After a great year including “Boyhood” (on which he was a producer), John Sloss of Cinetic Media is at Cannes wearing various hats for his companies, including work as sales agent, consultant, finance arranger and the company’s increasingly important management business.
I love Tetou and La Mere Besson. But if I’m able to take a half-day off — which doesn’t happen often — a big treat is the Colombe d’Or in St. Paul-de-Vence. I love their crudite basket, with all sorts of fun and exotic vegetables. And they have strawberries that may not look impressive, because they’re so little — but they are really flavorful.
Do you have sit-down dinners often?
Rarely. Once in a while, we’ll have a full-blown ceremonial meal in the true French tradition, with several courses over many hours. But often it’s food on the run, with a pan-bagnat — salad nicoise on a round bun — or a baguette with pate or salami or whatever. I get my share of those.
How many years at Cannes?
I’ve been there virtually every year since 1984.
How long do you stay?
This year, I arrived May 11, because the foreign sales agent was showing a reel to buyers of “Maggie’s Plan” on May 12. We put the financing together for the film, which is written and directed by Rebecca Miller, so we wanted to be there for that.
What’s your day like?
I go from meeting to meeting to lunch, then meeting to meeting to meeting. Everyone’s at Cannes, so our schedule fills up fast. Cannes has so many different agendas for us, financing, sales, consulting. And we’re making a real push in our management business; that’s a big focus for us.
Do you go to screenings?
We have people who go to six screenings a day, but it’s hard for me to see films we’re not involved with. We have two films in the festival: “Amy,” the documentary about Amy Winehouse, and “Carol,” Todd Haynes’ movie with Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.
I always go to parties for films we’re involved with, or parties of friends. Parties are an essential part of the Cannes experience. Cannes is a good environment for doing business. But somebody said to me early on that if you come here without any particular agenda, you feel like the most unpopular kid in high school: You see a lot of people who know you, but they don’t have time to talk with you.