Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Cannes Film Festival, 24 hours to get there.

Cannes Film Festival, Short Film Corner
Sat 5/14 to 5/15/16
 So a great short film I'm in, "Thank You Lisa" about end of life choices (I play the counselor/friend assisting the daughter to help her mom end her life) was accepted at the Cannes Short Film Festival's Short Film Corner in France. It's basically the biggest, most overwhelming film festival in the world, and the SFC is a tiny fest within the fest where young filmmakers (no laughing at the word "young") go and get to mingle with the higher ups. Marthe Einseth is the amazing writer/actress/producer who put together this film, along with director, Roy Arwas and his production team. And I'm really proud to be a part of it. Marthe and I decided to attend the festival together. This is her first festival. And she doesn't speak French. This is NOT my first festival, and I've been working intently on French so I won't get lost. Marthe has a great sense of direction. I do not. And she's the perfect companion/compliment to my travel tendencies. 
 I had a sense of impending doom instead of excitement as I left my NYC apartment at 7pm on Saturday, knowing I wouldn’t reach my next residence in Cannes, France until about 7pm the next day…for a 3 ½ day trip. Crazy.
  I travel a lot. And mostly on my own. But since I don’t have terribly good luck traveling in foreign countries on my own, I was a bit nervous. Or freaking out. But quietly. Inside my head.
 Leg 1: JFK to London Gatwick. No problem. Sean (my boyfriend) helped me roll my suitcase to the subway and I knew it’d be fairly easy the rest of the way. I hate overnight flights. But I am a fairly good sleeper, and I got some REM in, during the 7 hour flight.
 London Gatwick. OK. I choose this connection. I wanted English speaking, “smaller” airport. But because I booked on skypicker.com (which I’d never heard of), I had 2 different airlines. And that meant, I had to completely exit, going through customs (I have Global Entry and TSA Pre Check, but Gatwick doesn’t have that yet), getting my luggage, go back through security, and re-check in for my next flight. The airport lounge/shops/restaurants are great. I found my favorite, a revolving sushi bar. Super fast and I know I can eat there. The unique thing is that people stand around the sign that posts the gate, just like Penn Station or Port Authority. I checked my flight, and it would be another 30 minutes until the gate was posted. Really? I hadn’t changed my watch, and I’m not used to a 24 hour clock, but that was the only flight to Nice, British Airways. So I ate my sushi and then checked again. Now they’re announcing it on the loud speaker, and I can see on the board, as I run by, gate 104. Shoot. I’m at the completely wrong end of the terminal. So I giddyup. Get to gate 104 and it’s EasyJet, not British Airways. Weird. But I get in line. Dumb. Once I reach the gate person, she says I’m at the wrong place. Go find a BA person (no boards nearby). I find one, she looks it up…gate 574. Yup. That’s exactly where I was, 15 minutes ago. The exact opposite end, last gate. She says, “RUN!” So I run.
 Here’s the only lucky part. Because I checked baggage, they really didn’t want to leave without me. OR, they’d have to remove my bag from underneath for safety. So I come running. And they see me. The plane’s closed. The gate’s closed. BUT, they yell, “what’s your name?” “Kummel! 28A!” (they turn to their co-workers outside) “It’s her!” DAMN are you lucky. Open the door!”
 So that means, anyone on my plane that’s continuing to Cannes, is going to recognize me as THAT WOMAN that held their plane up and went to the wrong gate.
 I did have a whole row to myself, and did NOT burst into tears upon reaching my seat. Or throw up. But I would have, should I have missed my flight.

 The rest of the evening was mostly uneventful. Got the bus from Nice to Cannes. Got a cab to my Airbnb. Great apartment that straight up the hill from town. With a beautiful pool I’ll probably never get to use. I sat in the lovely back patio just to say I did. And I didn’t get too lost looking for a place, any place, to grab food for the evening. Martha, my filmmaking partner for this venture, joined me later on and we made a plan for Monday. 

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