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A tour inside Cannes’ Palais des Festivals…

Every year, I used to watch on TV with my mom Cannes Film Festival’s awards and closing ceremony. It used to be on a Sunday in May, you know in that far-away time pre-pandemic…

First the red carpet and the wonderful dresses, (most of the times, the rain would not miss that special day either!). We would make our top best and our top worst (yeah, just because it’s fun!). And then, in a religious silence, overwhelmed with emotion, we would watch the jury rewarding filmmakers, actors and actresses, movies I couldn’t wait to see, controversies and magic…

The emotion may seem awkward when I hadn’t even watched the movies yet, since they were premiering at the Festival. But identifying with the artists stepping on that stage, listening to their thankful message, their journey, some of their struggles to make this happen, has always been for me a source of inspiration and encouragement. The life of an artist is a roller coaster, ups and downs, confidence and loss of confidence, faith and loss of faith… like a tennis ball bouncing from side to side. So when other artists tell their stories, it’s always empowering… it gives this glimmer of hope… it triggers imagination and dream… You know, imagining being up there, thanking those who made this possible… Yeah, the ceremony has always been a good catharsis for me.

For the last few years - pandemic aside - I haven’t been able to follow the festival so closely. But I read about the rewarded movies. And congratulations to everyone, rewarded AND selected (because making it to Cannes is a huge deal)! I can’t wait to see those movies, the controversial ones especially (hihi! So French of me!)! The Palme d’Or has been attributed to a French Female Filmmaker!! Julia Ducournau is now the second female filmmaker (after Jane Campion) to get the prestigious award for her movie Titane - OK I must take a moment here and ask myself if I should take this as a sign: my first supporting role I ever had was in a TV-movie called…. Titane!!?! Hehe! So I mean, that title is ironically on my resume… I just needed to put it out there! I can’t help but smile. So anyways, I really am looking forward to watching this movie, the trailer is gripping and I’ve always loved the work of French actor Vincent Lindon. There’s also the Iranian movie I want to see, Asghar Farhadi’s A Hero. In my recent experience in festivals for my short film The Last Touch, I’ve discovered so many heartbreaking movies from the Middle East in connection with my North African roots!

Now that Cannes has closed its doors and the hallways of the Palais are empty… how about I give you a little tour inside… when there is nobody! Yes absolutely nobody! :)

With French actress Salomé Stevenin, we had the privilege to be guests at an event happening there a few years ago, and the Palais’ team let us visit the hallways, feeling the energy of all those who stepped there before. I took some pictures...

And now Ladies and Gentlemen… step in the prestigious Palais des Festivals, stay quiet and enjoy the tour :)

Special Thanks: Christophe Guillarmé, Salomé Stevenin, Cannes Palais des Festivals' Team.




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