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Cannes day 9   Leave a comment

Yes, I skipped day, six, seven and eight because I didn’t have any internet a the hotel and too much was happening to really document. This blog will summarize the most recent events. 

Day 9


I’m in my first party and I’m getting a taste of the life. I’m in a villa owned by a few Lebanese billionaires, staring at one of those hundred inch plasma screens that cost the price of three or four kidneys. (Maybe five kidneys).

I tagged along with a friend for a party celebrating the 24 Hour Cannes Film Festival competition. On the way to the party we tried to walk through the  Grande Hotel to get a shuttle heading up to the villa (aptly dubbed, “The Mint”) and we were stopped. My friend is a Cannephile, this being her third or fourth trip to the festival. As we walked through the hotel, a tall doorman said to me in a thick accent, “I’m sorry sir, I’m sorry, you can’t go through.”

These statements are now meaningless.


Since I’ve been in Cannes, I’ve become pretty ballsy. You have to be—getting in anywhere you have to walk like you own the place, know the bouncers and have all the women, even if you are sharing a hotel room with a couple of other people, and you live nowhere near the Croisette (the uber exclusive strip of shopping malls where the access to all the beach parties are).

I traipsed through the hotel like it was my own. I didn’t hear the doorman calling to me, and when he eventually did a light jog to the back door to stop us, I looked through him. It was weird, but it felt pretty cool in a strange way. It wasn’t a big deal, because we only walked a short way around the hotel to access the cars to the event. I am Cannes! haha.

The last few days have been literally a whirlwind. I didn’t really think I could do so many things in a day, but I really have.

I’ve directed a short film, which I’m pretty proud of. I’ve done a few shorts, but directing a short Film in France just felt different. Then I entered this film competition the Short Film Corner was hosting in association with a company called “”. I interfaced with this crazy artistic guy named Jesse who is a member of my program.

“I want to win this ten thousand dollars,” he said to me. I nodded. There’s nothing wrong with ten thousand dollars.  “But,” he says to me afterward. “You’ll have to be in a scene where you run through the street… in your underwear.”

I did a huge Scooby Doo.


I thought about it for a second. Either this guy was really crazy, or really inspired. The competition was shooting a three minute film with a tiny and very cheap “Flip Cam”. Each entrant gets a camera (which they can keep for themselves afterwards) and you just run with a story.

Our story is badass.

It is essentially a roundabout story of cheating. A guy (me), meets a French girl somewhere, I hookup with her and her boyfriend finds out. There are chase scenes, fights, some serious Cinema Verite’, a dream sequence and the money shot—me chasing after the French girl in my underwear. It was amazing doing the film, even though some aspects of it were a bit weird. More than once a bus filled with French passengers drove past, wondering who this tall black guy in his underwear was doing in the street at 1 a.m, standing next to a young woman at a bus stop while a guy points at us with a teeny tiny camera.


At some point during the night, I said to Jessy. “I’m not shy about standing in the street in my underwear. Its standing in the street in my underwear in a foreign country that make me a little nervous!”


All in all, it was fun. Not only did I end up in bed with a French girl (who we recruited mere hours before the shooting started), run through French streets in my underwear, scare a crowd half to death by being chased in realtime, but I did some real acting for the first time I can remember. There was a sequence where I screamed, I did creepy laughs, and we were doing so well we even drew a tiny crowd.


At some point a tiny Japanese man tagged along with us to help out with the shoot. At this point I headed to aforementioned party.


If my blog isn’t making perfect sense, its because I’m all over the place. I’ve been waking up at 9 and going to be at 3 or each day for the last week and a half, and I have no signs of slowing down. I’ve been networking like crazy, and I’ve gotten on my first “list” in Cannes! A cute English actress I met sent me a text saying she has me on a list somewhere. What it is and where, I have ZERO idea. But its cool to get some sort of hookup.

Before I end the blog, I jus thave to say that networking feels very natural for me. These parties are just people saying hello, people pitching themselves, and people having drinks. The party at the Mint was sponsored by Perfect Vodka. The two drinks of the night, were the Red Carpet, and the Perfect Pussy. “I’m not making this up.” At some point during the evening Alfonso Ribiero (a.ka. ‘Carlton’ from the French Prince of Belair) shows up. He orders two Pussies and two Vaginas.

Exact words.

After the party I finished the film and fell asleep in a friend’s room. The next day I would see footage on his FlipCam of me asleep on the bed. What will tonight bring? Who knows. There has been so much happening that I haven’t the time to document it all. I’ve been so busy trying to meet people I haven’t really been watching any movies, but today I snuck in a viewing of Everyone dies but me a Russian film about teenagers that makes you want to cry, or put your little sister in a safe FOREVER.

Cheers to a good night. More details tomorrow.

Bonne Nuit.





Cannes Day 2: Pictures with Celebs   5 comments

Julianne Moore. Mischa Barton. Gillian Anderson.

What do they all have in common with me? Well, I’m in pictures with all of them. Before you go running to your friends and saying that Marcus is a celeb, think again. I experienced the first taste of the paparazzi vibe.

