Cici Liu ’21 is a Television Writing and Production major and participated in an internship while studying abroad spring 2019 in Cannes, France.
During the May 13th to 25th, I was able to participate in one of the most prestigious international film festivals, the Cannes Film Festival. Before the festival, I was already living in Cannes for 4 months, where I learned about the French language and the culture.
During the festival, I interned with Millennium Media (The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Rambo V) and worked in the Film Market located in the Palais de Festival. My job was to assist the day to day chores in the office, such as organizing files and arranging meetings or getting badges for the clients who are visiting our booth. During the process, I was able to utilize my French skills to run errands in town and communicate with the staff in the Palais to solve problems that we were having at the booth. Being one of the busiest booths in the market, I was constantly placing the clients and informing my boss about their next meeting. I was also able to observe and learn about the process of selling a film. In Dodge, we’re mostly focusing on the preparation and production of films and TV shows. However, we never learned about the selling of films from a production company to worldwide distributors. Millennium Media is a company that produces its own projects and sells it to different distributors in the world. They also have a library of films where they could sell the re-run rights to networks. Therefore, we have buyers from different platforms in all the countries coming over. It is interesting to observe the different reaction from different audiences. The Asia market and the middle-east market have different demand and different anticipation for our contents. I was able to see the Chinese buyers talk about the problems they are facing in the Chinese market with the censorship and regulations. As Chinese, I am fascinated by how Hollywood studio maneuvers around the regulations and deliver its content to one of the fastest growing markets in the world. I have learned a lot about what happens after a film is made and I am very grateful for this amazing opportunity to work in the Film Market in Cannes.
Apart from my internship, I also tried to watch as many films as possible. I was able to watch some of the films that were premiering and participating in the main competition such as Parasite and Pain and Glory, as well as films that were in un certain regard, Nina Wu, and films that are out of the competition such as Diego Maradona. I was also lucky enough to participate in the master class session with Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi and Sylvester Stallone, where they talked about their film career, their classic works and the industry now. I was very inspired by Zhang Ziyi’s speech when she talked about participating in Hollywood productions as an international actress. She also discussed the situation in China where it is hard for an actress her age to find a role that is charming and confident. I was also appreciative for the opportunity to see Stallone in the festival. He discussed his journey being a writer and an actor, and he was very proud to be an action star. It is very emotional how he embraces his characters and I was very moved by his devotion to his career and his characters.
The Cannes Film Festival was an incredible and fulfilling learning experience. I still cannot believe I was fortunate enough to participate in one of the biggest international film events. I am very thankful to the Center for Global Education and Dodge for giving me this opportunity.
Students interested in participating in this film market internship during a semester abroad in Cannes can learn more on the Global Gateway. Applications are due two semesters in advance.