Last Wednesday before the Atlantic Film Festival's screening of Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky, a short film by Andrew Stretch had its fest premiere. Last February the Halifax filmmaker entered a competition sponsored by AFF, Alliance Française and the French Consulate. The prize: Sending young directors to the Cannes Film Festival. Winner Stretch, along with 16 other international filmmakers, journeyed to France, gear in tow.
Inspired by Phillip Hoffman's ?O,ZOO!, which explores "the trust that one puts in the narrator and how conditioned we are as viewers to formal film conventions," Stretch set out to show the Cannes that gets neglected on celebrity news pages. "I shot with my video camera the way I would normally shoot still photographs---I ended up with a large collection of these moving tableaux," he says, capturing outdoor market scenes, street performers and avid fans.
"The most fascinating part of Cannes during the festival has little to do with films or celebrities," says Stretch, who just finished a video for Ruth Minnikin. "It's the outer layer, the spinoff that happens when you triple a city's population---the crazy ideas that people try to get noticed, to make money. It's really inspiring to be surrounded by this belief that anything is possible."