A few of us from the program were idle at the hotel, sitting in the lobby. After chatting for  a bit about which movie was better, The Village or Lady in the Water, we decided to try and head to a party near the Palais. Apparently, the popular house group Justice was playing at this exclusive party on the waterfront. A friend of mine Chris, received an armband that gets him into all the parties during the week, courtesy of the William Morris agency. A few other people decided to head out to see if they could go to the party as well. IF not, we’d have a nice scenic walk in one of the most beautiful places in the world.


So we walk the three mile stretch from our Hotel to the Palais, stopping occassionaly to see how Caroline is doing. Caroline is wearing three inch heels and needless to say, heels are evil. After another twenty minutes or so we reach one party. The music is pumping and bouncers wearing tuxedos are standing guard by a small walk way that leads into a series of white tents. The music doesn’t sound like house, and we walk further up.


What is amazing about this area so far is the quality of the women. Yes people can say that the way  a woma n looks is relative, but the average woman here is slim, well toned/tanned and very well dressed. Its like the cutest/hottest girls were tossed into a basket and dumped into the ocean near Cannes, where they fought to get to shore in a sweaty mass of lotion and hair gel. The women I’m seeing are pretty attractive, but I’m not really excited by the number of attractive women around me. This is an area heavily populated with millionaires and important people. For now, I’m content just watch them go by. In the way a Lion with a full stomach watches a gazelle graze a few feet away.


We reach the Justice party and people are floored left and right. The man at the door is a tall, well tanned French man who looks like a 1982 Calvin Klein model. He takes one look at a person in our group, a tall guy named Ryan (who is wearing a sharp sports, jacket dress shirt, fitted jeans, designer shoes and glasses ) and says. “No, se impossible’ “.

Chris, who has the exclusive armbad, is shut down as well. To be fair, Chris was wearing a plaid shirt and a straw hat. Everyone going into the part was dripping in Gucci and all sorts of designer garb. Then somewhere to our left, we hear some commotion. Bodies were running to and fro and lights were flashing everywhere. A celeb was sighted!


We took a few steps to see what the fuss was about. A tall, modelesque looking woman surrounded by people with cameras walked by. “Who is that?” I asked. “That’s Mischa Barton.” A guy named Sebastian replies. “What show is she on?” I ask again. Caroline replies this time. “She’s on the OC.” Chris laughs. “Man, that’s wack! The OC isn’t even a real show!”


I watch her walk by, in a resplendent gray dress and she heads into a movie theatre outfitted with an Indiana Jones motif for the upcoming movie premiere. We talk as a group for a second, when in the corner of my eye, I see a flash of red hair and what appears to be a familiar face.

“Is that Gillian Anderson?” I say. “The x-files chick?”

Sure enough it was. “Let’s get a picture with her!” Chris says. We trot over to where she is, and I’m suddenly standing right beside her as the cameras start flashing. I smile with my arms folded, Chris shows the peace sign. The photographers keep shouting, “Liz!Liz!” (we don’t know why) and soon Chris starts saying “Liz! Liz!” as well.


We repeat this process when Julianne Moore comes out of the party. I squeeze in past a few photographers and stand almost directly beside her.  As the cameras flash, I smile and Chris gives the peace sign. I realize that I’ll most likely never see these pictures. These could be going to magazines all over the world, but it is a funny exercise. Julianne Moore looks the way she always does; pale and ageless.

We take pictures with a famous French guy “La Rouche” I think his name is, and a couple who people are snapping but I don’t recognize. We miss a photo opportunity with a cute Japanese actress wearing a traditional kimono and massive setas. After that we talk about the industry for a while. I’m chatting with a cool guy I met named Danny, who wants to be  director.

“This is what we want to be a part of eh?” I ask.

“This is fake, man. BS.” He says.

We dissect the issues surrounding the festival, the nature of film and talk about goals of success. At the end of the day, I’m not worried. At present I am nobody, but I’m at one of the biggest festivals in the world regardless. I might be on the outside looking in, but in a way, I’ve taken the first steps towards something. We take a cab back home and get this, the cab is a 2008 Mercedes SUV.

I reach back to the hotel, give Danny 3 euros for my share of the trip and see two more guys from the program chilling in the lobby. They’ve spent the evening chatting with two French girls and they seem to be very happy.  I have to wake up in a few hours to head to the Festival to deal with a few house keeping issues. Tomorrow is a new day.



Cannes Day 1 – Vive La Crepes!   Leave a comment

Okay. So I haven’t been able to blog about a few things recently.

Number one was my Graduation – too tired.
Number two was traveling to France the day after graduation – way too tired.
So the blog starts here :p




I’m sitting in a room in the Cot d’Azur airport. I’m staring blankly forward—this is what I do when I’m trying to keep an innocent face—and trying to understand the French customs officer speaking to me… in French.


This would be one of my first experiences with the French. The first would be the passionate request of a French man for me to switch seats with him and his wife on the airplane.

