Film Distribution students work at Cannes Film Festival

MA Film Distribution and Marketing students got a once in a lifetime opportunity to work at Cannes Film Festival. Gladys Gonzalez Lizarraga tells us about her experience.

How did you get the opportunity to work at the Cannes Film Festival?

The course and tutors made us aware of the opportunity to intern at the festival. Sales agencies and distributors give you the chance to become an intern with these companies at Cannes. 

In my case, it was slightly different. I got an internship at the Berlinale Film Festival and my boss asked me if I wanted to go to Cannes with him, which was very fulfilling. 

What was your role?

I was working in a receptionist role, where my main task was to receive the distributors, who were meeting with my boss and his associate to obtain the rights to distribute the movies on sale in each of their territories. 

I also had the opportunity to be in some of the meetings and talk to other producers, listen to their pitches and even give my opinion on the projects. 

I was also able to read some scripts and watch movies to give an opinion on wether it was a good opportunity to acquire the rights to represent the projects as a sales agency.   

What was your favourite moment?

My favourite moment was going to a red carpet premiere of one of my favourite directors movies, which was the premiere of the movie Parthenope by the Italian director Paolo Sorrentino. 

What did you find challenging?

I believe the most challenging thing for me is approaching people I don’t know and trying to make connections, that has always been challenging for me, but I believe it is the only way to have a breakthrough.

How did your course help you to prepare for this role?

By giving me theory knowledge that I could use during my internship.

What advice would you give to students that are preparing for a similar placement/internship?

Work on your confidence and people skills. I have learned that in the film industry, most of the work has to do with networking, so breaking out of your shell and approaching people, and being friendly can open opportunities you wouldn’t believe.

What should you do next?

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