Friday May 19th was a day of naps and also of productivity. Colin had a ticket to OKJA, the Netflix-funded Bong Joon-ho film that is part of the current hullabaloo between Netflix and the French film industry (I’m simplifying but you can find out more here or here – and I have to add that I’m with Will Smith on this one).
While he and Tim enjoyed the film, I slept with booboo, then woke up with him, fed him and played for a while, then napped with him for another two hours for which I was immensely grateful.
Then a producer friend came over with a wide variety of delightful pastries and we hung out in the garden for a while talking while Sasha played and munched on bits of croissant. Perfect day so far!
Tip #1: if you’re going to a market with a kid, it pays to get a place that’s nice enough to host people.
I will preface this by saying that it’s often not possible. Apartments in Cannes can be wildly expensive, especially if they’re centrally located. However, just like the ‘arrive early’ tip from day 1, this is one of those targets of opportunity that you try to hit but shouldn’t stress out about if you can’t.
Many meetings in Cannes (or at any market or festival) must, by necessity, take place in the offices or booths of the people you’re meeting with. Sales agents, distributors and the like: they have offices and people come to them. Their schedules are too tight to allow them to zip all over town meeting with people, and besides, they need to have promotional materials handy, TV screens to show trailers and clips, and so on. But! There are also the producer types and the financiers and film festival programmers and buyers who float freely from meeting to meeting, location to location.
They’re the ones you meet on the terrace of the Grand hotel or at your favourite cafe. If you’re lucky enough to have a centrally located apartment with a decent-sized living room or balcony (or in our case, a glorious garden – a rare thing for Cannes) you can invite them to come over so that you don’t have to cancel a meeting when your baby decides to nap at an inopportune time. If the difference in cost isn’t a deal-breaker and you have the option of getting a place where you can have people over, I highly recommend it. You might miss out on the late-night drinks at the Petit Majestic because of kiddo, but how nice is it to tell all your friends to swing by for a glass of rosé en route to all their fabulous parties?
As I warned in an earlier post, this year’s going to include a lot of niche tips for a niche audience. But really, being able to host a small do – even when you and everyone else you know is out of town! – is one of those slightly underrated but amazing skills that I advise to anyone to pick up. It’s showbiz, after all.
Colin got home from his blitz of post-movie Palais walk-by meetings partway through my garden hangout (I was in the middle of updating our friend on the progress of Birdland) and he whisked sweetpea off to the kids’ amusement area near the Palais to meet up with some pals who brought their older kids along to Cannes.
Yes, by the way, there is a mini kids play area right by the Palais. There’s an adorable double decker carousel which I can’t wait to take bébé on, a little ride where kids can ride different cars along a track-loop, a mini-pool in which you can race remote control boats, and a playground nearby. It’s adorable.
The fun-zone is next to an outdoor restaurant where we decided to stop for lunch. Unfortunately service was so slow that Sasha fell asleep on Colin’s shoulder and he ended up walking him all the way home, fast asleep, and gently sliding him into his crib for a nap.
Tip #2: try not to feel too much crushing mom-guilt over the amazing experiences you’re giving your kid (that they won’t remember anyway).
I can’t tell you how bad I felt that Sasha fell asleep before eating lunch and before getting home to his cozy bed. I felt like I was starving and exhausting my poor perfect little baby, because I’m an awful, selfish mom. But really, he was fine. He was sleepy, so he fell asleep. Later, woke up cheerful and had a good dinner. He is 100% the best. It was as if I’d temporarily forgotten that he is not a shy baby and always makes his voice heard if he has real complaints. Take a chill pill, mom! You’re in the south of France.
After Colin left to put Sasha down for his nap, I got his lunch to go, finished up with our pals and then headed home to get ready for the next thing. We left lovebug with Tim, who’d spent the afternoon watching a film in the market, and we headed off to the TIFF cocktail.
The TIFF cocktail is held at the La Plage des Palmes, a patio / restaurant / party space overlooking the sea on the end of a long row of beachside international pavilions that surround the Palais. It’s a great opportunity to meet up with a lot of Canadians and also a lot of the international film festival community. Plus, since Colin has only been out of TIFF for a few months, everyone was still expecting to catch up with him there. And so we went, and a lovely time was had by all. I reconnected with a woman I hadn’t seen since we spent a delightful afternoon in an Absinthe bar in Paris five-ish years ago with a small group of mutual friends. As one does, in Cannes.
Tip #3: have good answers for questions you’re likely to be asked.
After TIFF we raced over to the Grand for a cocktail hour meeting with our friends at EPIC, the company that is selling Jason Bognacki’s Mark of the Witch. We’ve dealt with a lot of sales, distribution & production companies over the years and they remain at the top of our list for being really good, honest guys who do great work. We talked to them about our future plans and were slightly stumped by their question of what we really want to do next. Gotta work on that one.
After such a packed day I was pretty happy to settle in with the bean and some takeout kebabs from a place across the street while Tim went out to meet friends and Colin went to a screening for Shudder.
Early nights. My new favourite thing about Cannes.
Movie count: 0
Meeting and/or work-related-reception count: 3
Baby playdate count: 1