MEET DENA LYONS, AN UP-AND-COMING AMERICAN PAINTER BASED IN MONACO

Cet article a été publié dans Riviera Buzz en 2013 (this article was published in Riviera Buzz in 2013)

dena lyons

Contemporary American artist, Dena Lyons, takes time out of her busy schedule to talk to us about her upcoming exhibition in Beausoleil.

Entitled ‘Trees‘, the exhibition features trees of different sorts, shapes and colours, and revolves around la joie de vivre. A few days before the opening, we met with this talented artist who now calls Monaco home.

Dena, could you describe your background a little for our readers– what got you into the arts, and in particular painting?

I started finger painting the first day of nursery school – it was my favorite activity already at the age of 2. I proceeded to attend magnet programs for the arts in Florida, and then I went to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for college. Paintbrushes grew out of the ends of my fingers, and therefore made the choice to paint easy.

How would you describe your art?

My paintings are dynamic, contemporary, figurative pieces, normally made with oil and wax on canvas, full of energy, defined by subtle color choices.

Who influenced you? And how?

Everyone that walks into my life or through my line of vision. My neighbour, Mme. Lollipop and her positivity, my friend Gregg and his determination to do things the right way and efficiently, Morandi for his simplicity of form and palette and the monumental works that he creates with it, Wayne Thiebaud for his icing-like paint that you want to eat, it is so creamy, Thomas Friedman for the wit in his sculptures, Albert Camus for his sense of isolation in the world, Benny Goodman for adding verve into my life, and the pigeon that landed on my back thinking I had become one of the trees that I paint, for helping me to understand what it is like to be a tree.

Your upcoming exhibition which is opening this 4th of April in Beausoleil is entitled ‘Trees’. Can you tell us a little bit more about it?

In life, it is important to use the minimum in order to make the maximum. I paint individual trees because of their simple nature, creating something profound out of a singular, minimal subject. Trees are as varied in form as humans are, every one with a different shape, size, and colouration. Each portrait of a tree represents a different aspect of thehuman condition: desire, hope, humility, and revery, among others. Most of the paintings are similar to size to that of a human, as if you are standing in front of another person. In this exhibition, ‘Trees‘, you will be amidst a garden of trees.

What is the biggest challenge you are currently facing as an artist?

The biggest challenge as an artist in 2013 is surviving in a global economic crisis without compromising the quality of the work to commerciality.

What has been the biggest victory or success in your art career so far?

My biggest success was moving to France with only one contact, no money, and living off of my paintings for 10 years. In the process I travelled through most of the regions of France and embarked on amazing adventures.

And what’s next for you now? Do you have any short term or long term artistic goals?

Short term goal…I would like to attack a 10 foot canvas or larger to recreate a life size tree, instead of being limited by my size or that of the room I may be painting in. Long term goal…it is hard to think of the future when you live in, and are happy with, the present.

ou are American but you live in Monaco. What do you like about the French Riviera?

After travelling for five years through the countryside of France, not having found a city that suited my energetic and creative nature, I moved back to Chicago. When I discovered Monaco, ever so cosmopolitan and majestically beautiful at the same time, carved into the hills, I melted. It has the best of all worlds, a plethora of subjects to paint, diversity of people to exchange ideas with, and the wonderful traditions of French culture that linger still in the quality and leisurely pace of life.

We would like to thank Dena (pictured below) very much for taking the time to talk to us, and we wish her the very best of luck with the exhibition. To find out more about Dena’s work, you can visit her website. The exhibition, Trees, runs from the 4th of April to the 3rd of May, 2013.

Image courtesy Dena Lyons

http://www.riviera-buzz.com/features/local-buzz/item/217-dena-lyons.html

THE PINK RIBBON WOMEN OF MONACO

Cet article a été publié dans Riviera Buzz en 2013 (this article was published in Riviera Buzz in 2013)

Pink ribbon

Meet two strong-willed and commited women, the real driving force behind the local charitable organisation, Pink Ribbon Monaco.

