The Cannes Film Festival: a sparkling edition

Jun 17, 2021 • 3 mins
Assistante chef de projet

Some of you will certainly be familiar with the famous declaration ascribed to a certain Marilyn: "I go to bed with a few drops of Chanel N°5 and I wake up each morning to a glass of Piper-Heidsieck". Whether it's 007, Gatsby raising a glass or Sofia Coppola's Marie-Antoinette, champagne has become a staple of the film world. It is synonymous with glitz and glamour and never more so than during the famous Film festival held on the French Riviera each year which, in 2021, will take place from 6 to 17 July.

Champagne and Cinema: a long-standing love affair

That’s right, cinema and champagne are virtually inseparable, whether it be due to their luxurious nature, their love of creation or the dreams they inspire. The Cannes Film Festival has been associated with Piper-Heidsieck for 27 years. It first appeared on the screen in Sons of the Desert with Laurel and Hardy and it remains closely associated with the world of cinema today as an iconic sponsor of the Cannes Film Festival.

Present at all the events and places to be in Cannes, including the Villa Schweppes, the famous Chopard evening, the Vanity Fair Party, the Marriott..., champagne also helps to convey the Festival’s "French Touch", i.e. Gallic charm and Cannes-style luxury, sophisticated yet nonchalant. The popularity of champagne testifies to the loyalty and love that this beverage inspires not just at the Cannes Film Festival, but within the international film industry in general.

Cannes 2021: a special vintage

This year the Cannes Film Festival pays tribute to its long-time sweetheart in the feature documentary Sparkling: the story of champagne. Produced by Swipe Films, an independent London production studio, the documentary is, according to its Irish director Frank Manion, "a love letter to the joyand pleasures of champagne".  He also adds that they were able to shoot the film during lockdown because the champagne producers were considered "essential workers". This is why we will be lucky enough to see this documentary in 2021. The film features English actor Stephen Fry as well as many of the great names of champagne: Vitalie Taittinger, Bruno Paillard, Louis Roederer's cellar master Jean- Baptiste Lecaillon, Dom Perignon's cellar master Vincent Chaperon, along with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and their Champagne Fleur de Miraval. And, of course, Beyoncé and Jay-Z also make an appearance with their champagne brand, Armand de Brignac (click here to read our article on celebrity champagnes), as does Winston Churchill's grandson, Sir Nicholas Soames. Yes, that’s quite a line-up!

The film was shot in France and numerous other locations including New York and  London at the SAG Awards (American film awards sponsored by Taittinger) and the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships. Basically, the director gives us a complete panorama of champagne without borders. Swipe Films, the independent London-based production company which is marketing and distributing the film, has already produced other wine-related films including You will be My Son, shot at Clos Fourtet Saint Emilion, and Le Jour Se Lève (Daybreak), which tells the story of organic wine producers. So, in short, this is not their first attempt and with that cast, this feature documentary looks very promising indeed!

The screening of this type of film at the Cannes Film Festival is an important event and testifies to the abiding relationship between the worlds of champagne and cinema, both associated with joy, laughter, glitter and excitement. It is a true declaration of love to champagne. A documentary to watch with a nice glass of champers, of course!