The AFC at Cannes 2008

by Dominique Bouilleret, AFC and Jean-Noël Ferragut, AFC

par Jean-Noël Ferragut

[ English ] [ français ]

From Wednesday May 14th to Saturday May 24th, the new Image Pavilion marked the AFC’s presence at the 61st edition of the Cannes Film Festival. The Image Pavilion was made possible by the financial support of some of our associate members : Agfa, Cininter, Fujifilm, K5600, Kodak, Mikros Image, Panavision, Quinta and TSF. We would like to express our hearty thanks, with a special mention of our three "film stock fairy godmothers" who facilitated the lodging of AFC DPs. The Image Pavilion was also made possible by the generosity and dedication of AFC members.

The AFC Image Pavilion is defined as a meeting place for all those working on the visual aspect of films, from both an artistic and a technical viewpoint. Located within the International Village - Pantiero, the Image Pavilion was not far from key players of the French industry. Our neighbors included the CNC (National Cinematographic Center), the ARP (Association of Directors and Producers) and SACD (Society of Drama Authors and Composers), the CST (Superior Technical Commission), the French Film Commission and Ficam (Federation of Cinematographic Audiovisual and Multimedia Industries), the Film Commissions of the Ile-de-France and the PACA (Provence) region.

Some twenty AFC directors of photography, some with films in competition and others not, visited the Pavilion during their brief or not-so-brief sojourns in Cannes. They acted as worthy representatives of our association for the hardy festival-goers who refused to find refuge from an inclement weather in the many screening rooms. For two weeks we were thus able to enjoy the company of Richard Andry, Dominique Bouilleret, Remy Chevrin, Jean-Noel Ferragut, Stephane Fontaine, Claude Garnier, Eric Gautier, Dominique Gentil, Pierre-William Glenn, Agnès Godard, Eric Guichard, Marc Koninckx, Willy Kurant, Pierre Milon, Pierre Novion, Philippe Piffeteau, Gilles Porte, Denis Rouden and Tom Stern, without forgetting Mathilde Demy, who was assisted by Nicolas Vital.

Our associate members also took part in the Cannes festivities. Without listing people by name — but hoping none-the-less to not forget anyone, they included : Aaton, Agfa, Arane Gulliver, Bogard, Digimage, Duboi, Eclair, Fujifilm, GTC, KGS France, Kodak, LTC, Mikros Image, Panasonic, Panavision (Alga Techno and Cinecam), Papaye, Postmoderne, Transpalux and TSF.
A special thanks goes to Mikros Image and Arane Gulliver, to Kodak and to Panavision, who hosted three event/meetings at the Image Pavilion attended by cinematographers and company representatives who discussed work done on a few of the films in selection.

Meanwhile, Pierre-William Glenn and Laurent Hebert invited various companies, including some of our associate members, to the "Rendez-vous of the CST", a daily afternoon gathering of a wide range of professionals for drinks. Thanks also for their diligence in obtaining invitations that gave us access to Official Selection screenings in the Lumière Grand Theater.
Let us not forget the daily web page on the AFC website, "Cannes day by day", composed in the Pavilion throughout the festival. The page, which received numerous visits during the festival period, included the day’s schedule and a portfolio of photographs. In addition, thirteen cinematographers with films in selection discussed their work in interviews, which were published online on the morning of the film’s screening.
Among the DPs active at Cannes this year, we note that Willy Kurant performed with finesse his share of the "collective work" incumbent upon the members of the Camera d’Or jury.

What conclusions can be drawn from this first Image Pavilion ? At the risk of saddening the most optimistic among us, we can voice a few regrets.
Wishing to bring together the largest number of international directors of photography in the Image Pavilion in Cannes is one thing, doing so is quite another, and not as easy as it sounds... Indeed, when cinematographers have the opportunity to be invited by the production of a selected film, most hit the ground running as they visit Cannes, and are lost in a whirlwind of projection rehearsals, press conferences and screenings, among other festival activities. Finding time to spend at the Image Pavilion is often an uphill battle !
Looking towards the future, it seems that we should reflect on our presence and that of directors of photography in Cannes during the festival, and on the content of our events. It will also be necessary to make extensive contacts upstream, as soon as the film selections are announced and even before, if we want to highlight the work of directors of photography on the films in selection, as well as their work in general, to the various players of the festival.
Finally, in addition to the aid already provided, we should plan for an "invitation/housing” budget if we want to initiate meetings in the AFC Image Pavilion between French and foreign directors of photography, and the professionals attending Cannes.

(Translated from French by Benjamin B)