On the occasion of the opening of the 75th Cannes Film Festival, a meeting with Albane Cleret, the entrepreneur, who on his terrace invites key people from the film, luxury and even the car industry to talk about business …
Albane Cleret by Arno Lam
Albane Cleret’s memory contains the best kept secrets in Cannes. And the few square meters of its terrace too. Open during the festival, and has been for twenty years now, it houses a restaurant, a bar and even new installations – including a waterfall of Moët et Chandon champagne! – on the roof of the JW Marriott Hotel. And constitutes the most festive and coveted private space on the Croisette … It has seen a sea of stars pass by, which according to the owner of the place meet in the strictest intimacy, despite the increasing demand from the brands that sponsor her to make her instagrammable evenings. With a flow of six hundred and fifty to eight hundred and fifty people a day, the one who only dreams of going to bed gathers at. 22.00 and wake up at. 06.30 to go to the market, in the course of a full fourteen days, about eight thousand people, who, oblige, all compete in the craziest desires and demands.
Became very kind with some of the personalities she invites, including Isabelle Adjani and Robert Pattinson, the one who dropped out of school after graduating from college somewhere in Picardy has made his life a success story to the false tones of Elon Musk. She has not yet installed her terrace on the moon, but with her presence in Cannes, she manages to achieve 40% of the annual turnover for her event company Albane Cleret Communications. Before holding its first evening after the opening of the 75th edition of the festival, businesswoman where the stars push “count the sleeping places”Which distinguishes it from the end of the festivities. And gave us this interview.
Quantity: You are celebrating your twenty-first year at the Cannes Film Festival. What would make you happiest? Maybe the arrival of Diam’s, who presents a documentary about his life, on your terrace …
Albane Cleret: We do not know if Diam’s will be there! I do not only make events on the terrace, but also a lunch with the Ralph Lauren brand, a cocktail on a boat, a Louis Vuitton dinner, a Dior dinner … It does not matter how many celebrities there are, so long everyone is happy and keeps good memories.
Speaking of memories, what’s the craziest request you’ve ever been asked?
Putting a car on the roof of the JW Marriott hotel during the festival – which of course is not possible as cranes had to be used! Get seventeen cheeseburgers with fries delivered during a party at three in the morning. Come with a labrador in the lounge … Actor Nick Nolte asked me to stay and chat with his son all night when the place was closed: I went to bed, and at. 06.00 the people who did the interview fell on them! [Rires.] It’s … atypical. American stars will go underground …
As Sylvester Stallone or Robert Pattinson pass through the front door, Leonardi Di Caprio hides. It depends on attitudes and habits …
How do you keep what happens at a private dinner party private in the age of Instagram?
I have always ensured that the people I receive are protected from the gaze of others, always prevented even a simple photo … Today this is no longer possible. You should live alone on an island with books and your soulmate to avoid social media. Presidents and senior executives of CAC 40 use them to communicate, we saw their importance during the presidential election …
Exactly, Will the arrival of Brut and TikTok – platforms available on social networks – as new official partners for the festival affect your company?
I have already been working with Facebook and Instagram for three years. We will all find out what will happen with the arrival of TikTok. As for Brut, Guillaume Lacroix and Renaud Le Van Kim came to see me when they created their media. They were not familiar and wanted me to highlight them on my patio. I did: I thought the concept was amazing and liked that they produced documentaries on topics like diversity in cinema. And they remained faithful.
However, some are concerned about the appointment of Iris Knobloch, the former head of Warner Europe, at the helm of the festival next year …
Iris has everything to succeed in this position: charisma, cinematographic knowledge and interpersonal skills with decision makers. She speaks fluent English, German and French, she has worked with majors …
Just some fear the conflict of interest, right?
We must give people who have been appointed to crucial positions the chance to succeed. The arrival of Iris is amazing: she knows everyone and I’m sure the duet with Thierry Frémaux will be perfect and explosive! We have jobs where criticism is very easy. You work in fashion, you know, right? And it’s very French.
