Micah Walker’s Cannes Diary #1

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Micah Walker’s Cannes Diary #1

Micah Walker, co-founder and chief creative officer of Bear Meets Eagle on Fire is representing Australia on the Film Craft Lions jury. Walker, along with most of the other Australian and NZ jurors writes exclusively for CB.


Two days complete. Some lovely work. Some, well, not so much. Like every year.

I will say it’s a bit odd to be here so early. The structures aren’t quite up. The guts of the event are all exposed and the terrace is relatively empty of familiar faces (although I ran in to a very relaxed Mr. Savage yesterday). It’s the calm before the tsunami of rose.

I’ve been told this year’s Film Craft Jury will be judging for longer than any other jury has, so there’s a lot of work and apparently more extended formats than usual. It really is a tremendous amount of work to get through. I think we did ten hours yesterday, maybe nine today. We have two more full days in front of us and then we’ll have our shortlist. And the start of proper discussions.

As those of you who’ve judged would know, and those of you who haven’t will find out when you do, the mix of judges and diverse opinions is really the best part of judging. This year’s group seems to be very focused and conscientious, so it’ll be interesting to hear what everyone has to say. Some categories are relatively easy – and the best work almost selects itself. The not so good work does the same, so it’s the stuff in the middle that tends to reveal the most differences of opinion. That’s the fun part.

I still think making the shortlist here is the real hurdle. You just want to get to the stage where people are actually discussing your work versus just a thumbs up or down. Then you have a chance. I also just like hearing people defend work they haven’t made themselves. It’s reassuring when you see someone else care and I think in some way, that kind of objective pride makes you realise we’re all a bit more connected than it seems sometimes.

Can’t really say much about the actual work yet. As you’d imagine, they’re pretty keen we don’t. But broadly, it’s refreshing to see the wide variety of ideas, approaches and executions. When you see this much work, it really does remind you how much more varied things are across the world. There’s a bit more experimentation. More variance in tone of voice and filmic styles. That’s obviously shaped by so many things – culture, budgets and a range of clients you may or may not have even heard of, but still, it’s the thing that struck me two days in.

Will try to provide something more entertaining in the coming days.