On Sunday, the 17th of March, Pink Ribbon Monaco will be holding their second annual walk in the Principality to help raise awareness about breast cancer. To know more about this event and get to know this great association better, we met with its two founders, Natasha Frost and Julia Sperl-Kaukonen (both pictured below).

Hello ladies, first, can you tell us a little more about Pink Ribbon Monaco. When was the association created?

We founded the association in the Spring 2011 and had our first events in the Fall 2011. Even though Pink Ribbon is a worldwide campaign, Pink Ribbon Monaco is an independent charity that focuses its actions on the region and the Principality. We want to educate people on the importance of early detection and the necessity to create an environment where women who have found a lump in their breast do not have to wait too long to have a biopsy or receive a treatment. In that particular case, fast medical response is as important as early detection.

What have been the association’s major achievements so far and what are your objectives for the near future?

We have definitely achieved a sense of awareness for breast cancer in Monaco. More women go for scans and are being educated about self-examination. The Breast Cancer Walk in Spring is now an annual event on the Monegasque calendar. We have also donated some of the money we have been able to raise to the Centre Hospitalier Princesse Grace (CHPG) for their new breast cancer scan center, which is currently under construction, and will hopefully open later this year.

The next big event organized by Pink Ribbon Monaco is the Pink Ribbon Walk on the 17th of March. Can you tell us a bit more about it?

The Walk is all about raising awareness and show support for patients dealing with the disease. But it is also a ‘fun’ and family event that brings people together for a day of (mild) sports activity and celebration of life & health. Another important purpose is of course to raise some money as well. To register online, please go to the Monaco Run website.

What will be next on the agenda for Pink Ribbon Monaco?

The walk is the biggest annual event which we organize as an association. In October, for the global Breast Cancer Awareness month, we also have an annual fundraising event that includes illuminating the Casino and other Monaco landmark buildings in pink. It’s a visually beautiful gesture that has been proven popular in other big cities worldwide as well. We are proud that Monaco is part of this important movement now. In December we also organize aChristmas tombola with exclusive and extraordinary prizes, that are sponsored by Monaco’s local commercial community. The money raised from ticket sales goes toward supporting the new breast cancer scan center at Monaco’s CHPG.

How can people get involved and support your work? Can they find online information about Pink Ribbon Monaco?

We have a rather active presence on Facebook (do ‘Like’ our page!), and and also a basic information website.

Any final message for our readers?

Check your breasts regularly.and remind your family and loved ones to do the same! Science and medicine have improved well over the years and there are increased chances of complete cure, but raising awareness for screenings and support for early detection is what we are here for.

Thank you ladies for your time and good luck with the walk! As for you, dear readers, you now know what you can do to help the fight against breast cancer: on Sunday, the 17th of March, grab your comfy walking shoes and come join hundreds of other people wearing pink to help raise awareness about the disease and celebrate life!

Image courtesy Pink Ribbon Monaco – internal shot © FDPC Events

http://www.riviera-buzz.com/features/local-buzz/item/183-pink-ribbon-women.html

THE VINGT4 – A WINE BAR WITH A FEMININE TOUCH

Cet article a été publié dans Riviera Buzz en 2013 (this article was published in Riviera Buzz in 2013)

Vingt4

Who said that wine was a man’s world? At the Vingt4, a new wine bar and bistro in Nice, the feminine touch can be felt in every detail.

The owner, Michèle Degaudens, is the aunt of Jacques Rolancy, honoured “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” in 1996 and the chef of the nearby restaurant, Les Viviers. Together, they have decided to create a convivial restaurant that offers a cuisine based on fresh seasonal products from the market. The restaurant definitely has the feminine touch though, from the decoration, a luminous setting with touches of lilac and white, through to the wine list, which has been selected by a panel of women.

There are no freezers or microwaves to be found in the kitchens here, all dishes are homemade and the menu changes regularly. For the sweet tooth amongst you, there are superb desserts, signed by Pascal Lac, the city’s most famous chocolate maker, and at lunchtime, the coffee is free for all the female customers.

