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You are in: Cambridgeshire > People > Your Stories > Jan in Cannes

The Festival Zone  P. Stahl

The Festival Zone P. Stahl

Jan in Cannes

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire film critic Jan Gilbert has been soaking up the sun, rain and world premieres in the south of France. Here she is with tales of her adventure and interview with Mike Tyson!

Hear Jan between 4 and 6pm every Thursday with Antonia Brickell on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

This is my second year at the Cannes Film Festival, and I feel that over the past two festivals I've learnt a useful thing or two: where to grab the quickest and tastiest food in the frantic rush between screenings (either the tiny sandwich shop opposite the Gray D’Albion Hotel or the little van in the central market, in case you're wondering), whether it’s better to weigh my luggage down with that extra cocktail dress or an umbrella (it does rain in Cannes you know!), and how to find where the most interesting events in town are happening (if I told you that, I'd have to send Will Smith round to your house with his Men In Black neuralizer).

Cinema de la Plage  AFFIF

Cinema de la Plage AFFIF

But if there’s one thing that becomes apparent very quickly from the first moment you arrive in Cannes, it’s that, no matter what time of day or night, there’s always something going on somewhere in town.

Aside from the parties on yachts, rooftops, and in tepees, you'll also find films screening in just about every place imaginable: in huge theatres, mid-sized cinemas, fancy hotels, purpose-built venues, private villas, tiny screening booths made for two, out on the beach, and even in a transit van.

Yes, that’s right, a transit van – you did read that correctly. Just when you thought the little town on the Riviera couldn't be any more saturated with cinematic delights, ‘Cannes in a Van’ rolls into town. ‘But what on earth is it?’ you ask.

Well, it’s a not-for-profit venture which art director Andy Greenhouse and TV graphics artist Simon Harris came up with late one night, inspired by a shared passion for film.

‘Cannes in a Van’ first invaded the French capital of all things filmic last year with its mobile cinema – the world’s smallest! – screening a hundred independent films from the back of a yellow van, with the help of the ‘Cannes in a Van’ crew and a projector.

The red carpet  AFFIF

The red carpet AFFIF

And this year they're back, but with a difference: many of the films and the van itself have gone green, with the long drive from London to Cannes being fuelled by vegetable oil and a showcase of ‘green film’ available for all to see.

Films showing at this year’s ‘Cannes in a Van’ range from festival award-winners to the seriously underground, with selections having been made from events including The Bird’s Eye View Festival (films by women filmmakers), The End of the Pier Film Festival (independent films from around the globe), and Rushes Soho Shorts (short films from documentaries to animation).

Plus, if you want to see what happened during ‘Cannes in a Van’ last year, there’s the Cannes in a Van 2007 documentary!

Now, I realise that as I write this from the sunny (and sometimes rainy) south of France that you might not be able to make it out to Cannes this year, but don't despair, you can still enjoy the ‘Cannes in a Van’ experience.

Just pop on a pair of sunglasses and catch the train to London where from the 1st to the 3rd of June you can see the ‘Cannes in a Van’ films at The Movieum, where you'll also find an array of props and sets from British films on show.

You can't say fairer than that!

last updated: 30/05/2008 at 12:10
created: 27/05/2008

You are in: Cambridgeshire > People > Your Stories > Jan in Cannes

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