Today is the day one of Cannes film festival, and it's summer time here in this beautiful city of France, Cannes.
In this season, the days are longer, and the temperature is varying between 18 to 20-degree Celsius. Usually, the traditional parties start by 7:00 p.m., and it's a common sight to see; the bars filling fast with patrons sipping their beers in broad daylight.
By the time the sun sets, by 9:00 p.m., half of the festival crowd is already high and start dispersing to their nearby hotels. The exception is an opening ceremony night when the most of the celebrities of festival crowd gather on the streets to get a single glimpse of their favourite domestic and dazzling international imports which this festival of Cannes brings in.
The inaugural night also started at 7:30 p.m. amidst the arrangement of massive security measurements, as the entire city comes to a standstill, shares Girish Wankhede with WittyFeed from Cannes Film Festival, France.
My main agenda of the day was to catch up with the first screening at Virtual Reality Theatre, and I did it. Trust me; it's an altogether different cinema experience.
With patrons sitting on chairs which can revolve to 360 degrees and the visual box fitted on the eyes along with earphones, the screen becomes your individual screen with the width so thick that you can move your head and chair in full round.
It was titled, "Emerging Trends in 360 degrees Documentary Storytelling" which was the compilation of three documentaries on diverse themes.
It was an immersive experience, and now I am looking out for another VR offering by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu which is scheduled in coming days in the festival. This alternate Cinema viewing affair is here to stay, and the new Virtual Reality Lounge launched by PVR Cinemas with HP at Noida is just the beginning.
However, I met the regular festival acquaintances from Mumbai (India), and the discussions pondered on new co-production deals and the new pitches in emerging markets, especially on digital platforms. The young brigade is grasping the digital medium with new-age stories while some old stalwarts are still stuck with the conventional norm.
The sudden influx of Netflix and a new-found love of web series is another flash in the pan. Cannes readily serves the meeting point for various creative and enterprising forces to carry the canoe to a different level. The discussions turned into debates with a lot of me', myself' and my work' syndrome with many egos flashing around.
As I believe that as we move deeper in the festival, the egos will eventually fade away and will be replaced by more constructive amalgamation.
The calm and composed streets suddenly transformed into the rustle of Fast and Furious. All human species under the sun only headed towards the Palais des Festival where the Inauguration Ceremony was scheduled. Three major destinations; Hotel Barriere Le Majestic, Hotel Carlton and J W Marriot, where the stars house before appearing in their Limousines to head for the gala night were almost mobbed.
To start with, it's Monica Bellucci and we should hold our breath here. She came, she addressed, and she kissed Alex Lutz, the French Actor-Director. How we all wish to direct a French film now. Then was Pedro Almodovar, the Spanish Director and also the Jury Chairperson, Will Smith, Jessica Chastain, Lily-Rose Depp, Marion Cotillard and Elle Fanning.
Our own Deepika Padukone also was seen mingling with Juliane Moore and Susan Sarandon but was no big shakes. She was somehow laborious in her act and could not find much attention of world press.
It was pleasing to see Asghar Farhadi making the appearance who earlier skipped the Oscars for 'Salesman'. Overall, the red carpet was phenomenal. The terrific Media Presence and the discipline and camaraderie of Press were something I got a hold to vouch for.
She was dressed to the T for this evening gala. Jaded and flashing her worn-out smile, she looked out-of-place in this whole ordeal. I never understood what this spent-force is doing here without any film or affair to talk about. She was posing coyly to the cameras with the same delusion most of our filmmakers still live with.
The faces are upbeat, and so is the city. It creates the story we love to indulge in, with a lot of subtlety and sophistication. We learn this and look forward to having this story of our one day, in our country, India.
That's all for day one.
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(Note: The views expressed in the story are of Girish Wankhede's only.)