CANNES, France — Shorts made on TikTok haven’t been seen on the massive display screen in the Grand Théâtre Lumière simply but, however final week the video app was nonetheless accused of a Cannes fake pas: making an attempt to affect a jury’s selections.
In March, TikTok announced that it will be an official partner of the Cannes Movie Competition this yr. Thierry Frémaux, the competition’s creative director, was quoted saying that the collaboration was “half of a want to diversify the viewers” of the competition. Billboards that learn “ceci n’est pas un movie, c’est un vidéo TikTok” loom over the awnings throughout the avenue from one of the essential film theaters right here.
TikTok additionally introduced a contest for brief movies shot on its app. Though not an official competition occasion, the competitors had a jury headed by the Cambodian-born filmmaker Rithy Panh, a survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime who has been a daily presence at Cannes with movies like “The Lacking Image” and “Exile.”
However Panh quit as the jury’s president on Wednesday, he mentioned, two days earlier than the awards have been to be given out, solely to return to his function on Friday morning, hours earlier than the awards ceremony. Panh mentioned by e-mail that he had give up as a result of TikTok had “appeared to need to affect our choice about prize winners,” and that he returned to his publish when the firm agreed to respect the jury’s verdict.
“Their world, it’s not the artwork world,” Panh mentioned in an interview in a while Friday afternoon, sitting on a sofa on the deck of the beachfront restaurant the place he and his 4 fellow jurors had simply given out the awards.
Whereas declining to call names, Panh mentioned some workers at TikTok had wished to pick out totally different winners from the jury’s quick record. It was “a number of individuals from TikTok,” he mentioned. “One or two have been very aggressive, very cussed, very closed minded.”
TikTok issued an announcement that appeared to attribute any hassle to peculiar disagreements in choosing winners. “As with all artistic competitors the place the choice of a winner is open to subjective interpretation, there could also be variations of creative opinion from the impartial panel of judges,” the assertion mentioned.
Even after receiving a assure that the jury’s selections can be honored, Panh mentioned his first intuition was to not return to the jury. However he mentioned he finally got here again for the filmmakers. Some, he added, had traveled to Cannes from as distant as Japan or New Zealand. “You simply can’t break their dream, you realize?”
The ceremony on Friday was hosted by the social media character Terry LTAM, who requested the jurors about their experiences watching the shorts. The Sudanese filmmaker Basma Khalifa mentioned the judging course of modified her perspective on the platform. “I didn’t give TikTok sufficient credit score, I don’t suppose, for a way a lot you are able to do with it,” she mentioned.
Filmmakers from 44 nations submitted movies to the competitors, all between 30 seconds and three minutes in size. The highest prize was shared between two administrators: Mabuta Motoki, from Japan, whose film confirmed a person meticulously constructing a picket tub, and Matej Rimanic, a 21-year-old Slovenian director who submitted a comedic black and white short through which two individuals flirt utilizing a paper airplane. Rimanic mentioned that engaged on social media platforms had sparked his want to make films.
“I began posting movies on Vine, then I went to Instagram after which TikTok got here round, so I began posting on TikTok,” he mentioned in an interview shortly after he obtained his award, a gold-colored statuette formed like TikTok’s emblem. “Now throughout this transition of me posting on movies on social media, I found my love for filmmaking.”
It was his first time at Cannes, both to attend the competition, or to go to the metropolis. “I hope that at some point I can come right here with my characteristic movie,” he mentioned. “I solely make comedies as a result of the world wants extra laughter.”
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