Amanda Nevill & InStyle Editor Charlotte Moore

Dave Benett

‘British film talent is rocking the world’.

So says Amanda Nevill, Chief Executive of the British Film Institute as she graced InStyle magazine’s first 'Spirit in Film' lunch — in association with BULLDOG London dry gin — alongside a galaxy of talent from both sides of the camera at the 69th Cannes Film Festival.

Around 40 British directors, producers, writers and agents gathered at LA’s chic le Petit Paris outpost on the famous Croisette beach to celebrate female filmmakers who have shown spirit and determination in bringing their projects to fruition.

Our own InStyle editor Charlotte Moore, who teamed a Rochas blouse with a Zara skirt, Victoria Beckham clutch and Sophia Webster shoes, said: ‘This is the first time InStyle has done an event in Cannes. It seemed like the perfect partnership with the BFI because we love to celebrate British talent and we shoot actresses every month.'

‘It’s exciting to have a lunch celebrating the creative talent coming out of the UK in such a glamorous setting. We will definitely do it again.’

With two British feature films making it into this year’s competition – chosen from 1700 - Amanda added: ‘When you find people with talent, you stand by them and support them. This was a magical opportunity to hold an event to give oxygen and visibility to the great British talent coming through.

‘Britain releases around 250 films a year and only a very small percentage are directed by women. We have to use our power to change that. We are all about diversity and InStyle has put together a really interesting mix of directors, producers, agents, models and actors. I am feeling very old!’

Guests sipped perfectly prepared BULLDOG gin and tonics and chatted at white linen clad tables exquisitely decorated with miniature olive tree centrepieces and offering spectacular views across the Mediterranean.


WATCH: Jack Fox Talks About Determination At #InStyleInCannes

They wore:

Amanda Nevill looked très Riviera chic in a cream trouser suit and coral blouse proudly proclaimed: I’m wearing head to toe Zara!’

L’Oreal and Sports Illustrated model Ebony Davis rocked a bandage style cream cocktail dress by Murmur.

Bollywood actress Amy Jackson looked breath-taking in a red and white trouser suit by Indian designers Falguni and Shane.

Instagram favourite Doina Ciobanu wore a white Osman blouse edged with broderie anglaise and trousers and a jacket from London brand SAFFiYAA, adding: ‘It’s a little windy so sleeves are good!’

Fellow Instagram star Thassia Naves opted for a summery Carolina Hererra print dress.

Jack Fox, star of Cannes short The Dark Side of the Sun, which exposes sexploitation on the casting couch and the influence of social media, was in head to toe Belstaff adding: ‘I love this brand.’

Producer Alexa Pearson wore Georgia Harding and quirky heels by Kat Maconie. ‘It’s fun and it’s also the one dress I had left in my Cannes wardrobe,’ she sighed.

They drank:

Bulldog gin cocktails, rosé and white wine.

They ate:

Burrata with tomatoes and basil, sea bass ceviche with lime and avocado, beef tartar, sea bass fillet with artichokes and lemon meringue tart.

They gossiped about:

Julia Roberts’ bold move to go barefoot on the red carpet in the wake of last year’s heels-only controversy while director Andrea Arnold went to the opposite extreme, arriving in bovver boots for the premiere of her critically acclaimed new film American Honey.

How the casting couch is still alive and well in Hollywood according to a couple of up and coming young female filmmakers.

Blake Lively, who was the hit of the festival. Dior’s Rebecca Filmer says: ‘She consistently got it right and rocked the red carpet with her pregnancy bump, which is no easy feat.’


WATCH: Producer Elhume Shakerifar Talks Determination at #InStyleInCannes

What it takes to succeed in the film business. According to Lisa Lambert, executive producer of We Need to Talk About Kevin and Missing You Already it’s simple. ‘Determination and confidence to deal with the barriers. Use the female network. Women work well together.’

InStyle partner BULLDOG London dry gin celebrates 'BULLDOG Spirit' - those with passion and perseverance to achieve their vision #bulldogspirit

See more pictures from our 'Spirit In Film' lunch right here...

Authored by Karen Hockney