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EDITIONS
Friday, 18 May, 2001, 10:52 GMT 11:52 UK
Cannes winds down
Excitement mounts for the prize-giving ceremony
Excitement mounts for the prize-giving ceremony
BBC News Online's Tim Masters watches the weary Rottweilers and publicity agents as the Cannes film festival nears its close.

There is a definite feel in the air that the festival is coming to an end. Even the muzzled Rottweilers who accompany the security men are looking a little weary.

The publicity agents who occupy the hotel suites along the Croisette are starting to say: "We have no more films to promote now, but come to our leaving party!"

Tim Robbins talked about his varied career
Tim Robbins talked about his varied career
So that is just what everyone does - party. The main topic of conversation is that this has been a quiet festival - with no major scandals or punch-ups.

Theories abound, ranging from the threatened strikes in America to the reduced presence of the adult film industry.

The other change in the air is the weather. Il pleut. Almost before the first drops of rain hit the Croisette, the umbrella sellers are out in droves.

But inside a packed American Pavilion, conditions are hot and humid for an audience with Hollywood actor-writer-director Tim Robbins, whose films include Dead Man Walking and Bob Roberts.

 Erika Íkvist with her film portfolio
Erika Íkvist with her film portfolio
In his latest film Human Nature he says he plays a scientist "who is trying to teach mice table manners with electro-shock therapy".

He then gets the chance to try the same thing out on a wild man found in the woods (Rhys Ifans).

Next stop, the Atom Films goodbye party, which has been invaded by a large Swedish contingent.

 Il pleut: Umbrellas for sale
Il pleut: Umbrellas for sale
Father and son team Leon and David Flamholc's Caravan Films is actually based in London.

"The Swedish film industry is so concentrated in one area that everyone knows each other," says Leon.

David won the young film-makers' award at the Hollywood film festival in 1999.

Another Swede, production designer and visual effects expert Erika Íkvist, has Pulp Fiction actress Amanda Plummer on board for her first film Last Angel.

Even the guard dogs are looking tired
Even the guard dogs are looking tired
"It's a surreal tale about an angel escaping its sci-fi world and landing in central London," she says.

Some films just have to be seen to be believed, and this has to be one of them - based on the stills from the first three days of shooting.

But before Atom, who market short films and animations, pack up and leave Cannes there's a last chance for filmmakers to swap business cards over the wine and canapÚs.

Even when the festival crowd is winding down, it is still talking business.


Festival diary

Films in focus

The lowdown

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TALKING POINT
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