Cannes Fest topper Thierry Fremaux reflects in Buenos Aires on ‘exporting the idea of Cannes’
BUENOS AIRES – Jacques Audiard’s “Dheepan,” Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Lobster,” Todd Haynes’ “Carol,” Stephane Brize’s “The Measure of a Man” and Gaspar Noe’s “Love (3D),” five of the biggest standouts – and very often winners – at 2015’s Cannes Film Festival feature in the Thierry Fremaux-presented 2nd Cannes Festival Film Week, which unspools this week in Buenos Aires.
Film Week is designed to boost audiences for the films: “As the Festival works up to its 70th anniversary in 2017, we have to think about our jobs. One of our jobs is to give films to audiences,” Cannes topper Fremaux told Variety Monday in Argentina.
He added: “We must use the trademark of Cannes to touch people, establish a dialogue with audiences, and to check how the films we selected are performing after Cannes. It’s not enough to just screen in Cannes.”
Highly popular – the downtown INCAA Espacio Cine Gaumont, a 800-seat screen, is normally crowded – the Cannes Festival Film Week also forms part of a drive by the Cannes Festival to promote an alternative cinema theater experience for filmgoers to the big movie big screen combo on which Hollywood, in many territories at least, has a near lock.
“All the things we do are connected with being together, watching cinema on a big screen,” Fremaux said.
That seems crucial. A recent IHS Technology report points to premium large format screens as “one of the fastest growing and most active areas of cinema exhibition with significant potential to grow in size over the next ten years.”
Cannes is proposing a slightly different theatrical experience. Taking advantage of the presence of both Vincent Lindon, who won Cannes best actor this year for “The Measure of a Man,” and ”Love” director Gaspar Noe, who is part-Argentine, the Cannes Week will not only leverage the Cannes brand but bring to bear a strategy which has proved dear to Fremaux: Star presentation – here Lindon, a film buff, and Fremaux on Tuesday – of a highly-admired movie classic: “Pepe Le Moko,” from France’s Julien Duvivier, released in 1937.
Part of Cannes’ double presence in Buenos Aires this week – the Festival and Cannes Film Market also team with Argentina’s INCAA Film Institute on Ventana Sur, Latin America’s biggest film mart-meet – the Cannes Festival Film Week will also feature two Masterclasses – one on Dec. 1 given by Lindon, Fremaux and top Argentine auteur Pablo Trapero, which works incidentally as a lead-in for the “Pepe Le Moko” screening, and another, on Dec. 2, by Noe and Fremaux. forseeably an onstage Q & A.
Film Week kicks off Nov. 30 with “Man,” wraps Sunday Dec. 6 with “Dheepan.” It comes right on the heels of Les Films de Cannes a Bucarest, an initiative of director Cristian Mungiu whose 6th edition ran Oct. 23-29, and whose titles are drawn from Cannes but also beyond, such as Venice Golden Lion winner “From Afar.”
Now Fremaux is thinking about the future. “Here in Buenos Aires, we have a wonderful collaboration with Argentina’s INCAA [Film Institute]. I certainly don’t want to say I do everything.”
Also, “I also want to respect the festivals which take place everywhere. There are a lot of wonderful film festivals around the world, and sometimes I just go to visit. It’s doing the same job going to Morelia or Pusan. I go if I can help. And we can’t go everywhere during the whole of the year,” Fremaux added.
That said, the Buenos Aires Cannes Festival Film Week “is something we’d like to do more. We’re looking at exporting the idea of Cannes,” Fremaux said.
“We want to connect with audiences, about what the professionals in the sector were doing [at Cannes]. We’re here to help,” he added.
That would entail traveling with actors, directors of titles. “To give that key, whose code we don’t know, and we don’t have to know what it is: A passion for film, an auteur world, glamour, something which shows how cinema is important in our lives.”