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Is “Red Pill” director Cassie Jaye’s Cannes award a fake? Signs point to “yes.”

Seems legit
Seems legit

If you look at Cassie Jaye’s official bios, you might be forgiven for thinking that the director of the upcoming Red Pill documentary had won an impressive “best documentary” prize at Cannes for her first feature-length film.

On her LinkedIn page, Jaye writes that “Daddy I Do,” her film on the abstinence-only movement, “won the Best Documentary Award at the 2010 Cannes Independent Film Festival.” She makes similar statements on YouTube and on her official site, CassieJaye.com.

Press coverage of the young filmmaker has made much of her Cannes award. In a feature on Jaye, the San Rafael Patch reported breathlessly that “Daddy I Do soon garnered immense acclaim, culminating with the Best Documentary Award at the Cannes International Film Festival.” Feminist website Bust declared that the film “has already won Best Documentary awards in several festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival.” A writer at Rumpus.net started off her interview with Jaye by congratulating her for winning “Best Documentary at Cannes.”

But if you go to the official site of the Cannes Film Festival, and look at its list of winners for 2010, you will find no mention of Daddy I Do.

Hell, you won’t find a Best Documentary winner for that year at all, because Cannes didn’t actually have a Best Documentary award.

So what’s going on? Is Jaye lying? Well, not technically.

She did win an award with the word “Cannes” in it. But it didn’t come from the official Cannes festival.

It came instead from a knockoff event, the Cannes INDEPENDENT Film Festival, that many in the film business consider an outright scam, using the Cannes name in order to profit from entry fees, much as the makers of the Spader-Man action figures above hoped to make money from confused or perhaps overly thrifty fans of the real Spiderman.

A site called CannesGuide warns filmmakers not to submit films to the faux festival, declaring that

the Cannes Independent Film Festival (CIFF) is, in our opinion, a scam. It is not connected to the Festival de Cannes, Marche du Film, or any other official festival organisation. It is a coat-tails event, run from the UK, which likely seeks to capitalise on the prestige associated with the city’s name and famous festival.

Although CIFF is a real event, we have questioned its legitimacy in the past and continue to believe that there is little or no value to filmmakers in submitting a film. 

Since that was written, the “festival” seems to have vanished entirely from the world. Take a look at what its official web site looks like now. (Seriously, take a look.)

Jaye’s supporters will presumably point out that she’s never technically lied about her award or claimed that it came from the official Cannes festival. Certainly it’s not her fault that reporters make mistakes!

Except that it kind of is. Here’s a screenshot from the trailer for Daddy I Do.

Screenshot of the Daddy, I Do trailer
Screenshot of the Daddy, I Do trailer

Most people seeing this flash by on the screen, I suspect, will remember the giant CANNES and won’t even notice the word “independent” underneath it. Or, like the reporter for the San Rafael Patch, they’ll change the “independent” to “international” in their minds.

At the very least’s it’s a graphic seemingly designed to capitalize on the confusion between the Cannes Independent Film Festival and the real Festival de Cannes.

No, Jaye isn’t doing anything illegal here. But trumpeting an award from a phony festival as if it were a real award is not only dishonest; it’s kind of pathetic.

 

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dhag85
6 years ago

I just looked at the “recent comments” section and realized I should shut up for a while. 🙂

Paradoxical Intention
6 years ago

dhag85 | October 31, 2015 at 6:18 pm
@Paradoxy

I have to ask. I’ve seen you spell Sharlet’s name as “Shartlet” twice now. Is this a mistake or is it some sort of inside joke? Either way, it makes me smile every time. :p

Nah, that’s a mistake. Whoopsie. :p

I will try to remember in the future, but I’m terrible with names.

Eschen
Eschen
6 years ago

Given the way Daddy I Do portrays its subjects in the evangelical purity movement, I would not be all that surprised if she is, as some people put it, playing the long con. And if she is the documentary could turn out to be really good.

On the other hand I fear for her safety if the MRM types are not pleased with the results she gives after they poured out this much money and publicity for her. And that’s really the problem with her accepting money from them, no matter what the end result is it isn’t going to be pretty.

dhag85
6 years ago

She has won other awards from small — but legitimate — film festivals. Those are the awards she should be talking about, not this award from a scam festival that used the Cannes name to deceive people.

^this exactly

Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
6 years ago

Reminds me of the anti-gay organizations that like to cite the “American college of Pediatrics.” The American ACADEMY of Pediatrics is a real organization; the American COLLEGE of pediatrics is a handful of anti-gay fanatics hoping that the name sounds prestigious enough to be treated as credible.

Paradoxical Intention
6 years ago

@Tara: And they’re most likely also banking on people not knowing the exact name and going “Yeah, that sounds right”, or some association between the two, like this here.

GueststarwithMacarthur the skull
GueststarwithMacarthur the skull
6 years ago

If you search her name with Cannes on twitter, she deliberately tries to give the impression that she won the real award, imo. She’s a subtle scam artist and it’s kind of hilarious that red pillers fell for it and spent that much. milo was even corrected about her fake award but didnt tell anyone.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

If she is pulling a con on the MRAs, I’m actually not okay with that. They may be horrible, and I don’t feel bad for them for getting conned. But unethical behavior is unethical behavior, no matter who the victim of it is.

Eschen
Eschen
6 years ago

@weirwoodtreehugger

To be fair, as far as I know she hasn’t offered them quid pro quo positive coverage in the film. Her promises about the documentary have always been to be neutral. All she has to do is be thorough and honest and they’ll come out looking very ugly, and will consider it a con.

This all started with them making assumptions based on her statements about not wanting to write a hit piece against them didn’t it?

