Karen Bryson’s Cannes Diary #1

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Karen Bryson’s Cannes Diary #1

Karen Bryson, freelance executive producer is representing Australia on the Cannes Film Craft jury. Bryson, along with most of the other Australian and NZ jurors, writes exclusively for CB.


It’s been a few years since I have been to Cannes & love wandering around Old Town to shake off the jetlag.

We arrive early for judging and so get to see the festival under construction. I am amazed at the army of art department & construction crews working around the clock. The dedication of the crew is impressive and the promenade transforms while we are locked in a dark room & stages are being set as we emerge at the end of our first day.

The pre-judging has helped us to be familiar with the massive volume of entries, but it’s great to be able to come together to watch as a collective and discuss the merits of each. What’s most exciting is seeing brave work that reflects the importance of relationships, and the trust that is needed to produce work that pushes boundaries. The work that stands out both take risks and also highlights the importance of connection.

Day 1 is all about deciding the shortlist and it’s a rigourous process given the wealth of exceptional work, with over a thousand entries. Film craft is complex and nuanced and there are many, many (many!) discussions to be had.

Tomorrow we start deciding medal which promises even more passionate debate, so it’s an early night tonight.

Congrats to all those to have been shortlisted & bring on Day 2!

Karen Bryson’s Cannes Diary #1