As promised from last week’s post, all the info about quite possibly the best internship a film student could ever ask for is here!
The 70th Annual Cannes Film Festival was from May 17 – May 28. I walked the red carpet 3 TIMES, saw soooo many celebrities, great films, and (most importantly) learned about the film industry in ways I don’t think would’ve been possible, or at least harder to grasp, if I hadn’t been there myself.
Below, I walk you through a step by step process of obtaining the internship, experiencing it, and reveling in the aftermath. Enjoy! 🙂
PRE-INTERNSHIP: Around November of 2016, my University gave us a list of companies that typically table at the festival and had us update and polish our resumes catered to our top 3 picks. We had to write a cover letter catered to our top 3 picks as well.
Once finished, our resumes and cover letters were sent by our University to the Independent Film and Television Alliance so that each of us could be looked at thoroughly and placed accordingly.
In late April, we all received a congratulations e-mail from our home University! We’d done it. We’d gotten internships with at the most prestigious film festival in the world! #HOLLA Our specific company’s contact info was provided in the e-mail and we were advised to take initiative and introduce ourselves first.
INTERNSHIP: On May 15, 2 days before the festival began, I started my internship. I helped my company set up their booth in the Riviera (where tons upon tons of companies from all over the world were setting up as well) and learned my way around the Palais (which is literally a giant convention center filled with movie theatres. France really knows how to support the arts well >>>).
The second day, I assisted my bosses at Monoprix (which is basically like a French Target), stocking up on all sorts of snacks and refreshments for when the festival started and they had hungry clients and buyers to impress.
Once the festival started, there was no down time. I opened and closed the booth every day, brewed the equivalent to several gallons of coffee, ran errands, scheduled meetings, and attended one of my company’s screenings.
For the screening I attended, my job was basically to be an undercover spy. I had to report how many people attended, how many people left throughout the movie, and what the audience reaction was like.
While scheduling meetings for potential buyers and/or screenwriters/directors/producers I was given the power to turn people away. With that being said, I had to have a deep understanding of my bosses’ schedules, what territory the buyers wanted specific films for. And for those trying to desperately pitch ideas to me, I had to ask them what the budget was, where they were getting their financing from, and if there were any stars attached.
And that took some hard. work. We definitely sold to some big regions (ex. China and Germany) which was a huge success my bosses toasted to with a tall glass of white wine for each of us once the work day was over. 😉
We also signed onto some exciting projects me and my fellow intern, Samantha, made appointments for. Success? I think YES. 🙂
AFTER HOURS/NIGHT LIFE: When I wasn’t working, I was watching films. Or ogling celebrities. I saw a total of 7 films at the festival (my company’s included). Most were competition, and some were for networking purposes/showing support for mutual friends. Favorites definitely included The Meyerowitz Stories, In the Fade, and Wind River. All of which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!! ❤ U should srsly check out their IMDBs rn. I linked them here.
And then there was the red carpet. Holy s&!$! So freaking cool! In the photo featured above, I’m wearing my senior year prom dress (haha T-God I brought it with me!) at the premiere of Happy End (to which I got fantastic orchestra seats for). My other two red carpet appearances included In the Fade (to which I had balcony seats for), and THE CLOSING CEREMONY (to which I had mezzanine seats for) which btw major shoutout to my friend Emily because if it weren’t for her, this would not have been a possibility. Who is also writing a travel blog that you should check out and is linked here! 🙂
***RED CARPET SIDE NOTE***: Where your seats are determines where you get to start walking on the carpet. If you have balcony seats, you start at the very end of the carpet and have maybe 5 minutes until you get inside to snap as many pics as humanely possible while simultaneously trying not to piss off the security guards. They make you haul ass so there’s room for the artists of the film when they arrive. If you are mezzanine or orchestra (AKA where the more important ppl typically sit) you can enter at the very front of the carpet and get more time to pose while a friend or kind passerby snaps your pic with your iPhone. Because if you are not Diane Kruger or Uma Thurman, the professional red carpet photographers won’t think twice about looking your way.
Celebrity sitings happened at the red carpet screenings (of course), but were most abundant when volunteering at the amfAR Gala. Which is separate from the film festival itself. I basically just stood there and people watched for four hours. But it was GREAT. I saw Uma Thurman, Diane Kruger, Eva Mendes, Tracee Ellis Ross, Joe Jonas, Jasmine Tookes, Hailey Baldwin, and Paris Hilton.
My friends saw Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Chastain, Will Smith, and Leonardo DiCaprio. So yes, I am a little jealous but still so so SO grateful to even have been there in the first place.
PLUS I got to see Will Smith, Jessica Chastain, and Pedro Almodovar up close and personal at the closing ceremony cuz our mezzanine was legit right in front of the couches where the jury sat throughout the entire ceremony. Ehrmehrgehrd it was absolutely fantastic! Thanks again Emily. ❤
***CANNES FILM FESTIVAL CELEB SITINGS PRO TIP***: If you hit up the bars at the Carlton and Majestique (AKA the hotels where all the big name actors, directors, producers stay at) chances are you will see at least one or two of them. I checked out the Carlton one night and within seconds, Tilda Swinton and TJ Miller pranced by. I would’ve stayed and bought a drink to see who else showed up, buttttttt they were at least 25 euros each and ya gurl was not about to drop that much on a single martini. #sorrynotsorry
POST INTERNSHIP: I honestly still can’t believe it happened. The two weeks I worked were the absolute fastest in my life. The festival was a whirlwind of networking, coffee brewing, red carpet walking, meeting scheduling, movie watching, and reaffirming my love for film. I’m PUMPED this is the world I’ve chosen to work in and can’t wait to graduate so I can dive head on into this industry!!! Just one. year. to. go.
It wasn’t until interning at the Cannes Film Festival that I realized how large and diverse the film world really is. Literally sooooo many movies exist. It’s incredible. Even more incredible, is that this medium serves as a universal language people from all over the world can connect to.
Film is beautiful, film is love, film is life. If you are a film student reading this, I cannot stress how beneficial attaining an internship at this festival is. My heart will forever be full with this experience I had.
If you have any questions, comment below! 🙂 I would be more than happy to answer.
Thanks for reading and see ya in my next post!
P.S. recipe blog posts will be making a comeback soon. Stay tuned. 😉