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Eschen,
No, you’re right and I have no reason to suspect that she is conning MRAs. It’s just that so many people in the threads about this seem to be hoping that’s what she’s doing.

Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
6 years ago

@ Paradoxical Intention

Among writers who haven’t won anything, it’s not unheard of to send your own work to the Pulitzer Committee (because anyone can nominate), and then call yourself a “Pulitzer nominee.” Jonah Goldberg pulled that one.

dhag85
6 years ago

I watched the sneak preview. Looks like it’s going to be a pro-MRA movie with a touch of “why can’t we all just get along/we all want equality”. But she clearly knows the keyboard shortcuts. I can actually make out what’s happening on the screen. No random body parts flailing around. No 15 second dead space black screen between interviews.

Nunya (@ottodidenari)
6 years ago

I don’t think this has been brought up yet, but if it has.. I am agreeing with that post,
So, journalists repeat things, and now when journalists write about her, maybe they will find this article and STOP REPEATING the myth so it’s really important this is up. She’s bound to get some sort of coverage on the new film, especially once it’s completed.

quentincoldwater
quentincoldwater
6 years ago

Fyi, the Cannes Independent Film Festival turns out to be an event where some dude rents out a Villa in Cannes, turns one of the rooms into a screening room and then proceeds to screen 120 or so movies over the course of the week. He invites the winners to his villa for their screening and assures the filmmakers that they will be able to network with all the professionals in town for the *real* Cannes and bring them back to the villa to watch their film’s screening (that doesn’t sound like a creepy invitation at all).

Here’s an excerpt from a blog post about a film that screened at the 2010 festival:
“After Gafla came a moment I’d been awaiting since I first met Richard Dailey and co-director/star Côme Levin the day I arrived at the Villa and they described their film The Visit as “John Waters-esque.” John Waters is one of my gods… And, yes – as the poster suggests, The Visit offers us “full frontal teenage nudity.…with socks!” However, unlike teen sexploitation films like American Pie, the nudity and raunchiness in The Visit feels more organic. It stems from Come’s wonderfully natural portrayal of Eliot, an incessant masturbator whose unabashed horniness (and quest to lose his virginity in a homemade porno film co-starring his religious fanatic American cousin – played by Dailey’s daughter!) makes him simultaneously endearing, revolting and sweet. Hence, the John Waters nod. Even the “bad guys” are lovable. Such heart!”

https://web.archive.org/web/20110323031751/http://www.deviantpictures.com/trippinmovie/full-frontal-teenage-nudity-with-socks-cannes-independent-day-7/

Check out that trailer too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PRNWT5lUp8

friday jones
friday jones
6 years ago

Spader Man, Spader Man, does whatever an actor can
Is his attitude very plucky?
At least Steff wasn’t as bad as Duckie
Look out! Here comes the Spader Man!

Eschen
Eschen
6 years ago

“I’m curious if you watched the footage she put on her kickstarter page. Because it’s really not neutral at all.”

No I did not. Will check it out. I’ve mostly been following this in quotes rather than actually checking out the primary sources.

Kat
Kat
6 years ago

Cassie Jaye is not lying. She really did win an award from the Cannes Independent Film Festival. She includes that fact in her films and her CV.

But what she is doing is misleading her audience. We are meant to think that she won an award from the legendary Cannes Film Festival.

David’s article is not an example of hurt feelings. It’s an example of good journalism. Showing off that award from a scam film festival doesn’t say anything good about Cassie Jaye’s integrity. And surely integrity is needed in making a documentary.

http://www.filmmaking.net/198/How-to-spot-a-scam-film-festival/

http://www.cannesguide.com/basics/faq/faqdetails.php?id=20

StoicSophist (@StoicalSophist)

How is this any different from someone who puts “PHD in physics” in their bio, and then it turns out it’s from a diploma mill run from a strip mall in Dubuque? I mean, yes, they have a piece of paper that says “PHD” on it, so technically they’re not lying, but they’re still being intentionally deceptive in order to claim an unearned authority.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
6 years ago

@sn0rk

would you care about this if she wasn’t apparently cozy with the MRAs right now?

Wait, what? Of course I’d care. 1. Lying (or “Deliberately misleading,” however you want to put it) is wrong no matter whose “Side” she’s on; 2. Even if she ends up making an anti-MRA film, it’s still important to point out and denounce her deceit before the film’s done, before the MRAs start shitting their pants about “ETHICS! ETHICS! ETHICS!” Denouncing untruthful bullshit, not sitting on it until we’re sure of which “Side” she’s on, that’s actual ethics.

@bodycrimes

They’re a crazy paranoid cult.

Don’t call MRAs “Crazy.” Come on, you’ve been here for how long?

Catalpa
Catalpa
6 years ago

WHTM criticized Professor Skull and Tub Boy LONG before The Sarkeesian Effect came out. In fact, Professor Skull’s version hasn’t even been released yet. How exactly is this different?

People can be judged on the actions that they take prior to and during the creation of an ongoing project. It’s already pretty clear that Jayes isn’t acting in good faith regarding the MRAs, I don’t see why she is entitled to be given the benefit of the doubt in this case.

Kat
Kat
6 years ago

On a lighter note, your weekend won’t be complete if you don’t check out David’s Bollywood post (Oct. 27).

Roff-uh-la, roff-uh-la, roff-uh-la, ell-em-a-o! (You’ll be singing it Monday morning.)

Leda Atomica
Leda Atomica
6 years ago

I have no idea why anyone would defend the use of this “award” in promoting themselves. Filmmakers don’t live in a vacuum, they can’t avoid being a part of a community especially after releasing something. It would be hard to remain ignorant to this sort of thing.

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