Do you have opponents?
When I started, my terrace was installed at the Palais des Festivals. Then I left the place to the roof of the JW Marriott and people took bets: “She’s going to crash, it’s too big! How will she get movie crews in during the day?” Finally everyone is fighting to come!
Albane Cleret by Arno Lam
In 2012, you announced a turnover of one million euros. It grew to three million in 2018. What is the reason for this expansion?
I carried this agency as my second child. Also, I made it four days before my daughter was born! I have always been extremely honest with the people I work with, whether they are filmmakers or belong to fashion houses. I have not given up: revenue has increased year after year, even though we have suffered the parallel damage of Covid-19 … The film, fashion and luxury industries depend on the world economy. A very serious conflict rages at Europe’s gates and hampers investment: If we go to war, people will no longer go to the cinema, everything will rise …
Have Russian investors failed you this year?
This is a blow to some luxury houses present at the festival. If they put in a lot of funds so that their Russian and Chinese guests become big customers and they do not come, the brands see their business reduced. For me, and that’s paradoxical, because, as you said, there are new players like Campari, TikTok and Brut, I have a harder time setting up a million-euro production. This may mark the end of a model that is no longer in line with the times.
Do the Oscar parties make you dream?
My dreams are much simpler: to be on a boat in the middle of the ocean, on a motorcycle on a sunny road or in a vintage car! [Rires.] On the other hand, I like this the show must continue American style: they give impeccable speeches without paper, it’s very fluid, the clothes are incredible … I could not say I do not like it!
The lawsuit between Amber Heard and Johnny Depp is raging in the United States …
It’s hard to talk about it. Who am I to judge one or the other?
Nevertheless, you can judge its media coverage.
Admittedly, the Oscars exude a certain fascination with me, but many things in the American system do not make me dream. In this case, I do not find the media coverage of this lawsuit appalling: we are talking about violence and we are overexposing it. It bothers me. What do we do when women are beaten in the street or attacked by their men in full confinement?
When you were young, you changed your first name after meeting a beautiful girl named Albane at a convention. Do you ever think about what has become of her?
I especially say to myself that it’s fun to have done it in honor of a girl whose last name I did not even know! I was sixteen and I’m forty – nine today, it’s impossible to know where she is now …
Is there room left in the life you live today for the young Carole who grew up in Picardy?
Little Carole is the one who makes me totally doubt myself on many points. She was often overtaken by the Albanian who wanted to prove to her parents – or anyone – that she was capable of anything. It is obvious that there is a duality between these two people. I was a plump little girl growing up in the country, the kid that people thought was cute, funny and bubbly. I would strike working girl, sensual at one time who wanted success … All while sometimes regretting that he had not been a boy.
We say a lot about you, that you are very influential …
I’m a little uncertain at certain points I would not be able to qualify like this …
Have any young actors been successful thanks to you?
Let’s say I allow young actors to meet people. By, for example, proposing a brand for which I am arranging a dinner in Paris to invite them. In Cannes, my place builds a bridge between people in fashion, jewelry, the automotive industry, travel and cinema. You have to mix genres: that’s how business goes. To shoot a movie you need cars: I introduced the BMW people to Dimitri Rassam [producteur et fils de Carole Bouquet]who worked on The little Prince . Thanks to that, the originally designed car became a BMW … Today, the members of Kourtrajmé [collectif de cinéastes, dont Kim Chapiron et Ladj Ly, né dans les années 90] send me messages telling me they will never forget how I received them as they were not known and not really invited to Cannes events.
Is your biggest concern about losing your phone?
Instead of something happening to my daughter! But yes, it’s very boring to lose your phone … We’re all addicted. So I always take care not to leave him in the taxi. And I make backups. During the festival, you turn on your smartphone at 8.00 and reads a thousand text messages in the hope that they bring good news: it’s more the anxiety.
La Terrasse by Albane is open throughout the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival on the roof of the JW Marriott Hotel.