At Cannes Film Festival, TikTok is inescapable

CANNES, France – TikTok may be frowned upon in Washington and the Montana capital of Helena, where state legislatures have approved statewide bans that will take effect next year. But it is embraced here at the annual Cannes Film Festival, which draws thousands of filmmakers, entertainment industry executives and actors to what is generally considered the world’s largest entertainment industry event.

For the second year in a row, TikTok handed out its film awards at a ceremony overlooking the smooth waters of the Mediterranean. Its young creators have been interviewing stars on the red carpet alongside journalists from traditional media. The opening ceremony of the festival was streamed live on TikTok, and celebrities have made TikTok their primary platform to document their adventures at the festival. On Tuesday, for example, Eva Longoria asked her TikTok followers for help choosing an outfit for a red carpet event.

It’s all part of TikTok’s ongoing struggle to position itself not just as a social media platform, but as a premier entertainment destination.

“At Cannes you have the most established filmmakers, you have directors, you have talent, you have studios, you name it,” said Rich Waterworth, TikTok’s general manager for Europe. told the Washington Post. “The whole world of cinema is coming together here and sharing their creativity … and that’s why we exist.”

The debate among politicians in the United States could be about the ownership of TikTok by a corporation based in China. But the talk in Cannes is about how TikTok can position itself as one of the world’s premier destinations for creative video. The app has 1 billion monthly users worldwide. The festival will end on Saturday.

TikTok has worked overtime. Highlight his role. As a place for the next generation of Hollywood talent to be discovered and nurtured. The company sent a number of employees from around the world to the fair, including teams from Australia, the UK and Los Angeles. The staff helped TikTok creators secure invitations to major festival events, and several TikTokers walked the red carpet at movie premieres. TikTok A-listers including Chris Olsen, a star named The sexiest man on TikTok by People magazine in 2020, and the D’Amilio family, whose daughters are among the most followed users on the app, have been spotted in Cannes this week.

Film festivals themselves have had a close relationship with social media. Selfies are still officially banned from the red carpet, but some social media creators like Reece Feldman, who has 1.8 million followers on the app, still document their red carpet experiences on TikTok. Outside the Hotel Martinez, where many celebrities stay, lines of fans waited for hours in the hot sun to capture a viral clip of their favorite star. Many of them had the TikTok app open on their phones, ready to film the celebrity’s first encounter.

TikTok first became an elite sponsor of the event last year, but it had a rocky start. French Cambodian director Rethy Pana, who was scheduled to judge last year’s TikTik Short Film Competition, has temporarily resigned from the event, claiming that TikTik executives influenced the jury’s selection of winners. were trying to The two parties eventually patched things up, and Pan rejoined the jury.

Cannes chief Thierry Fremaux Told Variety in March that the festival had partnered with TikTok to “address a younger and more international audience.” And the app’s “numbers are really impressive. We also know that TikTok raises a lot of questions from governments because it’s a Chinese firm.

But Waterworth brushed off those concerns when asked about them this week, saying the “dynamics aren’t the same” around the app outside the United States. He also emphasized the global nature of TikTok’s user base.

A TikTok star and filmmaker known as Samba, who was judging the app’s Short Film Awards in Cannes, said he was already seeing the impact of TikTok on content created by young filmmakers. are, especially when it comes to sound design, color and editing. . Samba and other judges said young filmmakers who take advantage of TikTok make films that are fast-paced and engaging, fast-paced, brightly colored and always shot vertically.

“Filmmaking is moving more and more in the direction of vertical videos,” said Yunus Zarau, a 25-year-old German TikTok star with more than 52 million followers, referring to TikTok’s format. “Tik Tok was the first mover in this space, and now other platforms request vertical videos.”

Zarou said that he believes that soon large motion pictures will be presented in a vertical format so that people can use them on their phones. “Maybe in the future they’ll be able to film vertically, and for two hours you can watch a vertical movie on your phone.”

Lucas Mills Dutra, a 23-year-old TikTok filmmaker who wrote and co-created one of TikTok’s Short Form Filmmaking Award-winning films. “People think they have to go to widescreen formats for long-form content,” he said. But I think the short form has power. [vertical] Content we have clearly seen. I think TikTok will encourage more filmmakers to realize that they can start working in short form.

Several trends related to film TikTok has gone viral in recent months, particularly one where users create short films in the style of director Wes Anderson. On Tuesday, The Associated Press Traced Anderson and asked if he was aware of this trend and if he had seen any videos of young filmmakers imitating his style.

“I didn’t see it,” he said said. “I’ve never actually seen a TikTok.”

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