Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers premiered in Cannes in Director’s Fortnight star. Here,  co-writer Steve Oram shares his diary on arriving in Cannes…

Alice and I had a very cheery cab driver who took us to Heathrow airport and we spent ages reminiscing about Kenny Everett, Benny Hill and the Young Ones. Classic and inspirational comedies that, just thinking about them, had us in fits of laughter. An excitable mood to the day.

Then on the French side a cab driver who was very keen to show off his insanely fancy car which had a massage seat in the back and some sort of control deck up front which had a video camera which showed the back of the car when he was reversing. He got me to press various buttons and I ended up reclined horizontally with some kind of machine pumeling the small of my back through the seat.

Steve and his Cannes-bag

Steve and his Cannes-bag

We are staying in the Radisson right in the centre of Cannes which is beautiful, but similar in some ways to the cab driver’s car. There are lots of buttons and gadgets on hand and an electric toilet which has a heated seat and options to clean front, back and blow dry without you having to move. One of my mottoes is never trust a toilet that has to be plugged in. I would unplug it but fear that I might set off an alarm. The view from my window is a stunning one of the beach and loads of yachts. It is an amazing place to be staying. We are being royally looked after by Protagonist and my excited mood has not dimmed for a moment…

Alice and I went for a stroll through Cannes in the afternoon. Apparently it had been raining heavily for days but when we arrived the sun came out which we took as a good omen. Being a Brit abroad I was extremely drawn to the Irish pub next to the hotel, with its warm beer and dingy atmosphere, but Alice said we couldn’t go in there and instead we went to a beach café and had a chilled French lager and Alice had a kir royal which was better.

Stepping into Cannes is like being beamed onto a strange dream planet where everyone is off their head. As we walked around there seemed to be loads of big shouts going up and crowds of photographers rushing to take snaps of some unknown amazing thing that we never quite caught a glimpse of. Perhaps some sort of rare wildlife, like an elephant seal giving birth or a dog walking on water. But more likely an actor on their way to the cinema. It is hilarious and unreal. In Cannes people actually look different too. You see impossibly beautiful, tanned and hansome people with clothes that fit incredibly well and features that are just a little too handsome and big. And the well-spoken used car dealer type rushing around on a mobile phone doing deals and having power meetings. Later someone told me about the ‘market place’ where films are bought and sold as if they were fish or meat. I thought I’d like to go there and buy a Japanese sci-fi or something.

Alice and I then went to a pizza and beer welcome party at the Film4 villa. It was a lovely, gentle introduction to the madness of Cannes. It was great to hook up with Tessa, Katherine, Sam, Catherine and Anna as well as Ben and Amy and our Sightseers producers Andy and Claire, Nira, Matthew. Manuel Chiche was also there – the man who moved the earth to help get us in to the festival, so good to meet him for the first time. Everyone excited and maybe a bit wired from hard work and lack of sleep. Sightseers lot jubilant at having already secured US and Australian distribution. I have been astonished at the wide appeal of the film as I thought no-one outside the W Midlands would get it. Astonishingly Israel have bought it too…

Click here to read Steve’s diary for the day of the premiere onwards…