A new kind of content is coming to the Croisette.
This year the Cannes Film Festival, which prides itself as the preeminent showcase for global cinema, is debuting a partnership with the world’s buzziest and fastest-growing social media app, TikTok, marking the fest’s first official rendezvous with a digital platform.
Excusez-moi — exactly how is this pact going to play out? That’s the question that’s been on the minds of many festival veterans, especially those who have been reprimanded for attempting a selfie on the steps of the Palais — quelle horreur!
First, some 20 TikTok creators from different nations, including the U.S., have been invited to attend the fest, during which they will shoot, edit and post their authentic Cannes experiences, TikTok confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. Creator names have not yet been released.
The app also revealed that in-app programming is planned for the duration of the festival, which runs May 17-28. This will include but not be limited to a series of “Lives” that will be hosted by the creators during the May 17 opening ceremony. Additionally, a 60-minute show (in English) will combine pre-recorded content with live moments from the red carpet, where hosts will be stationed to do interviews with celebrities. Questions (and quizzes) for those chats are said to be inspired by queries from the TikTok community.
To spread awareness locally, TikTok is launching a national marketing campaign in France. But users everywhere can easily find out what it’s all about now by searching the official hashtag #Cannes2022 or a special in-app search hub to peep popular content from on the ground.
The above intel, released by TikTok, follows an earlier announcement about the in-app international competition #TikTokShortFilm. Designed for experienced and emerging filmmakers, the contest allows users to show off their cinematography skills through TikTok’s creative tools and effects in the creation of clips, 30 seconds to 3 minutes long, that will then be surveyed and selected for trophies.
No Palme d’Or will be handed out, but fest chief Thierry Frémaux will be on hand on May 20 to present honors in the categories of grand prix, best script and best editing, with cash prizes of 10,000 euros for the grand prix and 5,000 euros for the other two categories.
Frémaux won’t be tasked with picking winners on his own. There’s a jury made up of president Rithy Panh, the French-Cambodian auteur, Senegalese director-producer Angèle Diabang, French film director Camille Ducellier, Sudanese filmmaker Basma Khalifa and Khaby Lame, the most popular TikTok creator in Europe (known for reacting to videos through facial expressions, never saying a word, he’s the second person, after Charli D’Amelio, to reach 100 million followers).
“We are delighted to partner with TikTok to share the magic of the festival with a wider, much more global and just as much cinephile audience than ever before,” says Frémaux. “With this collaboration, which is part of a desire to diversify the audience, we’re looking forward to sharing the most exciting and inspiring moments from the festival and seeing the festival reimagined through the lens of TikTok creators and (the TikTok) community.”
For his part, Panh tells THR that when approached, he didn’t hesitate to say yes, despite the fact that he’s never posted on the app himself. But even he had questions: “How can we work with this amazing technology to attract new young creators to cinema? I just want to try. So far, I think it’s all great. If it turns out to be a mistake, who cares. I’ve made many mistakes before.”