You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cannes: Mark Damon Dishes Over Food, Friends, Films and the Fest

Mark Damon is in Cannes this year with several films from his shingle Foresight Unlimited. The executive has been in the industry for nearly 50 years, and he helped pioneer the business of overseas sales/production via such companies as Producers Sales Organization. With deadpan humor, he talks about his work in Cannes.

Recommended restaurants

My favorite night in Cannes is my last night there, when I know I’m leaving the next day. So we alternate between two favorite restaurants: L’Armenien, which is on the Croisette but a little farther down; and then just out of town, Le Bistrot du Mougins.

Restaurant insights

The food is incredible. At L’Armenien, they keep bringing out plates of appetizers and main courses; I think there must be about 25 plates of food. At Le Bistrot, I always order boeuf bourguignon; my wife changes her selection. Both are run by husband-and-wife teams. It’s nice to see them every year. And the whole mood of the restaurants is very social because they’ve been there for many years and the same customers keep going back.

How many years at Cannes?

This will be my 40th consecutive year. I went a few times before that, as an actor.

How many meetings?

We have four sales people there. I would say among us all, about 70 meetings a day. We go from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; it’s about 400 meetings during the festival for the entire staff.

Projects this year?

We have four big ones. “Inversion,” a $130 million science-fiction adventure directed by Scott Waugh, is currently being cast. Then there’s “Spinning Gold,” starring Justin Timberlake. It’s the story of a music entrepreneur Neil Bogart, who virtually invented disco. We have “One Night Stan,” directed by Bobby Farrelly, which was announced in Berlin. And there is a fourth one, which we will announce soon.

Do you go to parties?

Unfortunately, yes. I generally average one or two a night, for six nights. Fun? You’ve got to be kidding. It’s all business. We have about 17 hours of work a day; the first five days are most intense.

How many films do you see each year?

An average of zero to one, because I go to Cannes to market and sell our pictures, not to see films. My wife does; I make her go to keep her from shopping.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • "Jade Dynasty" in front at the

    China Box Office: 'Jade Dynasty' in Front Ahead of Mixed Competition

    With “Jade Dynasty” out front, Chinese action and Asian animation films led the way at the China box office over the past weekend, while the few American titles in play have failed to attract many moviegoers. Chinese action fantasy “Jade Dynasty” led the weekend box office in its debut with $38.1 million, figures from consultancy [...]

  • The Painted Bird

    Venice Competition Film 'The Painted Bird' Is Czech Entry in Oscar Race

    Václav Marhoul’s “The Painted Bird,” which world premiered at the Venice Film Festival in the main competition and also played at the Toronto Film Festival in Special Presentations, has been selected as the Czech Republic’s entry for the 92nd Academy Awards in the international feature film category. The pic follows the journey of an unnamed [...]

  • Pakistan Picks Freshman Effort 'Laal Kabootar'

    Pakistan Picks Freshman Effort 'Laal Kabootar' as Its Oscar Entry

    Pakistan’s Academy Selection Committee has chosen “Laal Kabootar” as its candidate for the Oscars’ international feature film category. Directed by first-time helmer Kamal Khan, the gangland thriller set in Karachi’s underbelly follows the events that transpire when a woman in search of her husband’s killer is thrown together with a cab driver and petty criminal [...]

  • Atlantis

    Toronto Film Review: 'Atlantis'

    “It took you 10 years to cleanse this region of Soviet propaganda and myths,” says one character to another in “Atlantis,” going on to suggest that the devastation now left behind may never be “cleansed” at all. A strikingly bleak vision of a near future in which Ukraine has won its war with Russia but [...]

  • Beyonce Knowles'The Lion King' film premiere,

    ABC Announces Behind-the-Scenes Special for Beyoncé's 'Lion King' LP

    ABC has announced a new behind-the-scenes look into the making of Beyoncé’s “The Lion King: The Gift” LP, which is set to air September 16 on ABC at 10 p.m. EST. Titled “Beyoncé Presents: Making the Gift,” the new hour-long special will allow viewers to “experience the process” behind the “Lion King” companion album, according [...]

  • Jason Lei Howden, Samara Weaving and

    Daniel Radcliffe On Acting With Weapons Nailed To Your Hands

    How did “Guns Akimbo” director and writer Jason Lei Howden convince Daniel Radcliffe to play a character with guns nailed to his hands? Easy, he sent him the script. Radcliffe joined Howden and “Ready or Not’s” breakout star Samara Weaving in the Variety’s Toronto Film Festival studio, presented by AT&T to talk the limits of [...]

  • Box Office: It Chapter Two Maintains

    Box Office: 'It: Chapter Two' Continues International Reign With $47 Million

    Pennywise’s reign of terror hasn’t wavered: Warner Bros.’ “It Chapter Two” maintained first place on box office charts, led by another strong showing overseas. The sequel, based on Stephen King’s horror novel, generated another $47 million at the international box office for a foreign tally of $169 million. After two weeks of release, “It Chapter [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content