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.

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