Our friend, PremRock is on the go again this time he’s sharing his travels through France…. literally. Prem is making his way to the Czech Republic to record and EP for a Czech Label. He promised to send us more pics on the way through Prague and Czech Rep!
Here are Prem’s tour dates. Tell him we said hi :)
4/27 Domažlice, CZ Rep. / Rodriguez Bar
4/28 Chomutov, CZ Rep. / Hany Bany Bar
5/02 Prague, CZ Rep. / Cross Club
5/04 Karlovy Vary, CZ Rep. / Masařka Bar / + Dj Thovt
5/05 Hradec Králové, CZ Rep./ Station bar
Here’s a taste of the upcoming Czech collab with “Love of the Drum” by PremRock & Talpas! CLICK HERE!
This week we talk to Mecca Woods and Curtis John, filmmakers of “Concrete Pearl” about their sun filled days and red carpet nights at the 2011 Cannes International Film Festival in Cannes, France.
Where did you trip start? End?
Curtis: We began the trip at JFK Airport (NYC) flying direct to Nice Côte d’Azur Airport (Nice, France). We then caught a shuttle bus to Cannes.
Which airline did you travel with? What’s the best/worst attribute?
Mecca: We traveled with Delta Airlines. For us, I think the best part of our flight was getting a direct flight out of NYC to France. However, it was hard to get really comfortable on a 7 1/2 hour flight in economy sized seating. Hopefully we’ll make it big enough with the film to fly first class next time. LOL!
Where are you staying? Best/worst attribute?
Mecca: We’re currently staying at the Villa Maupassant in the La Bocca district of Cannes. The suites, which are like studio apartments were booked with the program that helped to bring us to Cannes, Creative Minds In Cannes. For us the best attribute would have to be location. We’re only a 10 minute drive away from the heart of the festival. We have a free hotel shuttle that takes us back and forth which helps us to save money. The staff at the hotel are pretty awesome too. When I lost my phone recently during an outing to one of the local cafes, the gentleman at the front desk, Thierry, has been really helpful in trying to help me get it back.
Curtis: Yeah, I definitely agree. The location is definitely a perk. Having a suite with an ocean view is also a plus. You step out onto the balcony and there it is…miles and miles of blue water as far as the eye can see.
What is your film, Concrete Pearl about?
Mecca: Concrete Pearl is a dramatic narrative about a teenage girl named Zemira, growing up in the South Bronx—one of the poorest urban districts in America—and her struggle to overcome the trappings of her everyday life. Zemira has aspirations of becoming a famous writer but her parents drug addiction, abusive boyfriend, and poverty-stricken environment continuously get in her way. The central question of Concrete Pearl is whether Zemira will fight for her dreams and rise above the chaos or if she will become another urban American casualty.
How did you go from Bronx, NY to Cannes, France? What was the preparation like?
Curtis: We came to Cannes by way of Creative Minds In Cannes (CMIC). Creative Minds is a program that introduces aspiring filmmakers, actors/actresses, agents, etc. from all over the United States to the nuts and bolts of the film industry at the world’s largest film festival. In order to become a CMIC participant, Mecca and I had to complete an application process which involved writing a letter of intent, submitting a copy of our short film, A Little Bit of More, and raising the funds necessary for the trip.
Mecca: We heard about the opportunity from one of the actresses in our film, Marjuan Canady who plays the lead’s best friend Robyn. She participated in the program in 2010, had a blast and encouraged us to go for the 2011 session. Prepping for the trip was definitely involved. Luckily the folks at CMIC gave us benchmarks for when documentation and fee installments were due so we weren’t entirely at a loss for procedure but holding down day jobs (and a kid for me) while trying to set the stage to accomplish something this big definitely called on a lot of late nights, super early mornings, and an insane amount of hustle.
What is a day like at the Cannes Film Festival?
Mecca: Bananas! During the festival there is really never a slow day here and the day can get filled up quickly with things to do. During the day there are filmmaking workshops, screenings, and buyers and distributors from all over the world meeting up to make deals. During the night it’s party, party, party in swank clubs and luxury yachts with guest lists and secret locations.
I think Cannes trumps New York as the international hub of the world. In a few short days we’ve met so many different people from so many different parts of the world—the UK, Italy, Morroco, Nigeria, Norway, Trinidad, of course France, and the list goes on. I could never say as a New Yorker that I’ve met such a variety of people in such a short span of time.
Curtis: Better still, everyone here is for some sort of business in Cannes so it’s never really a bad time to make a pitch or talk business to someone while you’re standing in line for a screening or waiting for a drink at a cafe. That’s one of the first rules of thumb we learned from CMIC. Never be afraid to talk to anyone! The industry is so concentrated here that one minute you could be pitching your film to a buyer, spend another minute rubbing shoulders with an actor like Djimon Honsou at a party, and the next minute walk right past Michel Gondry as he’s leaving his hotel—which, you incidentally have a meeting in.
Mecca: Or, you can meet someone who wouldn’t normally cross your path on an everyday basis, find out they have the connections to get you into an exclusive party where they invite you to on the spot (which happened to us, by the way). You just never really know what the day can bring by just being in Cannes.
Curtis: However, as newcomers to Cannes we’ve found that because so much is happening in such a short amount of time it is really easy to become overwhelmed or lose track of the day. Cannes is essentially a vacation town so you can get lost in tourist activities pretty quickly so you have to be organized and diligent in deciding how to spend your time. It helps to have some sort of a schedule—like, “we’re going to approach ABC company today, spend x amount of time in the Short Film Corner, and attend that networking event, then possibly a screening.” The Cannes experience is definitely what you make of it.
How have people been receiving the film? How do you feel being viewed by an international audience?
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