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Cannes, According to… IMDb Founder, Col Needham

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Col Needham, founder of online entertainment database IMDb, is back on the Croisette this year.

Ahead of the Cannes Film Festival, the industry and fest veteran took time to tell THR about some of his best and worst experiences in town. He also addressed his take on reporting the length of standing ovations at premieres.

Favorite meal in Cannes?

The côte de boeuf at Da Bouttau in the old town; the restaurant opened there in 1860, so they have had plenty of time to refine the menu (contextual reminder: Lincoln was elected president of the U.S. in 1860!).

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Biggest Cannes faux pas?

A frequent one even after 16 years of attending Cannes: forgetting to check the weather before a screening and then getting soaked in a mid-May torrential downpour afterward because, in turn, I have no umbrella. I am sure my memory is playing tricks here, but I swear it took me days to dry out from the walk back to the hotel after The Great Gatsby (2013). 

Best place to grab a drink after 3 a.m.?

The bar in The Carlton. Coincidentally, I had a beer there with Russell Crowe at exactly 3 a.m. on the day Robin Hood opened the festival in 2010. The bar had become a secret after-afterparty for the film.

Most interesting celeb encounter?

I first met Nicolas Winding Refn in the line outside a party. We became fast friends and remain friends to this day. Several years later, in 2019, Nicolas invited my wife and me to ride in an official festival car to the Friday evening premiere screening of Too Old to Die Young and we walked the red carpet as part of the director’s entourage, including having a named seat inside the Palais. A very special night. 

Attitude toward timing and reporting on standing ovations at premieres?

I am neutral. I am not particularly interested myself, but I know many people do care, so go ahead and start your stopwatches.

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