Meanwhile; the wines, some of which have been produced by women, are presented by colour and flavor and areaccompanied by tasting notes. And if you need suggestions for food pairings, the waiters will gladly help you. It is not so often that the service is friendly and attentive in the region, so it is worth mentioning that the waiters areextremely courteous and knowledgeable. They want you to enjoy the experience and will carefully listen to your specific requests.

But, the Vingt4 is not just a wine bar, it is also an all-day restaurant that takes care of your eating needs from 7:30am to late in the evening. Nice pastries for breakfast, salads, gourmet dishes, tapas…the menu may be short and simple,  but it does offer a vast variety of choices! A catering service is also available for those who do not have time to cook and are in need of a salad or an aperitif basket.

The Vingt4 is opened from Monday to Saturday from 7:30am to 10pm (closed on Monday evening).

CONTACT DETAILS
Bar à vins – Restaurant le Vingt4
24, rue Alphonse Karr
06000 Nice

Tél. 04 93 88 45 49 

Photograph © Mike Colquhoun

http://www.riviera-buzz.com/features/food-drink/item/176-vingt4.html

ISRAEL IS DEFINITELY A MUST-GO DESTINATION

Cet article a été publié dans Riviera Buzz en 2013 (this article was published in Riviera Buzz in 2013)

israel

Despite everything that you hear on the news, Israel is a country well worth visiting. So much so, once you’re there, you won’t want to leave!

People always seem a bit reluctant to travel to Israel. Not a week goes by without stories of tension and violence in the Middle East, but if you can get over your fears and preconceptions, you will discover a colourful country that offers myriad historical and religious sites, beach resorts, and truly amazing landscapes.

Israel is a small country, so it is easy to cover a lot of ground. Jerusalem, for instance, is just a short bus ride away (about 45 minutes) from Tel Aviv. In terms of liberal behavior however, it is a million miles away. While Tel Aviv, the “Miami of the Middle East”, is a modern metropolitan city with a vibrant cultural life, gorgeous beaches, world class shopping, and a thriving bar and restaurant scene, Jerusalem will take you back in time.

Considered Holy Land by the three major religions in the world, Judaism, Islam and Christianity, it is an amazing city to discover. From the Wailing Wall where one can place a petition to God, to the Stations of the Cross (Via Dolorosa) that leads to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and from the Temple Mount where the Prophet Muhammad is said to have ascended to heaven from, to the quieter Armenian quarter, there is no need to be a religious person to be overwhelmed by the sense of history that cloaks nearly every part of the city.

Outside the well-preserved 16th century Ottoman city walls, you can also go to the top of the Mount of Olives, which is located east of the old city, as well as chose to visit the Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to the Holocaust, on the Mount of Remembrance. And if you want to see how divided the country is internally, you can venture toBethlehem, an occupied territory separated from Jerusalem by an immense wall covered with graffiti, reminiscent of the Berlin Wall, and a checkpoint.

In the south of the country, Eilat is a bustling port which offers sunshine and warm weather all year long while in the north, Haifa is more laid-back with its sandy beaches and beautiful terraced Bahá’í Gardens.

The landscape is very diverse and it is very easy to take day trips to the hills of the Golan Heights, the shores of the Sea of Galilee, and the salty cliffs of the Negev Desert, where one can float atop the waters of the Dead Sea. Meanwhile, Israeli food is as varied and multicultural as its population, with an emphasis on fresh products.

For too many reasons to list, Israel will blow your mind. Leaving the country may just be the hardest thing to do, not just because you will be questioned and searched at the airport, but because you will definitely be wishing that you had more time to further explore the region.

