When I arrived at the Cannes Film Festival at the weekend, it poured down with heavy showers. The girls at the Irish Film Pavilion greeted me with ''you bring your wellies?'' - indeed wet hair and big umbrellas being the main fashion statement when I picked up my Official Accreditation badge the Palais des Festivals.
Whatever about the jewels and gold, the most important possession for any Cannes attendee is the accreditation around their necks.
Over on the Croisette, The Irish Pavilion is a white tent with a big Irish flag. Managed by the Irish Film Board, it forms the central meeting point for over 150 Irish delegates who flew out to the Cannes Film Festival this week with the aim of selling their films to international financiers and distributers.
So what does it mean to "get into Cannes"? I always like to clarify for people back in Ireland, whose eyes widen when I tell them that my latest short and a feature are both screening at Cannes, that it is a market screening. There is a difference between screening at the market and being accepted into Cannes official selection.
That being said, it is a privilege to be selected for the short film corner for the Randal Plunkett directed short film Out There and also The Irish Film Board feature film Love Eternal. The Board has put a lot of effort into showcasing Irish talent and Irish Film. I am proud to be part of two of them. Cannes tries to weigh art and industry equally, which can be a difficult thing. It is a global festival that allows you to see what's going on in diverse cinematic cultures around the world. There's nothing quite like it.
A lot of Cannes is about putting yourself out there and being ready to go with the flow. Don't get me wrong, you must be pretty prepared (armed with my freshly-printed business cards), but the most important moments in Cannes are unexpected. You never know who you're going to be standing next to in line, sitting beside in the restaurant, or what party you are going to get into.
I attended the Irish Film Board Party on Saturday evening. Standing in the pouring rain, hair soaking and huddled under an umbrella with Randal Plunkett, we laughed at the absurdity of our visions of beaches and sunglasses.
There was the cream of Irish talent under the tent with directors Ruairi Robinson, Lance Daly, Jim Sheridan, Mary McGuigan as well as Irish producer Conor Barry, Fastnet’s Macdara Kellegher and Ripple Productions' Dominic Wright and Jacqueline Kerrins.
The tent also attracted huge international players John Nine and Trevor Roth from Sundance, as well as executives from Fox Search Light, Tribeca , Berlin and London Film Festival attended. A lot of talk around the tent was about the Ruairi Robinson debut feature, sci-fi film Last Days of Mars, which had its world premiere as part of Directors Fortnight on Monday. I will cover all of that in my next blog.
Irish Producers have are busy negotiating a number of extremely exciting international deals on their slate of film projects at the market. Treasure films have announced details on their new Irish film Wild, with all international rights on the film being sold to Radiant Films Inc.
Trade publication Screen Daily has announced a deal on Irish horror flick CITADEL directed by Ciaran Foy with Metrodome buying the UK Ireland rights. The film will be released in Irish cinemas later this year.
There will be a market screening of Love Eternal. I filmed it over a year ago in Luxembourg and I play a dark schoolgirl. The producer Conor Barry is here in attendance.
Will let you know how it goes.
Emma Eliza Regan