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Parties around Cannes: May 19-20, 2008

BBC Films, Fortissimo Films, Korean Film Council, Ron Perelman

Brits Celebrate Pix

The cream of Brit film talent turned out for BBC Films’ annual Cannes bash. Thesp Rob Brydon and a host of U.K. producers including Ealing Studios topper Barnaby Thompson, Jeremy Thomas, former BBC Films topper David Thompson and the U.K. Film Council’s Tania Seghatchian joined the U.K. government’s minister for culture Margaret Hodge to celebrate a strong festival so far for British cinema with Steve McQueen’s “Hunger” and Terence Davies’ “Of Time and the City,” the auteur’s first feature in eight years, which are both receiving strong critical buzz.

For expat Brits Miramax topper Daniel Battsek and GK Films topper Graham King far more pressing, however, was Wednesday night’s European Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester United. King and Battsek, both avid Chelsea fans, are jetting out to Moscow on King’s private jet to watch the game live.

— Ali Jaafar

Winner’s Circle

Indie sales aces, Fortissimo Films have become a powerhouse at Cannes. Its corporate beach party Monday night exhibited all the trappings of financial muscle, fabulous talent connectionsand personal service.

Co-toppers Wouter Barendrecht and Michael J. Werner were on hand to welcome talent from their own festival films “Ashes of Time Redux,” “Service” and”Tokyo Sonata,” including former Cannes jury prexy Wong Kar-wai. Eccentric touches included kitting out the serving folk in orange “Tokyo Sonata” jumpsuits, and a trio of masseurs on hand to soothe stressed outguests.

Also in attendance were producer Niv Fichman; legal mavens Jon Sloss and Howard Frumes; Avex Asia boss Buddy Marini; Toronto fest topper Piers Handling; producer Yuki Kito; CAA’s Peter Loehr and Jonah Greenberg; Endeavor’s Graham Taylor; plus financiers Peter Boisseau, Heather Mansfield and Lee Beasley.

— Patrick Frater

Koreans draw creme of the crowd

The Korean Film Council (Kofic) beach party has steadily become more international by the year, reflecting South Korea’s increasing integration into the global movie fold.

Temporary new Kofic chairman Lee Hyeon-seung and Pusan festival topper Kim Dong-ho were on hand to welcome a happy mix of industry folk and die-hard Korean film fans at the Atrium beach. The arrival of the rain drove them all indoors and further warmed the happy atmosphere.

— Patrick Frater

Perelman’s pour lures festivaliers

On Monday night, billionaire investor Ron Perelman hosted one of the most civilized Cannes parties yet. His elegant Ultima III yacht — one of the few boats in the harbor next to the Palais not draped in sponsor logos — saw a steady stream of industryites and talent on board. Upon arrival, guests were warmly welcomed by Perelman himself and the affable, mainly Aussie, crew poured a steady stream of Veuve Cliquot.

Barry Diller held court on the yacht’s main level. SKE’s Jim Tauber, producer Gina Resnick and Christian Slater hung on the second floor for a bit, while on the boat’s top level, ICM topper Jeff Berg, among a throng of ICM agents, chatted with Goldie Hawn.

— Sharon Swart

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