The American Film Festival in Deauville, Salma Hayek and more.

Salma Hayek and Philippe Augier, the Mayor of Deauville, at the dedication of her beach cabin on the boardwalk. Photo credit: Stéphane

"Since 1975, Deauville has been having a love affair with America and its cinema via the Festival, which highlights the diversity of films from the United States." - Jacques Belin, Managing Director of the Centre International de Deauville

During the long journey home in bumper-to-bumper traffic on Sunday evening, Stéphane and I had plenty of time to talk about the weekend in Deauville and our first American Film Festival. Billed as "a precious moment for all cinema lovers", both of us felt perplexed that the festival doesn't attract a larger international crowd. In spite of all the American flags flying along the roads, in the restaurants and on the boardwalk, it remains a very French festival. It's not that I missed hearing my compatriots' voices, it's just not what we expected after years of attending the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland where the entire town is overrun with music lovers from around the world.

American television writers and producers Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider

Frustrated by the lack of timely information about the Festival on their website, Stéphane and I had adapted a wait and see approach to planning. After asking for advice when we picked up our passes, we decided to attend a round table discussion with French and American screenwriters of feature films and television series. As fans of the HBO drama series, "The Sopranos", Stéphane and I chuckled aloud as we listened to supervising producers Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider describe their creative writing process that continues even after the married couple has wished each other good night and gone to bed. When asked about current television series that they like to watch, the Franco-American panel answered, "Homeland", "Breaking Bad", "Madmen", "Boardwalk Empire", "Justified" and the BBC series, "Luther".


Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of attending a small festival is that it allows visitors to have closer access to the actors, actresses, producers, directors and other film professionals. After standing cheek to cheek with a crowd of locals who were complaining about French organization as they aggressively pushed in front of each other to gain access to the press conference with Salma Hayak, Stéphane and I were pleased when we made the cut. Within minutes, everyone's animosity evaporated as Salma worked her charm. Pointing her finger at one reporter, Hayek chastised him for making her cry by asking about the making of "Frida", the biography of one of Mexico's most prominent painters. As a blogger in a room full of journalists, I felt too intimidated to ask a question even after the reporter from "Le Parisien" raised his hand to inquire how it was making "The Savages" with Oliver Stone after working together on "U Turn". With a coquettish smile, Salma replied, "Thank you. I'm so happy you think that I should have had that role instead of Jennifer Lopez. No, no...don't feel bad. It should have been me!"

Salma Hayek is an accomplished actress, director and producer with a lot of charisma. It's little wonder that the American Film Festival in Deauville decided to pay tribute to her many accomplishments by dedicating a beach cabin on the boardwalk to her.

Please click here if you would like to watch a video of the press conference with Salma Hayek.


Photo credit: Stéphane
"Mi casa es su casa (My house is your house). Merci. Love Salma Hayek". Salma's entry in the book is right below that of Liam Neeson, who was also honored by the American Film Festival in Deauville this year.

Comments

  1. I love Salma. She used to frequent the cafe that I worked at in L.A and she was always nice, beautiful and I loved that she had a NORMAL body. I'm so glad you experienced the charm and beauty that is Madame Salma Hayek!

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    1. If by "normal" you mean "totally rocking bombshell," I agree with you. :)

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    2. When I say normal, I mean not skelator-anorexic like everyone else in LA! : )

      I'm loving this curvy movement that's happening in entertainment now. Salma, J.Lo, Sofia Vegara and even Kim Kardashian. Let us eat carbs!

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    3. Yes, let's eat carbs! I also like the curvy movement, especially since I just finished a big portion of pasta with homemade pesto sauce.

      It's good to hear that Salma's as friendly in real life as she seemed at the press conference. When one of the reporters asked if things have changed in the 20 years that she has been in Hollywood, Salma mentioned that she had to fight for every role that she had because there weren't many roles for Mexicans who spoke English with an accent. I can believe it.

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  2. Great photos, as usual. She's not someone I've followed particularly, but she comes across very well in the press conference, I can imagine there would be some Hollywood stars who would just about kill you for mixing them up with someone else.

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    1. I know - there are probably some divas who would throw a shoe at a reporter for making a mistake like that. Everyone was holding their breath while waiting to see how Salma would react to the reporter's faux pas and then breathed a collective sigh of relief when she handled it so beautifully. I haven't followed her career either but will interested to see what she does in the future.

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  3. What a fun weekend, and I love how you call out the French on their organizational skills. I mean, really, having a Swiss husband, it must have been most challenging for him. I too get really antsy when there is no organization, and I just want to take over. Of course, I also just cut line if no one seems to know what their doing.

    Of other note, she and Liam Neeson could both work on their signatures, although I do like his large "L"--it's very much like my doodles.

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    1. It wasn't me who criticized the French people for their organizational skills. It was all of the French people who were pressed together waiting to get into the conference. After I read your comment, I went back and rewrote that part so I hope that it's a bit more clear. Even though I agreed with them, I kept my mouth shut.

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    2. PS. Thanks for emailing me about the misspelling of Salma Hayek's name. In between Twitter, Facebook and my blog, I managed to spell it all sorts of different ways...none of them correct!

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    1. Surprisingly enough, we didn't see that many movies because we wanted to go to the round table discussion and the press conference. On Sunday, we saw Lawless (my hands were over my eyes most of the time because I don't like violent movies) and a documentary about actor Ben Gazzara. I would have also liked to have seen the documentary The Queen of Versailles because Peter recommended it but it was showing at the same time as Gazzara.

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  5. I'm loving your Deauville photos, and Salma Hayek does indeed seem like a charmer. Nice of her to let that reporter off the hook.

    She was excellent as Frida. I know it was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of role, but I hope she gets to do films like that again in the future.

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    1. I would imagine that Salma gave a very good performance in Savages, the film that she just finished making with Oliver Stone. I didn't watch it at the festival because I think that it's probably too violent for me. Salma plays the queen of a Mexican drug cartel.

      On a completely different note, can you recommend a good blog for some women who are planning to visit NYC for the month of October? They're looking for something similar to this one but about NY.

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  6. What an adventure! I looked for the back of your head when I saw the press conference on the news! I was so bummed when Salma and Antonio were on the CHamps signing autographs one day and I missed them. Lucky you to get up close and personal. She is so gorgeous.

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    1. You didn't see me jump in front of the camera and start waving my hands?! Just kidding - that's what I used to do when my dad filmed home movies! I would have been bummed about missing Salma and Antonio, too. I guess that's when they were here for the premiere of Puss in Boots.

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  7. Looks like that was really fun. You always find such interesting places and events to visit and blog about. Envious sigh. Never mind, wait till you see my piece about the new lines of wellies in the hardware store ... :-)

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    1. What are you talking about? You're always doing interesting things - like delivering llamas in the middle of the night. Life doesn't get much more exciting than that!

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