The Projectionists of Cannes


Films at the Cannes Film Festival are assured some of the projection in the world. You may not like the films, but you will love the way they are presented. Although one of the leading contenders for the Palme D’Or runs “a posterior-numbing two hours and 42 minutes,”  (per a BBC review) at least you can be assured that the exhibition on the huge screen in the Lumière Grand Theatre is perfect.

The reason for this, and in fact, in most theaters in France, is that they take cinema projection very seriously.

More than 2,000 films were screened during the 11 days at Cannes this year. 80 of the best projectionists from France handled the grueling schedule.

Supervising all of this is the CST — the  French Center that supervises technical standards for Cinema. And the man in charge is Pierre-William Glenn, AFC.


Pierre-William Glenn, AFC (left) and Ian Troszinski

A distinguished cinematographer with a list of credits that reads like the who’s who of the New Wave and French Cinema, Pierre-William checks every film in every theater at Cannes in advance and attends all the main events to make sure everything runs perfectly.

On the second-to-last day, all the projectionists were treated to a lunch of oysters, seafood, Paella, and wine at the CST’s pavilion on the pier. The best projectionist at Cannes was honored with an award. Great projection is still an art, if other festivals and all cinema owners realize how important this is, the world would be their oyster.




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