“I would lie to sit with my wife.” He says moments after coming to the seat. I was a little hesitant. No, very hesitant because I really wanted to have my window seat, occasionally looking at the ocean while we flew over it at hundreds of miles and hour. Eventually I gave the guy the seat. Not before he mutters under his breath:

Sur incompetente Americans!” after an air hostess gives him a bogus explanation as to why he and his wife aren’t seated together. I tried not to laugh.

Now, I’m back in the office. Not only do I have no proof that I was invited to the Cannes Film Festival (my reason for being in France) I have no copy of my hotel reservation. This is REALLY bad. The lady took one look at my Jamaican passport and immediately started scrutinizing me. (my fellow participans in my program, all Americans went through without a hitch).

It was a fun experience, as I tried to speak in Englsh and broken French to explain my purpose for being in France. I couldn’t’ remember the name of the hotel right away, but I did remember the website that had the hotels name on it, which didn’t help things at all. Then the name of the hotel popped into my mind.

Villa Maupassant.

A young French guy that resembled an actor from a movie I can’t remember was very helpful. He could see the customs lady was breaking my balls. I would find out later that the French officials didn’t even scan the passports for the American passengers, they just took a quick glance at it, then stamped. She kept asking me questions in casual conversational French while the young man translated. I didn’t think I was screwed, but I was very annoyed with myself for forgetting to bring the essential things any Jamaican should when they are traveling: Reasons to show you aren’t fleeing your home country.

After a while I explained to the woman that I was part of a group that had traveled to France and that I was to be picked up outside. The only problem with that was, I had no idea who was picking me up, how they looked or what they were wearing. We walked over to the customs section where I was grilled on why I was in France. 

“I’m going to the festival.” I said.

“Really?” the customs baggage lady (different from the customs lady ) said. 


“Where is your letter of acceptance?” she asks.

“I don’t have it.” 

I give a sob story about Graudating the day before and being extremely tired which is only half true. I normally have my information printed in duplicated hidden in both suiticases, with a backup on my thumb drive. I wasn’t only tired this trip, I must have been on drugs as well. You travel eight thousand miles and have no hotel address? Come on dude!

I eventually get through customs and go outside. I begin looking around… and see no one even remotely familiar. In the pit of my stomach I can see how more and more I’m appearing like a Jamaican hoping to make a new life in the hills of Cannes with my French Cougar. 

 We eventually returned to the airport police office. The young man who had been really cool with helping me apparently double checked with the Villa Maupassant people and I was good to go. phew!

The bad thing was my shuttle had already left and the next one wouldn’t return until about ten a.m (which ended up being about Eleven a.m) either way. My entrance into France like many things, was with a bang.

It’s a chilly day in the Cot d’ Azur aiport, but I like the look of the area. Many of the buildings are tan and dot the hillside in a contiguous way. When the plane landed, for a brief moment I thought of Montego Bay—until I saw some massive mountains in the distance. I’m at the Villa now taking a break. I’m tryin to stay awake for the rest of the day to stave off the weirdness Jet lag can give a traveler, so I think I might get something to eat nearby.


I’ve just graduated from University, and I don’t have time to really relish the idea of being a working professional, I just am. A colleague of mine ( who also Graduated just a few days ago) goes on a walk with me around the local area. We are trying to find out if we can get a phone, or a sim card for cheap, but the best price we find Is a store that sells them for 20 euros. The man doesn’t speak much English and my French is horrible, so I can’t figure out. I decide against getting the SIM for the moment, but as time passes I realize I might need a way to contact people.


I’m fighting against the effects of future Jet lag. This is a process that requires a person to stay awake in the manner you would on any given day, but you are technically staying awake for an extra six hours. When my friend and I stop at a stand to by some crepes, I am made all to aware of this fact. While I’m eating my phone alarm goes off.

For 8:30 a.m

French time is 12:30 p.m. I groan to myself because I have to stay up till at least 8 p.m  that evening to trick my mind into getting into the new cycle. I spend the rest fo the day walking around a lot to get my bearings. Cannes is a scenic town, with sweeping vistas of nice mountainous regions, and lots of teeny tiny cars. The occasional Bentley or Ferrari drives buy pretty regularly, but many people have cars that can fit in a shoe box, or ride a bike.


I end up taking a long (possibly 5 mile) walk to the Palais Des Festivals which is the main area of the Cannes Film Festival. On my way there I run into a girl who was in my Cinematography one class. Small world eh? She tells me about studying abroad and how creepy French men are. (The rumors are true!)


I hang out for a bit, looking at huge Yachts on the Mediterranean and trying to stay awake. I’m sitting on a bench somewhere, I watch another monster Ferrari with a soft top roll by like a Lion chasing his dinner and I head home. Earlier in the day I bought some bread and cheese and its my saving grace. I haven’t had the opportunity to go to a supermarket yet, and for now I will be eating “du pan au fromage”. I’ll report on day two as it comes. You can also checkout my video blog. (whenever I can figure out how to set that up…)



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