Cannes Diary – Day 4
Wow – the week is more than half over and there are signs that the festival is almost already coming to an end. It’s less busy than it was earlier in the week, there are fewer events and fewer film screenings.
Fab UK Magazine is a partner with the Sochi Film Festival and Awards (SIFFA) and I moderated the organisation’s press conference held at the UK Pavilion on Wednesday. It was an hour-long press conference that gave the attendees a brief flavour of the festival (it’s not affiliated with the Russian government), its goals and ambitions (to build a bridge for UK and Russia relationships), and its projects.
On the panel included its Founder and President Luba Balagova, Mohy Quandor – film producer and SIFFA co-founder, and professor Kirill Razlogov – Doctor of art history program director of the Moscow international film festival. Attendees included people from various countries from various areas of the film community. It was a successful press conference and now all eyes will be focused on the event which takes place in Sochi, Russia in December, and Fab UK is honoured to be a part, however small, of this prestigious organisation.
Most day 4 was spent preparing for the press conference but after it was a jam-packed evening. The Film Festival Directors’ reception was due to take place on one of the many glamorous yachts that are in the harbour, but due to the rain, it was moved to the Estonia Pavilion. Much better was the Filipino Film Commission party where the gracious hosts laid on wine and various Filipino dishes and gave each guest a goody bag on their way out! Great party.
The night was not over yet! The red carpet premiere of ‘Whitney’ – the story of Whitney Houston’s rapid rise and, downfall, was shown at a midnight screening. In attendance was director Kevin MacDonald and several family members of Houston. It’s a tragic tale of a woman who had so so much talent but threw it all away on drugs. It also revealed a shocking revelation, that Whitney was molested by an older female cousin, and brought into question what was the real relationship between her and her constant companion Robin.
The screening ended at 2:30 a.m. and sadly nothing much was happening after – so bedtime after another fun-filled and exciting Cannes day!
During a tough chapter in UK-Russian relations I was pleased to have been able to attend Luba's special evening... Luba , you are a brave and valiant woman to spearhead such a high-profile project in a hostile environment. But those of us who spent the 23rd with you had the privilege of breathing the same air as the legendary Stephen Frears, the American star Nick Nolte and the superb string ensemble (KANDOUR QUARTET).
Luba, this is a crucial time for artists to recover their voice, you are helping to restore the connection between all of us, film makers from all over the world. I applaud the philosophy that underpins what you are doing.
Congratulations on making history, Luba. Thanks to Anatoly Pakhomov, of course! Sochi is the ideal choice for the concept of creating an international film festival designed to restore the face of art to the world through cinema. (…) Russia has always presented to the world the best examples of literature, philosophy, cinema and, in general, culture! And now the new Sochi International Film Awards wrote a new chapter in history with the same concept.
A structured and strict concept of a powerful film festival has been formed, and you managed to prove its feasibility. Congratulations on what you have achieved, Luba. You've got proof of concept under your belt now! I thank Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov for supporting the new important film festival.
A smashing success! Thank you for bringing Moscow and Sochi delegations, for the unexpected Sochi-wood glamour, the feedback from staff members and external guests was unreservedly positive.
Admirable Lubov Balagova-Kandour.
President and Producer of the “IRIDA” First Sochi International Film Awards. Majestic woman and lady of the world. Her motto - nothing is impossible. A woman of words and deeds. Beautiful person and magnificent woman.