In 1992, American filmmaker Jeff Balsmeyer made his first trip to Cannes and won the Critics Week short film competition with “The Room.” In 1998, Oz filmmaker (and longtime script supervisor for Jane Campion) Lynn-Maree Danzey is making her first visit to the Cote d’Azur, showing her short film “Fetch” in the Official Competition. Their connection is simple and strong: they’re a bicontinental married couple who, Danzey says, “are now a one-car, two-Cannes family.”
The duo know what official support can do for short-film directors, whom Balsmeyer acknowledges “often feel like the outcasts at the party.” Though Balsmeyer came to Cannes “on my own dollar,” Danzey is here with what she calls “the full support” of the Australian Film Commission, as well as the film’s funding outfits, the New South Wales Film & TV Office and the New Filmmakers Fund.
They may be outcasts, but they’re both working the Croisette with their own projects. Balsmeyer is attached as director to a feature pic called “Speed Stripe,” and is talking to directors about his original script, “Larry Lawn Chair.” Danzey’s rushing from Cannes to the pre-production on Campion’s new pic, “Holy Smoke,” starring Kate Winslet and Harvey Keitel. But she also tubthumping her original script, “No Turning Back,” which she and partner Susan MacKinnon are hoping to shoot next year.