Canadians at Cannes May Talk to Kristen Stewart For the Low, Low Price of $1,293

It's one thing for distribution deals to precede the Cannes Film Festival. It's another thing altogether for the actual absurdity of the annual event to commence before anyone even sets foot on a red carpet. To wit, get a load of this Canadian company trying to sell press access to their stars Kristen Stewart and Brad Pitt. Tacky!

Deadline relays the tale of Alliance Films' junkets for On the Road and Killing Them Softly, where Canadian journalists are welcome to catch up with Stewart and Pitt one-on-one — for the low, low prices of $1,293 and $3,232 (respectively). Junketing on the Croisette is expensive, you see, and since Alliance says it intends to bring both actors to North America for, er, complimentary press days later this year, the film journalists of Canada can either wait or have the first crack by helping foot the bill to welcome the more crucial international crowd.

On the one hand it makes sense: These films are likely Toronto Film Festival-bound in September, where many more local and American press will flock for coverage anyway. There's no reason to squander your talent's precious, limited time on press they'll likely get in four months. It's also not unprecedented; Harvey Weinstein famously tried to usurp $1,500 from journalists wanting to cover Death Proof at Cannes in 2007.

On the other hand, come on, Alliance. There are classier ways to handle this dilemma:

"Alliance decided not to partake in the Cannes junkets for Killing Them Softly and On the Road, however we wanted to provide Canadian journalists the opportunity to participate directly if they so choose," a company spokesperson told Deadline. [...]

As an insider told Deadline: "Of course it looks bad. But with the company possibly for sale, there’s a lot of pressure to keep as many costs down as possible. A pricey Cannes junket for two American movies that are already coming here later seemed an obvious place to save money."

Totally agreed! But to turn around and offer the interviews anyway for a price? Who approved that? Velvet Jones?

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Oh, Canada. Stay tuned to Movieline for more from the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, which commences May 16.

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