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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
5 years ago

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

Paradoxical Intention
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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)
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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.

Wetherby
Wetherby
5 years ago

It’s very common practice to misleadingly inflate your credentials in the film industry.

I know one person who significantly exaggerated the responsibility of her first industry job (I was her successor with access to all her work-related correspondence, so I knew exactly how little power she had), presumably in order to get up on the second rung of a notoriously tricky career ladder.

The weird thing is, despite a lengthy list of entirely genuine and in some cases genuinely significance achievements made since then, I saw a few years ago that she’s still exaggerating the importance of that original job in her published industry bio. Maybe she genuinely believes that it was bigger than it was? Or maybe she cynically thinks that nobody’s ever going to call her out on it? After all, only about two or three people know the truth.

Wetherby
Wetherby
5 years ago

Bloody autocorrect. “Significance” = “significant”, obviously.

sagamanus
sagamanus
5 years ago

Damn that’s embarrassing. Making that claim, that is.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

I hope that however the documentary comes out, it ends up being what Jaye wanted to make. Art is hard: being able to create something in real life which closely matches one’s original vision requires considerable skill and not a little luck. Having to adulterate that even further because of pressure from donors or interviewees to present them in a certain light would be heartbreaking.

Bon courage, Ms Jaye. I hope you do well and I hope this documentary reaches the high standards set by your previous work. If you can do that, I don’t care what awards you won or didn’t win.

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

@Wetherby

It’s very common practice to misleadingly inflate your credentials in the film industry.

I know one person who significantly exaggerated the responsibility of her first industry job (I was her successor with access to all her work-related correspondence, so I knew exactly how little power she had), presumably in order to get up on the second rung of a notoriously tricky career ladder.

I’ve certainly heard of padding your resume.

But showing off a scam film award seems to me to be going above and beyond the call of youthful naivete or youthful ambition. It’s deceptive. It’s dopey. And Cassie Jaye, so far, has done nothing to correct the impression that her film won an award at the Cannes Film Festival.

A film maker shouldn’t mislead her audience.

Nor should she be mislead or manipulated by her backers, who are showing her love. (I don’t know if this is actually occurring, but some commenters have suggested this.)

I note that Cassie Jaye’s film production company is in Marin County (SF Bay Area). Warren Farrell lives in Mill Valley (Marin County). And the Mill Valley Film Festival has been around since 1978. Maybe Cassie Jaye met Warren Farrell there and they cooked up a movie? Just my speculation.

Dandy Andy
Dandy Andy
5 years ago

Well, it seems that Mr. Elam has already responded to this post with his usual hyperbole. He accuses David of following though on his “threat”, if by threat you mean pointing out the difference between the authentic Cannes Film Festival and the CIFF.

Also, I think it’s going to be very difficult for Jaye to make a balanced documentary now that Mike Cernovich has contributed $10,000 and is an Associate Producer.

Dandy Andy
Dandy Andy
5 years ago

Just to add to my last comment, it’s really amazing how upset Elam is over David’s last post. Why is he getting his tighty whiteys into a wad over what David wrote about the CIFF award if there’s no substance to it? What I find funny is how Elam equates David’s pointing out the CIFF is probably a scam is somehow an attack on the integrity of *all* independent filmmakers:

“This is where David Futrelle proves himself ignorant (as I was) of the filmmaking world. By attacking CIFF as a “fake” film festival, he takes aim at the very heart of independent filmmaking and puts a cheap smear on all of them.”

Uh, actually no Paul.

Wetherby
Wetherby
5 years ago

How exactly does David’s post smear, say, the Sundance Film Festival and devalue its awards?

Luzbelitx
5 years ago

Oh noes!

Does this mean David is smearing the Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente as well!?

You… You… monster!!

numerobis
numerobis
5 years ago

Award and publication scammers are the worst. I’ve seen junior people get caught up in this, particularly on the academic side — they are one reason you’re really strongly encouraged to check with your advisor before publishing anything.

The victims I’ve met figure it out, and work out how to rescue their reputation: you don’t mention it unbidden, and you’re up-front about your mistake when called out.

mockingbird
mockingbird
5 years ago

I’m seconding numerobis.

Getting scammed happens, especially to people new to a field if they don’t have good mentorship.

But touting the results is kinda participating in the scam, no?

I’m agnostic on this whole post – I haven’t looked at any of the source material and I’m unlikely to do so anytime soon – but it does seem like it would be a difficult thing to take an unbiased look at something if one of the subjects (Cernovich, in this case) is an associate producer.

