Like a soldier receiving a command, Qin Guan pulled the sleeve of his shirt up a little to reveal the latest sapphire mechanical wristwatch before he stepped on the carpet again.
It was the third time! It was hard for everyone to ignore Qin Guan. Sister Xue was daydreaming as she stared at the end of the carpet.
In her mind, Qin Guan represented all the brands of the festival. From beginning to end, he stood still on the carpet as the host read the list of brands. The reporters were taking pictures of him like crazy.
Hey! Wake up, please!
"Sister Xue! Sister Xue!" Qin Guan waved his hand before her eyes helplessly. My agent is daydreaming again. I have to remind her about the debut everyone in the film circle is most excited about. Besides, we have to follow Gus into the hall to receive feedback from critics and judges from all over the world.
In the Palais des Festival, the nominated films were playing in a loop in the small halls. If one had enough time to spare, they could watch them all.
Of course, indie films were not entertainment-oriented. Those depressing, horrifying stories could shock people deeply.
The professional judges were talking about what they had watched in low voices.
"The long shooting in that earlier scene was pretty good. It dragged a little though..."
"An unavoidable shortcoming of a documentary. The second act was better. It was hard to show the internal conflict, but Gus recorded it with a camera. That is not an easy feat."
"Yes. Splendid performances. I think every detail was meaningful, especially that Asian actor. He made the character come alive during the scene in the bathroom."
"Complete narration… An overall good film..."
The judges had a good impression of "Elephant". It got a score of 8.8. Finally, the large screen was turned off and the lights were turned on. Qin Guan and Gus walked onto the stage slowly. There was a loud applause.
It was for the two men who had devoted themselves to art, the director who had made another outstanding film and the young actor, who had been a nobody at the time. They gave hope to all the unknown talented people in the film industry.
Words couldn't express Lou Ye’s feelings. Compared to the simple narration of "Elephant", his film was too obscure.
In "Purple Butterflies", it was always raining. Depression, boredom, disappointment… All this, just to meet the demands of a minority audience. There was also a short erotic scene in the end, which had been added to sell tickets. People were hardly shocked by the film. There was no true emotion in it! That was its major shortcoming.
After watching all the films of his competitors, Lou Ye sat under the stage, feeling lost. His main actress, Zhang Ziyi, was accompanying him.
His friend Qin Guan was sitting in front of him, right beside Director Gus. He had believed that the boy could only get a role in a commercial film.
From his point of view, Lou could see Qin Guan's diamond buttons shining under the lights. He was rethinking everything, not just his own films, but also the casting rules in China. Why did everyone think that Qin Guan couldn't act in an indie film? Because he’s not good enough? No!
Cannes, the holy shrine of indie films had accepted him and acknowledged his ability. The problem were the categories of Chinese indie films and the limitations of independent directors.
It was not a problem of the actor, but a problem of the director. To be precise, a problem of the directors of a whole generation and the entire Chinese film industry. They were blocking the way of an outstanding actor.
It’s time for us to open the doors and take a look at the landscape outside. We need to look at the hearts of the audience.
The director was enlightened.
The host began to announce the individual awards. Lou was calm. His aim was not the cinematography, music or art design award, but the two most popular ones.
"The nominated actors for Best Actor of the 56th Cannes Festival Awards are Qin Guan from China, ****** from Iran, ******* from Turkey..."
The cameras shifted to the candidates.
Qin Guan remained calm. He was good at dealing with such situations. The audience thought he was unmoved by the possibility of winning or losing the award. The director couldn’t help but fix the cameras on Qin Guan's face for a while.
The host took a deep breath and opened the envelope that contained the name of the winner of the highest honor for any indie film actor. He read the results slowly.
"The Best Actor of the 56th Cannes Festival Awards is Qin Guan, who portrayed Eric in ‘Elephant’..."