This is only the beginning…

The journey through the Festival de Cannes can be a tumultuous task full of adventure and new experiences.  All I want for every participant is to have the experience of a lifetime and steady foot into the real, fast paced environment behind the entertainment industry.  It is with high hopes that I send my participants through Cannes and they absorb all that is offered to them, which is a lot.

Alex Bottner, a participant in the Filmmaker Program, is experiencing Cannes for the first time this year and she studied at Queens University.  When asked how her experience in Cannes has been a benefit to her future success, she replied, “Building contacts and networking here has been a huge benefit.  Here, you get to see how the business is really done; you can’t learn this from film school.”


IMG_00000039Alex on the right shares a baguette with FMA participant Keri Halfarce.

“All schools should send people to Cannes through this program. People who want to be in this industry need to learn how this business works in reality, not just from a classroom about theory, but real hands on experience. I actually got an interview with a company in LA because of being here. There’s more access here than anywhere else, the contacts you make here are amazing and they’re all in one place,” said Bottner.

She is absolutely correct; the experience in Cannes is like no other. Being present in Cannes and seizing every opportunity to make contacts, pitch you project, or yourself, and learn from professionals is a giant step to a successful career. Being present at a market is a great benefit no matter what genre of employment you seek. If you attend three markets, that is equivalent to one year of experience to industry professionals, which will benefit you whether you seek employment at a company or try to sell your project to industry professionals and want to be taken seriously.

Besides meeting industry professionals, you will meet many other like-minded individuals who will inspire and captivate you. “The best part about this program, by far, has been the incredible friendships I’ve made with other people here,” said Bottner, who has immensely enjoyed the red carpet with her new friends through FMA. The dress, the shoes, the hair, the photographers, the energy! So amazing; why pass up the opportunity to make friends for a lifetime and shine like a star?!

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