A Cannes-Do Attitude Is City Strength; THE World's Leading Actors, Directors and Producers Are on the French Riviera for the 60th Cannes Film Festival - and, as Paddy Shennan Reports, Liverpool Film-Makers Weren't Going to Miss out on the Party

Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England), May 24, 2007 | Go to article overview

A Cannes-Do Attitude Is City Strength; THE World's Leading Actors, Directors and Producers Are on the French Riviera for the 60th Cannes Film Festival - and, as Paddy Shennan Reports, Liverpool Film-Makers Weren't Going to Miss out on the Party


Byline: Paddy Shennan

FILM fans, together with the world's media, may have come in search of Hollywood hotshots including Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie-but they couldn't ignore The Liverpool Connection!

For on the terrace of the Grand Hotel, at the heart of the Cannes Film Festival, a triumphant arch of aubergines, leeks and potatoes greeted the great and good of the international film-making industry, as Liverpool took centre stage at a glitzy showbiz party.

Billed as the Liverpool Plus event, the fresh fruit and vegetable party theme reflected the imminent release of Grow Your Own, the made-in-Liverpool feature film which has been the talk of the industry in Cannes.

"There's been an incredible interest in the region, particularly in Liverpool, as it approaches its Capital of Culture celebration," says Alice Morrison, chief executive of North West Vision. "Hopefully we'll get some solid business out of those leads."

She adds: "We decided to hold the party because we wanted to tell the world about what's coming out of Liverpool right now. This year we've got three fabulous Liverpool feature films - Grow Your Own, Sparkle, and Under The Mud.

"That's something the city should be justly proud of - and something worth shouting about."

From film financiers to producers, distributors to new talent, over 150 of the industry's movers and shakers partied until the small hours at the North West Vision showcase event.

Taking centre stage at the party was Liverpool's Carl Hunter - originator and producer of Grow Your Own, a multi-million-pound film penned by award-winning Liverpool writer Frank Cottrell-Boyce and due to be released on June 15.

And the subject matter seems to make perfect sense for Carl, bearing in mind he was the bass guitarist with The Farm.

The film follows a refugee family trying to fit into the community, via their allotment, and Carl says: "The really great thing about the film is that it's an international story, but it's played out right on my doorstep.

"I really think people should go and see it so that they can understand tolerance. That's what the film is all about - tolerance and optimism."

The Cannes Film Festival, which runs until May 28, is regarded as the world's most prestigious film festival. And in addition to hosting the Liverpool Plus Party, North West Vision, the strategic film, TV and digital media development agency for the north west, has manned a stand in the UK pavillion since the festival began.

Adam Bryan, of industry magazine Screen International, is one of many fans of the city in Cannes. He says: "We've always seen Liverpool as a very creative city - its people are passionate about developing the arts. But they're also very independent, with a can-do attitude, that's what really counts. …

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