This page has details on various gift items that were part of the Cannes Film Festival, held about seven months before the theatre release of The Fellowship of the Ring. A 20-plus-minute reel of the film was shown, to spectacular reviews, and a must-be-there party was held to promote the Trilogy.
Images and additional details and links forthcoming.
The New Line/Lord of the Rings promotional party for Cannes 2001 was lavish. This media event was held May 13, 2001, with a rented castle transformed into Middle-earth, with costumed servers and Middle-earthian treats and many gifts for those attending.
For an excellent series of first-person accounts and photo galleries, see the TORN (The One Ring dot Net) archives:
For a great round-up description of details and interview quotes, see Kristin Thompson’s wonderful book, The Frodo Franchise: The Lord of the Rings and Modern Hollywood, pages 40-50.
The Media Pass for the “Middle-earth Party” was a circular entrance ticket, with a glossy or laminated photograph of Frodo holding The One Ring in his hand on one side. On the other side is the Tengwar inscription written on the reverse side atop a patterned, holographic foil, and “The Lord of the Rings, Media Event, May 13 2001, CANNES.”
The disc is made of heavy cardstock (about .05″ thick) and is 3.875″ in diameter. There is a hole on one side of the medallion, and the pass is strung on a tied leather-brown plastic lanyard (about a 15″ loop – i.e., a total of 30″ long).
According to Kristin Thompson’s account, “On Sunday evening, 13 May, the event culminated in a party planned for 1,500, though people who were there estimate the crowd at somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000” (The Frodo Franchise, page 45). It seems reasonable to assume that only a few thousand of these media passes were produced.
Gifts for Guests: Overview
The official “gift bag” held at least the following items:
- The One Ring replica, with printed card in clear vinyl holder
- FOTR bookmark (placed inside the LOTR book)
- Clay pipe and leather pouch
- Special Edition one-volume of The Lord of the Rings
- Letter opener replica of “Sting” with a custom drawstring bag
- Official FOTR/Cannes poster of Frodo holding The One Ring
- Large drawstring bag with LOTR title and CANNES 2001
Finding these items on eBay is approximately in that order of difficulty. The One Ring often sells for about $15-$20. I haven’t seen the FOTR bookmark for several years. In recent years, the pipe and pouch has sold for $50-$75. I have not seen the Special Edition LOTR listed or sold for less than $200, and the Sting letter opener for less than $300. I cannot recall seeing the poster or the drawstring bag more than a couple times, in over 10 years of watching eBay auctions.
Members of the press may also have received a copy of an extremely rare 60-page “linen pressbook.” (See details in the bottom section on this page.)
The Fellowship of the Ring Bookmark
This bookmark is die cut with a tab on the bottom. It is printed in black ink on off-white, heavy, textured paper, similar to parchment. It is approximately 1.75″ wide x 7.75″ high, and is printed on one side only.
It shows concept art of a Ringwraith on his horse. Text: “December 2001. A New Line film directed by Peter Jackson.” Has Peter Jackson’s monogram at the bottom. Includes the very rare older title treatment.
Replica of “The One Ring”
The clear vinyl package is approximately 2″ x 2″ and it was stapled shut. The contents include a card with the title, on the front: “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, CANNES 2001.” On the back of the card is a depiction of lightning striking the ring, and a small golden replica of The One Ring.
The ring is approximately .875″ in diameter, .0625″ wide, and .05″ thick. The ring is small and is inscribed in Tengwar lettering, on both the outside and the inside.
Clay Pipe and Leather Pouch
This is a small white clay smoking pipe, with “The Lord of the Rings” etched in its side. The mouthpiece area is glazed ceramic, the rest is unglazed/rough bisque. At its longest point, the pipe is 4″ long and the pipe bowl opening is about 1″ wide.
Included in the custom white box packaging was a dark brown leather pouch with a gold-ink imprinted title, using the rare older title treatment. The folded size is approximately 4.5″ wide by 2.5″ tall. Unfolded size is approximately 4.5″ wide x 7″ tall. The sides are fastened with threaded leather string, and the pouch is closed with a similar leather string.
Customized box includes a white folded box (approximately 8.5″ wide x 2.5″ tall x 3.25″ deep), and cut-out Styrofoam shaped to hold the pipe securely.