Air France offer direct flights from Nice to Tel Aviv three times a week (on Sundays, Wednesdays and Saturdays), so now is the perfect time to bring out the adventurer in you!

http://www.riviera-buzz.com/features/travel/item/134-israel-is-a-must-go-destination.html

 

French Moviegoers Come to Terms with Country’s Greatest Shame

Cet article a été publié dans FR2DAY en 2010 (this article was published in FR2DAY in 2010)

Rafle_movie_trailer

Newly released “La Rafle” (The Roundup) is making history by recounting one of the darkest events of France’s past; an event that the country tried for decades to forget and that marked the climax of the collaboration of the Vichy government with the German occupants. All people in the film, and all of the events, are based on true stories that director Roselyn Bosch gathered from people who survived the roundup.

One of these survivors is Nice resident, Anna Traube, who during an advanced screening at the Variétés last week recounted her ordeal.

Born in Lepizig to a Jewish-German dentist, Anna Traube was 20 years old when she was arrested in her family home during the July 16, 1942 raid in which French police – acting on instructions from the occupying Germans – began rounding up approximately 13,000 Jews in Paris and the nearby region. She was asked to take a blanket and enough food for two days.

Single people and couples without children went directly to the concentration camp of Drancy while the families were brought to the Vel d’Hiv where they stayed for six dreadful days before being sent to camps in the Loiret and later on to Auschwitz.

The Vel d’Hiv was an indoor cycling track located near the Eiffel Tower, which was used over the years for everything from bicycle races to boxing, circuses and concerts. According to some accounts, as many as 7,500 people were held there in scorching heat, with no lavatories, no place to sleep, very little water and almost no food.

68 years later Traube can still remember the awful smell, the cries of the babies, the children who played on the tracks, the hunger, the fear, the stretchers that carried the sick and the dead…

After 5 days, she knew she had to escape. Under false pretenses, she made her way to the Red Cross tent where a doctor told her to go see Gaston Roques, an engineer in charge of decontamination, who had already helped two other persons to escape.

Roques provided her with a false laissez-passer that bore a name that could not be more French, Yvette Baudoin. Traube tried to remain as calm as possible but when she passed through the second of the three mobile checkpoints that sealed the Vélodrome’s exit, she recognized among the three armed men, the guard who had propositioned with her just a few hours earlier. When Traube handed out her papers, she knew he had recognized her – in his eyes she saw a mixture of surprise and admiration – but after what seemed like an eternity, he let her go. Traube later found refuge with the Labattut family in Bois-Colombes.

Traube was not the only person who managed to escape thanks to the help of fellow Parisians. Before the roundup, a report from the “Renseignements Généraux”, the intelligence service of the French police, had stated that France was not anti-Semite enough to allow such an event to take place on its soil, which explains why nearly 11,000 out of the 24,000 Jews the Vichy government had planned to arrest, were saved, rescued or hidden by their countrymen. Still, 12,884 Jews were arrested in the roundup (4 051 children, 5 802 women and 3 031 men) and only 25 men came back from the death camps in Poland.

For decades the French government declined to apologize for the role of French policemen under the German occupation, but on 16 July 1995 President Chirac ruled it was time that France faced up to its past and acknowledged the role that the state had played in the persecution of Jews on its own territory.

Last weekend, Chirac wrote a column for the “Journal du Dimanche” in which he advised all French people to see the film, reminding everybody that “There is no great nation, no national cohesion, no possibility to take up world challenges, without memory.”

MOVIE SET IN ANTIBES GENERATES EARLY OSCAR BUZZ

Cet article a été publié dans Riviera Buzz en 2012 (this article was published in Riviera Buzz in 2012)

rust-and-bone-poster

Another possible French contender for an Oscar, ‘Rust and Bone’, directed by Jacques Audiard, was shot locally in Antibes.

Three years after taking home the runner-up Grand Prix for the gritty prison drama ‘A Prophet‘, French director Jacques Audiard won the Best Picture award at the London Film Festival last month with ‘De rouille et d’os‘ (‘Rust and Bone‘), a movie he shot late last year in Antibes.