I mean, how much faith would you have in a documentaris called “Gun Control in America” heavily invested in by the NRA, “Our Energy Future” co-produced by Exxon-Mobile, or (for that matter) “The History of the NAACP” independently financed by members of its board?

Such efforts invariavly become the equivalent of vanity publishing.

The one silver lining: She does seem to be an actual filmmaker. Perhaps her efforts will do something to shine a light on actual men’s issues (you know, the ones that the MRM says it’s concerned with but that fall by the wayside in favor of “Internet advocacy”, aka – engaging in on-line misogyny and harassment, brigading comments sections, etc).

mockingbird
mockingbird
5 years ago

in documrntaries*

Darn phone.

Dodom
Dodom
5 years ago

To be honest, I don’t think David’s post is any close to being a terrible thing that’ll end up hurting her, but I don’t think I’d have done it, in his place. It feels like a cheap shot because it doesn’t really add to the picture.
Her current gig and her AMA say that she’s willing to do yellow journalism already. Participating in phony awards is just par with that, I don’t think there’s a need for “here’s MORE evidence that the writer promising to pander to her sponsors is the kind of writer that would pander to a sponsor.”

mockingbird
mockingbird
5 years ago

In. Documentaries*

My phone actually autocorrected to the wrong spelling. Twice.

And I don’t think I’ve ever pecked out the word before on this keyboard.

*narrows eyes at Android OS*

Boost
Boost
5 years ago

A short film I worked on once was entered into a festival and received some kind of award. Later the director found out the “festival” didn’t even happen, and he had been duped into paying a fee for an award certificate.

dhag85
5 years ago

Frankly, the fact that she’s made Juicebro Cernovich an associate producer is more damning than anything else she’s done so far. Cerno is one of the most toxic manospherians I know of. There’s no excuse for embracing that guy.

Cerno is a raging homophobe. And Cassie Jaye apparently made a documentary about same sex marriage, calling it “The Right To Love” (so I assume it’s a pro-SSM film). That’s just beyond gross.

Leda Atomica
Leda Atomica
5 years ago

Had to look up Cernovich (WHTM came in handy, this is like an online library of misogyny) and I have no reason to think he is a “neutral” party. Unless his views and role in GamerHate are in line of the filmmaker’s view of ‘middle ground’.

dhag85
5 years ago

Juicebro seems to be having an obsession with Seth Rogen right now. Looks like some time last month he wrote a tweet randomly saying Seth Rogen is having marriage problems. Rogen’s wife tweeted him back and said “He is?!?! That’s so sad! I hear his wife is awesome.” – obviously rolling her eyes at him. Then either Cerno faked a tweet, or she has deleted it. Juicebro has uploaded an image of a twitter thread where he tweets “Your wife won’t fuck you hahhahahahhahha” to Seth Rogen. Rogen’s wife then allegedly tweeted back: “Well, she definitely would fuck you!”

Now, this may or may not have happened. Can’t find this tweet anywhere, but if it was indeed a real tweet it’s pretty clear she was being sarcastic.

Cerno’s response? More than two weeks later he wrote a blog post with the title “Why Does Seth Rogen’s Wife Want to Have Sex with Me?”. In it, he repeatedly attacks Rogen for being “weak”, “lazy”, “fat”, and for being a “self-loathing” white person (hello dog whistle).

At the end it turns into a promotion post for Cerno’s book.

This is the guy Cassie Jaye is ok with making associate producer of her documentary.

dhag85
5 years ago

@Leda Atomica

Juicebro Cernovich is the guy who declared the Umpqua shooter had to be trans or muslim, because reasons.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

Cernovich is pretty openly pro-murder, too. A pro-murder lawyer. ETHICS!!!11one

Dodom
Dodom
5 years ago

@dhag: why “Juicebro”?

Leda Atomica
Leda Atomica
5 years ago

Ugh. I read his Twitter too doing my research and was wondering if Rogen had pissed in his morning coffee.
Seems totally like *the* person to associate with your very serious and neutral “documentary”.

That’s right, I put quotes around it!

dhag85
5 years ago

@Dodom

Because he seems to be making a living selling scam juice diets. And possibly sperm juice? Not sure.

leftwingfox
5 years ago

Looking over my own resume, the closest I have to that sort of padding is “Attended 2 years of school x, graduated from school Y” as opposed to “Flunked out of second year of school X, graduated from school Y”. It’s also something I explicitly clear up if anyone mistakes.

mewfington catmouth iii
mewfington catmouth iii
5 years ago

my mind has taken the words “sperm juice” and rapidly transformed them into an unstoppable train wreck of utterly vile mental images