Film Scouts Diaries

2002 Cannes Film Festival Diaries
Frog Blog One: Industry Flight

by Philipp Hoschka

Cannes, May 14, 2002 - The flight back from the 11th World Wide Web Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii takes me through New York, where I have a direct connection to Nice. At the gate in NY, lots of people dressed in the usual black, getting ready to take the flight to the Cannes Film Festival, which starts tomorrow.

The plane is delayed, and the usual wrangling about upgrades and exit seats takes place at the counter. Surprisingly enough, there are places available in Business Class - quite unusual - should this Festival be as calm as the last one ? Well, the economy certainly didn't get much better, so it would not be a surprise.

A woman is being escorted on the plane by a Delta official, passing the line of people waiting to board the plane. A star ? I remember taking the same flight a couple of years ago returning from another Web conference right before the Festival, and Naomi Campbell being whisked on board a couple of minutes before departure.

Once on board, two guys in front of me unpack their latest DVD gizmos - especially handy since the in-flight video system is broken on this flight - don't you hate this ? An eight hour flight, and nothing to do but sleep - no in-flight movies, pretty ironic on a flight going to a Film Festival.

Nothing much happens during the flight - everybody's elegance disappears behind eye masks and blankets to get some sleep (just read in May edition of Wallpaper that airline blankets are a health hazard - huh ? help !). Some Tom Jones look-alike (including age) cuddles his young girl friend in front of the bathroom for a while, but that's about as exciting as it gets.

Arriving in Nice, we are welcome by sunny but cold (well, compared to Honolulu) wheather and a red carpet leading to the baggage claim area - not too bad, this way, everybody gets to set its foot on a red carpet at least once during the Festival.

Having the drone of the plane still in our ears, and me being slightly shaky after a 24 hour flight and a 12 hour jet lag, we are being driven away by various chauffeurs to luxury villas, five star or one star hotels or just ... home. Whereever we end up today, it is already clear that we won't spend much time there the next ten days or so - the Festival with its screenings, parties and other attractions will have us in its spell.

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