“Sting” Replica Letter Opener
The replica is complete with the Tengwar etchings on the blad, high quality metal blade, and a black cloth drawstring bag. These are very difficult to acquire, and I have not seen one myself. However, if this is similar to the replica “Sting” letter opener produced by The Noble Collection, this sword is approximately 7.5″ long. From the photo at that link, compared to the photo in the TORN Photo Gallery of “Party Favors,” the two look very similar.
Special Limited Edition of The Lord of the Rings
~ Cannes Film Festival 2001 ~
This is a one-volume paperback “Exclusive Edition – Not For Resale” produced by HarperCollins, London, especially for the New Line LOTR promotional event at Cannes 2001. These rarely appear on eBay for auction. Some which have in the past 10 years were autographed by such cast and crew members as Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, and Ian McKellen (who often drew a sketch of Gandalf smoking a pipe in addition to his own signature). [It isn’t clear whether the autographs were in 2001 or at another time.]
The front cover shows a black background, with the book title in fiery golden tones, and a facsimile of J.R.R. Tolkien’s autograph is printed in white.
The title, the facsimilar Tolkien autograph, and the HarperCollins logo.
SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION. ‘The English-speaking world is divided into those who have read The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and those who are going to read them’ SUNDAY TIMES.
Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him the Rings of Power – the means by which he will be able to rule the world. All he lacks in his plans for dominion is the Ruling Ruing, which has fallen into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.
In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as the Ring is entrusted to his care. He must leave his home and make a perilous journey across the realms of Middle-earth to the Cracks of Dooms, deep inside the territories of the Dark Lord. There he must destroy the Ring forever and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.
‘A story magnificently told, with every kind of colour and movement and greatness’ NEW STATESMAN.
EXCLUSIVE EDITION-NOT FOR RESALE.
[EAN/International Article Number] 9-780007-118366.
[Tolkien Monogram] [New Line Cinema Logo and website]
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL 2001
Cannes Media “Linen Pressbook”
Description and Further Details
This is an oversized square book (11.75″ x 11.75″) with linen cover. (Sometimes this type of cover is called “grasscloth” instead of linen.) The title is imprinted with very dark brown ink. The end papers (inside covers) are a rich chocolately brown. The book is 60 pages long, and has 58 photos – 20 of them full-page (with borders top and bottom). The quality of both the photography and printing is exceptional.
From all I have read over the years, apparently the pressbooks distributed at the Cannes Film Festival were in French. However, a very small run of an English edition was also printed having the same text, and some of them may have been distributed at Cannes as well. I simply do not know – these are the kinds of details of provenience and provenance (where a cultural object was found, and where it has gone since then) that can easily get buried or lost over the years. (The first career I ever declared I wanted to pursue when I grew up was to become an archaeologist. And, as a futurist trained in “strategic foresight” skills, I am kind of like “an archaeologist of the present,” trying to detail what current cultural trends are and to discern where the most influential trends could lead us in the long run.)
The Cannes FOTR Pressbook and the follow-up TTT and ROTK linen pressbooks are all very rare items. For further details and relevant reviews by Springlering on eBay, see the following links. (Springlering is probably one of the world’s top collectors of items from The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.)
Table of Contents
- Front Cover
- Inner Page [Title Page]
- Table of Contents. “I will take The Ring,” he said, “though I do not know the way.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings.
- Introduction to The Lord of the Rings – 4 [3 photos]
- Taking on Tolkien: Peter Jackson Brings the Fantasy to Life – 7 [7 photos]
- Many Cultures of the Ring: The Cast and Characters – 13 [8 photos]
- Imagining Middle-earth: The Design – 22 [6 photos]
- WETA Gets to Work – 29 [3 photos]
- Middle-earth Down Under: New Zealand – 33 [4 photos]
- From Hobbits to Elves: The Costumes and Make-up – 36 [3 photos]
- Breaking Digital Ground: Special Effects – 40 [3 photos]
- Into The Ring’s Evil: Stunts and Action – 43 [1 photos]
- The Cast of Characters – 45 [18 photos]
- The Filmmakers – 53 [2 photos]
- © 2000-2003 New Line Productions, Inc.
- Back Cover [website addresses]
Sidenote: On page 38, there is a very rare photo of Arwen wearing a light purple gown and a gossamer shawl. I believe I have seen this image only here in this pressbook, and in one or two other places – definitely on a promotional photocard from Taiwan, and possibly in a Hungarian film magazine published in about 2002.