In our long history of attending the Cannes Film Festival together, Team FrightFest has never been this central to the main action. Usually we’ve stayed by the seaside just beyond the port or in the Old Town, but for the first time we are literally slam-bang next to one of the main cinemas where we see practically everything, the Star on the Rue D’Antibes. That’s where DARIO ARGENTO’S DRACULA 3D, the official title, will be showing over the weekend and where I’m hoping to catch the PUSHER remake if I have any time away from the genre flurry. 

Our apartment is on the top floor of the building – no lift – and the rooms are a bit strangely situated. We certainly don’t have any Rooms With A View mainly because it’s all skylights and windows overlooking broken roofs. As for the plumbing don’t even ask. Yesterday we thought we were having paranormal activity when it was only Paul taking a shower that echoed throughout the whole flat and emitted noxious gases from the other bathroom. Well, he told us it was a shower anyway! 

Last night was great fun as we invited over for a pasta dinner Rosana and Julian from Jinga Films, a great supporter of FrightFest, my Australian journalist buddy Helen Barlow who gets all the star interviews and Pedro Souto from Portugal’s MotelX. Pedro didn’t show in the end but the rest of us had a good time, and even better, we snagged a major FrightFest the 13th title from the Jinga duo. 

The Festival/Market proper kicks off tomorrow. I’m supposed to attend the European Fantasy Festival Federation meeting as I promised Strasbourg’s Daniel Cohen I’d help him get the Melies D’Or awards ceremony into some sensible order after last year’s Sitges non-event, but there’s a movie we need to see at precisely the same time. So we’ll see.

Our Studio Canal mates won’t be here in force this year, so that means the annual tea party at the Grand Hotel won’t be taking place as usual. But practically every other company is well represented and we have meetings lined up with Lionsgate, Icon, Film4 and Metrodome about our plans for our ever-growing August event.

Strange how we’ve been here for three days already and have not bumped into one single person we know on the streets. Perhaps people really are reining costs in despite the Cannes public relations machine going on overdrive saying that registrations are up 9% this year. Apparently bolstered from the Far East. Actually I can understand that as the Asian titles on offer this year are a pretty sorry bunch, so they’ve probably come en masse to buy western product. Aside from the obvious SADAKO 3D that is, which I‘m expecting every fantasy festival inmate to flock to. 

The good news this year is that all the competition films are going to be repeated for market pass holders in the final four days of the festival. That takes the pressure off us having to stagger to the 8.30 am screenings, and also means there’ll be plenty still to see as the festival winds down. The organizers obviously want people to stay way past the first crowded weekend as they have also back-loaded many of the key titles, like SIGHTSEERS and COSMOPOLIS, until then. COSMOPOLIS opens the same day in France as it shows in Cannes and two weeks later in the UK, so plenty of viewing choice there.

Anyway, Team FrightFest and guest bloggers will be updating these Postcards regularly and we’ll tweet anything fabulous as it happens. I’m hoping to catch up with Jury Member Jean Paul Gaultier – an old acquaintance from his Eurotrash days. So It will almost be just as good as you being there. And you don’t have to put up with Paul and Ian’s brainless shenanigans. A win/win situation as I see it!

Alan Jones 

Read Alan Jones' Post Cards from Sitges 2011

Read the FrightFest Post Cards from Cannes 2011

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The Prelude
The Bag
Day one - 16th May 12
Day two - 17th May 12
Day three - 18th May 12
Day four - 19th May 12
Day five - 20th May 12
Day six - 21st May 12
Day seven - 22nd May 12
Day eight - 23rd May 12
Day nine - 24th May 12