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Cannes Cowboy Committed to Create

The 69th Festival De Cannes, that juggernaut of film festivals, is just around the corner – and once again, Marshalls and Dent’s very own Bryce Menzies will be in attendance.

Every year, Menzies packs up his bright red boots and travels to France to soak up the beautiful south coast, to find shade under the iconic palm branch of the Cannes Film Festival.

And Cannes will welcome Menzies as an old friend.  After 15 years, the regulars expect to hear his heartfelt laugh amongst the cultural murmurings, critiques  and appraisals of the latest film releases.

Menzies understands Cannes by now; and Cannes understands Menzies. And each understands the effort and collaboration required for a film to come together so it can be screened.

This year, screenings including LA FILLE INCONNUE (Belgium), MA’ ROSA (Philippines), AQUARIUS (Brazil), and AGASSI (South Korea), are anticipated to impress. JUSTE LA FIN DU MONDE (Canada) and TONI ERDMANN (Germany) are sure to induce critical thought, while special screenings of HISSEIN HABRÉ, UNE TRAGÉDIE TCHADIENNE (Chad), and EXIL (Cambodia) will create buzz and discussion.

However, unluckily for Menzies, for some reason he elected to study law, and so must pass on some of the more glamourous events on offer this year. His legal and financing expertise does not really belong on the red carpet; and anyway, his red boots would blend in and make it look as though he were floating past the glitterati. This image really does not photograph well.

Instead, Menzies is famous for his skill in building relationships. Whether it’s a co-production agreement, the relationship between film maker and film financier or between a producer and a distributor, an ability to navigate through and strengthen relationships is key. And it’s for this reason, Menzies says, that one should visit Cannes.

This means Menzies will spend much of his time with fellow his fellow film makers, and other  drivers of the industry in the hotels. Buyers, sellers, distributers, and lawyers must enjoy Cannes at a distance.  On the Grand Terrace, Menzies will meet with old friends, and new ones  –  budding film makers with an idea. Menzies’ wealth of knowledge and love of film will be felt by all ,as he willing and enthusiastically advises these emerging producers, rejoicing in the shared ambition to create films (Menzies himself has been involved in over six hundred).

So Menzies, busy advising, meeting and creating, will miss out many of the cinematic delicacies that the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès is serving up on its proverbial cheese platter this year. He would be able to put his red boots up and enjoy a couple of extra films if he brought along a clerk to do the running around for him.

Joel Vagnoni
Media Clerk 

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