Cannes you believe it?

Julia Ward walks the red carpet at the Premiere of Beuiled at the Cannes Film Festival.

Flagler student Julia Ward serves as a presenter and intern at the French Film Festival

By Gabrielle Garay |

The Cannes Film Festival attracts seasoned and up-and-coming talent alike, and this summer Media Production student Julia Ward made Flagler College history. The senior took off across the Atlantic to attend the Cannes Film Festival, as both an intern and presenter of her own student short film.

The Cannes Film Festival is an annual international headliner. The festival which celebrates both fashion and film is glamorous, artsy, and invite only. The festival is a place for creators, from the elite actors to directors who come together to celebrate art for the biggest party in film.

Ward spent two weeks in France for the festival living a double life. By day, she was spending her internship as a videographer and editor putting together clips of interviews, celebrity panels, focus features, highlight reels and archives.

When the sun went out she stepped out as a filmmaker who earned her spot in the festival – glittering down the red carpet attending premieres sitting in a crowd among Nicole Kidman, Elle Fanning, and Clint Eastwood, working to network with as many directors and producers as possible. Sitting in the world premiere of “The Beguilded,” a critically acclaimed film directed by Sophia Coppola, she wondered if it was all real.

Julia Ward filming the Paul Dano interview for her internship at the Cannes Film Festival.

Some may know Ward around school running with her camera in hand, or some may have seen one of the music videos she makes. Whether it she’s going to the park and having a photo shoot or going to a music festival she turns it into a movie.

After a lengthy application process including multiple essays, a phone interview, and a pile of paper work she received the nod that she got into the festival, snagging one of the 200 spots reserved in the American Pavilion. “I was on the floor when I found out, I fell off my chair … literally,” Ward laughed.

The film that got her into the festival is called “Shhh,” which is a short film that was made right on the campus of Flagler College in the Proctor Library. Her short film began as a project for her senior thesis class but as it evolved she decided to take a shot and apply to the festival with it.

The story follows a girl named Ellie going to the library looking for a book, but instead ends up finding love between the shelves with a boy named Bobby. Ward explained she was inspired by true events of how her mother’s friend met her husband.

“I don’t even care about the resume,” Ward said of getting into the festival. “I carry it inside me and it feels do good because it’s one of my favorite festivals and I’ve always wanted to go and have a film there. You feel like, you’re making it. You feel like you’re doing all of this hard work and it’s finally, finally paying off and you start to see the results.”

Ward explains she found inspiration for her video through the mysterious labyrinth of books in the library.

“You never know what you’re going to find in there,” she said.

The budding cinematographer proudly describes herself to be a hopeless romantic. Inspiration for this video, and many others, is a sense of romance.

“I just miss that old time where you would run into somebody. Or you know, when you’d run into somebody in the cafe, or you just meet somebody at the library,” Ward said.

Julia Ward poses next to a bike in Antibes, France while exploring the city on a photo journey.

Ward finds her videos come alive through creating and recreating some of her favorite moments. Those brief moments when your eyes meet with someone from across the room. Where, when you walk by a stranger and your hands brush, sending electricity up your arm.

She’s looking for love, not the kind that requires technology or talking over pixels or swiping through strangers photos online waiting to see a picture that stands out.  She goes for the love that you least expect. The love that when you left your house that morning (or were wandering your local library) you would have never known what was going to hit you.

She aims to leave her audience thinking, “What am I going to find today?”

The filmmaker first started her hands on a camera in the seventh grade, when she was in a group class project to make a script. Since then she’s experimented with film and added multiple projects to her list, from commercials, claymation, short film, photography, music videos and even her own YouTube channel.

Despite this, don’t expect to see the film online anytime soon, she has received a nod from another music festival. In order to be qualified her film has to stay offline. In the mean time, keep and eye out on her work.

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