Donning a slinky formal dress and shoes by Christian Louboutin, Tea Djumisic made her way up the famous red carpet at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.ÿ Like a Cannes regular, she seemed accustomed to walking confidently past the snapping of cameras and shouts from paparazzi who lined the stairs leading up to the Grand Lumier Theater.ÿ But unlike Angelina Jolie or Penelope Cruz, Djumisic is not a movie star – she is an intern at the Cannes Film Festival.
I met Tea in the Marche, the vortex of the festival wheeling and dealing, while I was researching a story for Forbes.com on the impact of the credit crisis on the film industry. The Cannes Film Festival is considered to be the most important international film market.ÿIn a typical year, more than 10,500 international participants representing 4,173 companies from 97 countries come to the festival’s Marche du Film to conduct business.
A student at BU, Tea was spending her summer working for IFTA, the International Film and Television Alliance.ÿ I was spending my summer as an editorial intern for Forbes.com.ÿ We bonded over the excitement of having secured internships which granted the opportunity to be a part of the festival.ÿ
Participating in press conferences with Brad Pitt on Quentin Tarantino’s latest film was an experience I will never forget.ÿ Thanks to the case method, I was even well prepared to participate in the Q&A.ÿ But what I enjoyed most about my opportunity with Forbes was the exposure to a constant flow of new information.ÿ
I was incredibly fortunate to work for editors who were willing to take me on as an intern, and to include me in the intellectual exchange of ideas that drove the business.ÿ As an editorial intern for the Opinions team at Forbes.com, my responsibilities included pitching stories, writing book reviews and editing the columns that appear in the Opinions section.ÿ
From the Cannes Film Festival, to an office unlike any other in New York City, not a minute went by where I was not learning something about the evolving structure of the media industry, about journalism, or about evaluating an argument or issue from a new perspective.