Sizzle This: Randos Take Over Cannes


May 27, 2023


Image Credit: Getty

In ‘Sizzle This,’ The Swaddle team adds to the noise around the pop culture moment of the week. 

Influencers: are they underdogs to root for, or imposters who deserve our scorn? This week, news of influencers of all stripes walking the Cannes red carpet took over social media. Many expressed disdain; others argued it was elitist to gatekeep mega-fashion events like Cannes. But it wasn’t until a certain influencer infamous for dicey Hitler apologia showed up that the debate really reached a fever pitch. Everyone has opinions on who belongs in the spotlight and who doesn’t. Here are ours: 

HK: I wouldn’t necessarily categorize influencers as underdogs anymore because they’re everywhere — annoyingly so. Each generation has its own version for inspiration, and we have our influencers. I shared the Brut India reel with my sister, and we were both in pure awe of how none of the interview responses added any value to the image we have of Cannes, even beyond its glitz and glamor.

I think it’s easy to pick on influencers because we feel closer to them than to the celebrities present at Cannes, but the larger question should be — WHY did Cannes invite unknown faces to grace its carpet? Surely it has to do with understanding the power that the influencer economy wields. What irked me more was Film Companion’s decision to interview the aforementioned influencer, because not only does he have nothing in common with the film industry, but he is also quite problematic in his worldview. Not a fan of this evolution, film festivals should be reserved for independent artists and filmmakers, not become a marketing stint. 

SA: Straight up. If you don’t have significant experience in the film industry, you shouldn’t be invited to a film festival. 

DD: It’s a no from me. All our ‘beloved’ influencers were not present at Cannes as people, they were walking personifications of the brands they represented. However, it’s probably unfair to narrow down on these individuals considering the infestation of influencers is felt at every major global event — it’s not surprising. Is it possible that it would have been slightly better if they chose influencers who actually cared for and have contributed to fostering a more nuanced conversation about film culture in India? Maybe.

AB: Using the “exclusivity is exclusionary” excuse to invite influencers to Cannes is weak and overused; it’s a film festival, for crying out loud! If you want to deny the allegations of gatekeeping, Cannes, then focus on bringing in more indie and non-mainstream filmmakers and actors instead of inviting every semi-successful verified walking-advertisement on social media. You’ve established yourself as the premier standard for worldwide cinema: act like it instead of turning into a mass marketing event. I’m all for accessibility in film, but the presence of influencers, especially Hitler apologists, adds to the argument in favour of exclusivity. Call me elitist, but maybe I want a festival celebrating film to actually be about film. Cannes should focus on promoting art and the unknown but talented people creating it, regardless of race, ethnicity, or identity — not a red carpet event for anyone with a good publicist.

SM: Who belongs or not is irrelevant — this just proves that Loreal presents Cannes is not too different from Vimal Elaichi presents Filmfare. I said what I said. 


Written By The Swaddle Team


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields *.

The latest in health, gender & culture in India -- and why it matters. Delivered to your inbox weekly.