Loosely based on a collection of short stories by Craig Davidson, Audiard’s new film centers around Ali (Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts), a single father who is struggling to make a living as a security guard, and Stéphanie (Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard), a trainer and performer at Marineland. At first, the two protagonists do not seem to have much in common, but months after their first encounter, with Stéphanie having both legs amputated following a terrible killer whale attack, she finds that the only person she can talk to is Ali.

Not everybody will connect with this miraculous friendship that turns into an absorbing love story. ‘Rust and Bone‘ alternates between depressing and uplifting moments, and does not hesitate to show the main character’s severed limbs, thanks to impressive special effects. But for those who do, they will be terribly moved by this raw, yet poetic, tale of survival and redemption against all odds, and will be deeply impressed by the performances of the two lead actors who bear it all, both physically and emotionally.

Appearing without makeup, Cotillard manages to portray a certain courageousness, yet sensuality at the same time. We watch her character move from a position of frailty to one of strength, with Cotillard delivering probably her best performance since ‘La Môme‘ (‘La vie en rose‘). As for Schoenaerts, previously seen in Bullhead, he is equally as measured and compelling as his famous costar.

Rust and Bone‘ is generating Oscar buzz for Cotillard as it makes the festival rounds. It has been released this month in the UK and the US, and is now available in France on DVD.

http://www.riviera-buzz.com/on-the-town/entertainment/item/90-movie-sets-in-antibes-generates-early-oscar-buzz.html

ADD SOME SPARKLE TO YOUR NIGHT OUT IN NICE AT EFFERVESCENCE

Cet article a été publié dans Riviera Buzz fin 2012 (this article was published in Riviera Buzz in late 2012)

effervescence

If you are looking for something different to do of an evening out in Vieux Nice, why not try L’Effervescence, the city’s first Champagne bar?

Located on rue de la Loge, just a few blocks away from Place Rossetti and Place Saint-FrançoisL’Effervescenceis an ideal spot to enjoy an elegant and original break. Be warned though, this little establishment is easy to miss if you’re not paying attention!

Whether you sit upstairs at the bar or in the basement, the atmosphere is cozy and relaxed, a perfect combination for sipping a glass of sparkling wine with your friends or your nearest and dearest. No DJ’s or loud music on the program here, just a great selection of drinks and the knowledgeable advice of the owner.

The drinks list features prestigious champagnes such as Taittinger Brut Prestige Rosé for 84€ a bottle and Bollinger Special Cuvée for 155€ a bottle, as well as more affordable wines such as the Langlois Brut Rougefor 29€ a bottle or the Labrusco Rosé for 24€ a bottle. And if you are not in the mood for bubbly, the list also includes cocktails, red and wine wines, whiskies and fruit juices.

To better appreciate the experience, you will be able to nibble on gourmet tapas that range from foie gras, cheese, and oysters to prawns, salmon, and anchovies.

Champagne is a classy drink, usually saved for special occasions. Thanks to L’Effervescence, it now also offers a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of Vieux Nice!

CONTACT DETAILS
L’Effervescence Champagne Bar
10, rue de la Loge
06300 Nice

Tel: 04 93 80 87 37

Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 6pm – 12:30am

image courtesy and © Mike Colquhoun

http://www.riviera-buzz.com/on-the-town/nightlife/item/121-add-some-sparkle-to-your-night-out-in-nice-at-effervescence.html

DIG INTO NICE’S PAST BY EXPLORING THE CITY’S ARCHAEOLOGICAL CRYPT

Cet article a été publié dans Riviera Buzz fin 2012 (this article was published in Riviera Buzz in late 2012)

Crypte

Nice’s newest (or oldest) attraction has recently opened to the public, but you’ll have to go underground to see it!

This is a real treasure that lays six meters below Nice’s Place Garibaldi and Boulevard Jean Jaurès; 2,000 m2 of extremely well preserved ruins, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the rich and tumultuous developments of the city’s history.

Open to the public since the 10th of October, Nice’s Archaeological Crypt was discovered during the works on the first tramway line between Pont Michel and Las Planas. After years of excavations, it has been listed as a Historic Monument for its medieval and modern fortifications and is considered by many as the city’s “richest heritage site”, the only other equivalent in France being the crypt under the Louvre in Paris.

