Ever since its inception, the annual Cannes Film Festival has become a fixture on the European cinema calendars, as one of the main meeting hubs for thousands of fervent producers, avid investors, savvy sales agents, movie stars and cinephiles. They all gather in the aspirational French Riviera as an opportunity to connect, share ideas and, ultimately, seek inspiration. This year’s 75th edition was no exception.
Two of FilmChain’s core missions are to champion and support independent filmmaking while also staying at the forefront of technological innovations in the entertainment industry. We are grateful that our presence at the Festival de Cannes 2022 solidified both pursuits.
To start things off, we couldn’t have thought of a better time and place than in Cannes to announce our new collaboration with Lumière Benelux. This year, FilmChain has expanded into distribution, with a royalties management system for distributors to automate their royalty calculations and reporting. As spotlighted by Cineuropa, Lumière is piloting our new accounting solution for their newly acquired title, and Cannes winner, Lukas Dhont’s “Close”, as well as its entire catalogue of films and TV series. FilmChain founders have met a plethora of film distributors from Europe, the US, and the Middle East to discuss automation and digitisation, two key components to a successful scale.
It is only natural to continue the recap with our immensely talented collaborators and collection account management clients who premiered their films at Cannes this year. FilmChain had three client films that were part of the Un Certain Regard section.
Marie Kreutzer’s “Corsage”, co-produced by Bernard Michaux and starring Vicky Krieps in the role of Sissi, also known as the Empress Elisabeth of Austria, was the talk of the festival. The Wrap called it “intelligent, haunting and waspishly funny”, Variety defined it as “a brilliant reclamation of the ‘Sissi’ legend” and The Guardian praised Vicky Krieps’ performance as “exhilaratingly fierce [and] uningratiating”. The film produced by our partners at Samsa Film, Komplizen Film, Kazak Productions and Film AG also won the “Best Performance” Award for Vicky Krieps as well as “Best Sound”.
The production powerhouse Samsa Film also teamed up with Eaux Vives Productions and Match Factory for “More than Ever” by Emily Atef, a “sensitive romantic drama” (Screen Daily) starring Vicky Krieps and Gaspard Ulliel.
The last but certainly not least mention in the Un Certain Regard category is reserved for Kristoffer Borgli’s “Sick of Myself”, brought to Cannes by “The Worst Person in the World” producers from Olso Pictures. This “horribly, shamefully, hilariously relatable” feature is yet another “vicious little treat to enjoy”, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
As passionate advocates of documentary filmmaking, we were also proud to have our client “How to Save a Dead Friend”, Marusya Syroechkovskaya’s debut feature-length documentary, among L’ACID selected films this year in Cannes. Set in Russia in the 2000s and 2010s, this is a “raw […] moving”, authentically expressed visual diary, as hailed by Cineuropa.
Cannes wouldn’t have been complete if we hadn’t dipped our toes in all things Cannes NEXT. At the NFT Panel presented by Creative Europe Media, we cherished the great insight shared by fellow colleagues and pioneering platforms embracing decentralised technology including Logical Pictures / Cascade 8, Decentralized Pictures, Zoan, NFT Studios and Mint NFT. We also attended an engaging talk about new cinematic heroes in the age of AI by Kayvan Mashayekh and Dr Edward Frenkel, and were fascinated by two-time Oscar and Grammy-winning composer A. R. Rahman’s new VR cinematic sensory experience, Le Musk.
Finally, we cannot forget the in-between moments that make Cannes an incredible, difficult-to-match experience: bumping into old industry friends on the Croisette while running late for a meeting, the last-minute frantic change of rendezvous location because Le Pastis was full, the impromptu late-night cocktails at The Grant, the jarring alarm clock prefacing an 8 am screening after yet another sleepless night. Cannes is magical and we cannot wait for a redo next year.