Hamlet Within directed by Ken McMullen and co-produced by the Institute for Creative Enterprise, is a modern-day version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, which explores a young man’s psyche as he contemplates avenging his father’s death.

Hamlet Within, directed by Ken McMullen

It was springtime 2022 and rumours began to flutter around the ICE office that the film, in which Sir Ian McKellen stars as The Ghost, was to be screened at Cannes film festival. With the event only a matter of weeks away, we tried to ignore the whispers, believing them to be no more than hearsay. Until an official invitation landed in the ICE inbox. “We’re going to Cannes!”

We got the news that the ICE team had been invited to the 75th year of the festival to celebrate Hamlet Within alongside McMullen himself and other teams which had worked on the film.

Given the short timeframe that we had to book our travel, we were pleased to discover that the local coastal town of Antibes (another stunning location), was an ideal place for anyone heading to the festival.

On the first night of our stay, we were welcomed to a soirée at The Gatsby Mansion in Antibes. Welcoming us to the South of France, the Art Cinema team hosted an intimate gathering where we met others who had been involved in the production of the film, including the company’s CEO, Gisele Phillips.

Saturday 21st May was the day to celebrate the film itself. Its first public screening took place at the Olympia cinema in Cannes. The picture wowed the audience with its beautiful cinematography, mesmerising soundtrack and philosophical take on the original play.

The ICE team at The Gatsby Mansion, Antibes
ICE on the red carpet

The beautiful coastline of Cannes bustled with festival goers, draped in their finery. Paparazzi buzzed through the streets and despite keeping our eyes peeled, particularly when passing the red carpet, there were no famous faces spotted.

That evening, Art Cinema and Cineverse hosted a glitzy celebration on the rooftop of the Radisson Blu hotel in the centre of Cannes to mark the film’s official launch. Cameras flashed, drinks flowed and everybody dressed to impress – we definitely felt at home!

Dressed to impress at the launch event of Hamlet Within

If the opportunity to Cannes film festival (or even the city itself) ever crops up, I’d urge anyone to grab it with both hands. What a fantastic experience to be part of the film and to be invited to the festival.

Cannes, you were nothing short of fabulous. Here’s hoping it is au revoir and not goodbye!