The Cannes Film Festival is the biggest film festival in the industry, attracting thousands of participants, as well as all the big name celebrities, producers and filmmakers. But for actor and producer Ernest Napoleon, Cannes is so much more!
Napoleon, known for Going Bongo and Kiumeni, has been attending the illustrious film festival for six years. He points out, that aside from the many networking and business opportunities that the festival brings, it’s also an opportunity to build long-lasting friendships.
“Cannes is the top festival but it is also the most important event as far as film business is concerned. With thousands of film professionals such as producers, investors, sales agents, distributors and other from all around the world it provides a unique opportunity to conduct business efficiently in the span of two weeks. Other than the business aspect of things, it is also a place where long lasting friendships are formed. I have been attending the festival for the last six years and I have made friends who I am still with today,” he says.
As for networking opportunities, the ever-busy Napoleon has brought some interesting projects to the festival.
“I’m very excited for Let No Man Know which is the true tale of Tom Molineaux that evolves from the unparalleled brutality of a southern American tobacco plantation to the aristocratic decadence of 19th century London.The story portrays the rise and subsequent fall of Tom Molineaux, a former slave and would be a contender for the English bare-knuckle crown,” he shares.
He adds that the script, packaging and funding for Let No Man Know are all in place.
The actor shares that he has a number of other projects also on the go.
“Other projects like Karma, XBaller, and others are at the script stage may be put together much faster as they have a much lower budget,” he shares.
The world is changing and the way audiovisual material is consumed is changing, Napoleon notes.
“The world is changing. Screens are getting smaller and the audience is global now. Netflix and Amazon have become major players in what is being made now. Old methods seem to go out of the window and new methods are not well tested yet,” he muses.
But, he says, “it is the most exciting time to be in the content producing business”.
And he is prepared for the change.
“We have different projects for different media. Some are more suitable to go the prestigious festival route where others are more suitable for the small screen,” he reveals.
He has not come to the film festival alone, he tells SA Breaking News.
He’s come with a “curated” actors’ group from Sweden, who have realised that the way the business is being run is changing, and have adapted to the change.
“The group was formed with fewer than 20 actors based in Scandinavia with their showreels, photos, contacts, and links to their work to make the casting process easier,” he says.
He goes on to explain that the group was formed by a few Scandinavian actors who realised “that casting directors, producers, and directors are always having problems of going through thousands of submissions for each project”, thus easing the burden of casting faced by directors.
The group, he says, have already met with top Bollyhood directors who were impressed with the way they were set up.
The Swedish Film Commission will be representing the group at this year’s Cannes festival.