‘are you going to Cannes?’ (turns out, it’s a producer) and we end up exchanging business cards by the time we arrive in Nice airport a few hours later. Being the low-producer thrifty types that we are, Tim and I get the bus into Cannes, €33 each for a return fare, not bad.
In Cannes, Tim collects our accreditation badges. While I wait, a TV interview crew buzzes up to me and asks me what I think of Julia Roberts. I manage to mumble something, a positive soundbite, and they go on their merry way. I’m a star already. Once we’re badged up, we head to the pavilions to check out what’s going on. Not much as it turns out. Although we bump into James Newton, director of the new family film 2:Hrs (which we’ve helped out with), and we have a quick natter, promising to catch up later. We then say hello to our sales agents Evolutionary Films (and conveniently leave our bags at their stand). We wander around the Palais, observing the various sales and distribution stands, and manage to have chats with a few family friendly folk.
We head on over to the UK pavilion where there’s free tea and biscuits (result), and we bump into a few more friendly and familiar faces. The Bournemouth filmmaking posse is in strong force this year what with me, Tim, Suki Singh, Jamie Lee-Hill, Adam Merrifield and Dan Pringle all in attendance. We’re feeling good that we’ve all got feature films under our belt. I was previously in Cannes in 2006 and said I wouldn’t come back until I had a film, and now I’m here and Nelson Nutmeg is being sold in the market; niiiice.
The UK pavilion picks up with a healthy buzz and we have our first official meeting of the festival with a couple of nice UK producers. We’re pretty exhausted at this point, so we collect our bags and find our way to our apartment, but immediately head back into town for dinner with James Newton for that proper catch up. Dinner and drinks are consumed, which go down a treat. We have a nightcap in an Irish pub, a sneaky Guinness. It’s still VERY early (in Cannes terms) but I’ve got a weekend script deadline to hit, and I’m knackered (I even did some writing on the plane at 6am), so we head back to the apartment for an early night. Tomorrow, our meeting schedule kicks off in earnest. Should be fun!