Tours are conducted by a qualified guide, usually in groups of about fifteen. Visitors access the site through a trap door located at Porte Pairolière. Then, prepare to be amazed! From a wholly intact pillar of the old Pairolière castlethat was built in the 14th century under the Counts of Provence, to sections of an aqueduct that conveyed water to the Sardinian Kings’ Palace, and from parts of medieval stone houses belonging to the Augustin family to a few remains of the bridge that led to Torino, the city reveals its hidden secrets.

Throughout there are several explanatory panels and touch screens informing the public as to the various types of masonry, with some parts of the site illuminated in different colors. There is definitely no need to be a history buff or an archaeological expert to appreciate this exceptional site!

Visits are organized on a daily basis at 10am, 11am, 3pm, 4pm and 5pm, with the exception of Tuesdays, when the crypt is closed. Reservation is mandatory. Tickets cost €5 (€2.50 for seniors, students and unemployed) and can only be bought from the Centre du Patrimoine, which is located at 75, Quai des États-Unis. Do note that these tickets are non-refundable and may not be exchanged.

CONTACT DETAILS
La Crypte Archéologique
Place Jacques Toja
06300 Nice

http://www.riviera-buzz.com/features/local-buzz/item/75-dig-into-nices-past.html

 

Le Camp des Milles, a Unique Remembrance Site for Future Generations

Cet article a été publié dans FR2DAY en 2012 (this article was published in FR2DAY in 2012)

camp des milles

French Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, is inaugurating today near Aix-en-Provence the “Camp des Milles Memorial”, an ambitious commemorative and educational project dedicated to the internments and deportations that took place during World War Two.

Opened in 1939 in a former tile factory in the little provencal village of Les Milles, the “Camp” was initially an internment camp for all the Austrian and German nationals living in the South of France who had fled the Reich after 1933. Following the French defeat in June 1940 however, it was turned into a transit station before becoming a Jewish deportation camp. In August and September 1942, around 2,500 Jewish men, women and children were deported to Auschwitz by the Vichy government.

In total, nearly 10,000 people from 27 different counties were incarcerated in the camp, among whom many politicians, literary figures (Fritz Brugel, Lion Feuchtwanger, William Herzog, Alfred Kantorowicz, Golo Mann, son of Thomas Mann…), scientists (Nobel prize-winner Otto Meyerhof…), musicians and painters (Erich Itor Kahn, Hans Bellmer, Max Ernst, Herman Henry Gowa, Gustave “Gus” Herlich, Max Lingner, Ferdinand Springer, Franz Meyer…). All those intellectuals and artists developed an active cultural life creating and leaving behind many works that can still be seen there.

Of the 200 internment, transit and deportation camps that once existed in France, the Camp des Milles is the only one that is still in good condition today. From now on, it should become an important memorial site whose main goal is to strengthen the visitors’ vigilance and responsibility, especially the young visitor, constantly faced with threats of racism, anti-semitism, fanaticism and totalitarianism.

The “Camp des Milles Memorial” is one of the flagship projects for the “Marseille-Provence, European Capital of Culture 2013” initiative, decided by the European Union and it is estimated that around 100,000 persons per year will visit this exceptional historical monument.

Upcoming movie director Destri Martino chats with FR2DAY

Cet article a été publié dans FR2DAY en 2012 (this article was published in FR2DAY in 2012)

Destri Martino

Each year, the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase held in The American Pavilion provides an opportunity for filmmakers to connect with the Cannes Film Festival and Marketplace attendees. A few weeks ago, we met with Destri Martino, a young filmmaker from Los Angeles whose short film, “The Director,” winner of American Cinematheque’s 2010 trailer contest, screened at this year’s competition.

Hello Destri, nice to meet you. Can you tell us a bit about yourself, your background?

I am a director. I have done a lot of shorts, live actions, animated shorts… I work at a law firm in downtown Los Angeles and I produce marketing, recruiting and training videos in-house.  I am always making stuff. It’s very good practice.

