Believe it or not, the Cannes Film Festival offers plenty more than just awards. In fact, attendees of the Festival are welcome to participate in an incredible hands-on experience, and beside some of the film business’s very best. How spectacular would it be, getting the chance to work and learn from the some of the worlds most renowned directors and producers, like Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese? This is precisely what makes the Cannes Film Festival such a unique and enriching worldwide event, even for those not going home with an award!

This year, for the Festival’s 65th Anniversary, Phillip Kaufman, Alexandre Desplat and veteran Norman Lloyd have been invited to share their expertise at the Bunuel Theatre in Cannes. The “master classes” will focus on various directing techniques, professional experiences; will conclude with an informative Q&A period involving the audience.

Master class “A lesson in directing by Phillip Kaufman,” will place on May 25th. This director has been a very well known figure in the American film industry for nearly 50 years. The director’s film “Hemmingway and Gellhorn,” starring Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen, will be a part of the Official Selection of the ‘Out of Competition’ category, and will also screen as a world premiere. According to author Annette Insdorf, who has just recently written a book on Kaufman, she describes the director’s body of work as diverse, having a range of work from both studio and independent films.

Composer Alexandre Desplat provided festivalgoers with “A personal history of film music” on May 19th. Back in 2006, the multi-award winningmusician gave a master class on his own work, so this year the focus was a little different. The workshop pinpointed less on Desplat, and more so on his fellow composers’. He explains,  “great film scores should enhance a film, the collective body of work as well as being able to exist independently from the images.” This year’s Festival had several film scores by Desplat in the Official Selection category. To name a few, some of his recent film scores can include well known and successful films such as Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, The Tree of Life and The King’s Speech. A visionary in his field, we don’t doubt this master class was anything short of extraordinary!

Finally, legendary film figure, Normal Lloyd, will offer his veteran expertise on May 24, at “A history lesson with Norman Lloyd.” The 97 year-old actor, producer and director, certainly knows his stuff, having worked in both theatre and cinema for an outstanding eight decades. Lloyd also maintained affiliations with the best of the best in the business, keeping a long lasting friendship and professional relationship with praised film pioneer, Alfred Hitchcock. Anyone with an opportunity to attend this master class with such an esteemed figure like Lloyd would be learning history front row and center from one of the industry’s most fine and seasoned.

The Cannes Film Festival is offering a very special line-up of talent for its 65th Anniversary. Each class offers a particular expertise that every attendee can truly benefit from. So nominee or not – you can take home more than just an award from this year’s Festival!


by Gabrielle Martin


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