So you consider yourself a filmmaker?

I do consider myself a filmmaker because I have been making videos for a long time. I am lucky enough to have a day job that allows me to continue making stuff. I went to USC (University of Southern California) where my minor was in Cinema-TV. I also hold a master degree in Media & Communications from London School of Economics.

And The Director is your first movie?

No. Actually I have done a bunch of other shorts but it is my first animated shorts.

And what is it about?

It is about a woman director who decides to wear a dress to the set to make a statement.

Talking about women, what do you think of the fact that there are no female directors this year at the Cannes festival?

It is very disappointing because it is nice to have women to look up to. When it is all men it is hard to relate to someone. There are a lot of male directors that I respect a lot but it would be nice to see more women up there I could look up to.

Is Cannes the first film festival you have been to?

No. I have been to quite a few with this film, such as Newport Beach, Big Bear, LA Femme, DC  Shorts. I have gone to visit a variety of places in my own country and that has been fun. And then to get to travel to France is just amazing.

How was your movie picked?

There is this program on line called Withoutabox that makes it very easy to submit to festivals. The American Pavilion had their information up there and their contest was open so I just submitted my movie…and they picked me.

How many movies did they pick?

They picked a total of, I think, 16 or 15. They do emerging documentaries by emerging filmmakers, then they do narrative shorts by emerging filmmakers, that’s my category, and then they do the same with student films. I think there were only 4 or 5 people in my section and then they did pick winners out of that. I was considered a finalist.

And how many movies are they showing at the short film corner?

Someone has just told me that it was about 1,200 but I think it might be more than that. They have a lot of films in that short film corner.

Is the short film corner basically a way to make contacts and meet people?

Yes, and they do a great job at it. They have events, they have networking opportunities, they even do happy hours every day at 5 pm. I have only been to one so far but it was great because all the filmmakers go there and they meet. I wish I had gone to more but by the time you get out of the house and you try to get all your things done, you are really exhausted.

So what is your typical day here in Cannes?

Every day has been different. Trying to find food is always part of it [laughs]. I usually will go into the International village where all the pavilions are. At The American Pavilion I will check if there is anything going on. They hold a lot of panels and so does the UK Film Center. It is so much to take in that every day I feel like I have learned something new. For instance, I could have gone to the buyer’s corner and give my postcards out, that is what I have learned today.  But I cannot beat myself up, it is so big and there are so many places to take advantage of, so many opportunities…

In which way is the Cannes festival different from all the other film festivals you have attended?

It is just enormous so trying to get my head around it takes a long time. It is also a lot more glamorous. There are a lot more potential good contacts, all the top people in the film industry are here.

Have you managed to go to parties?

That has been the hardest part. I have been to one party but the great thing about Cannes is that you can go to the hotel bars, places like the Martinez or the Majestic, and people go there. It is not just lonely short filmmakers like myself, it is a lot of different people like execs, bankers, lawyers…All good people to meet.

Are they easy to talk to?

Oh yes. Everybody goes there to network. People are just mingling and it is a nice way to connect with people because it is a lot more social.

So would you say that the festival has met your expectations?

I don’t know what I was expecting actually so I think it has [laughs]. I just did not know what to expect. It is so big but it has been good. I have met a lot of interesting people.

Are you staying until the end of the festival?

Yes, I will be here until Tuesday ( the 29th of May). My mom came out yesterday (the 24th of May) so Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, we will probably visit the area a little. I have already been to this part of France before but I don’t know yet what we are going to do. We are hoping to get out of town but I am not a hundred percent sure of where we are going to go. I have just been running around so much, we might just end up on the beach out here because I am so exhausted.

Destri Martino is also the creator, director and co-author of MIXED BLOOMS, a comedy web series that follows florists Kim and Brian Fluge as they attempt to keep their little flower shop afloat while raising a curious teenager (Morgan). You can check it out at www.mixedblooms.com.