Otway rocking down the street in Cannes

John Otway leads the 'March of the Otways' down the Croisette in Cannes    Photo credit/copyright: Judy Totton
John Otway leads the 'March of the Otways' down the Croisette in Cannes Photo credit/copyright: Judy Totton

Singer-songwriter John Otway’s determination to get the worldwide attention he craves reached another level when he took his movies to Cannes Film Festival.

The former Aylesbury dustman premiered his film, Rock And Roll’s Greatest Failure: Otway The Movie, in London last year and this time turned his focus to the famous French festival.

The comical star even took time to hold his own publicity stunt, prior to the screening, of more than 50 people dressed as himself with masks running down main street, Promenade de la Croisette.

He said: “It was great. With 100 Otways running up the road it did really look quite astonishing. It had a great impact.”

The fans who took part were those classed as ‘producers’ of the film who had helped to fund it.

He said the film screening went down well under the watchful eye of producers.

“We are still waiting on reaction but we had some meetings with various people. There’s quite a lot of interest in the movie.”

Otway made the spoof film, likened to Spinal Tap, as a means of celebrating his 60th birthday.

The true story features archive footage of Otway’s first national TV appearance in 1977, where he fell over the speakers and crushed his ‘male parts’ midway through the song.

It also charts his creative attempts to get to number one, such as by cheating (getting fans to buy his records from the few stores which were used to compile the charts at the time) and creative ticketing (only allowing fans carrying a vinyl copy of his new single into his shows).

He said the target is now trying to make the film eligible for the Baftas.

“It would be a nice thing to do. Hopefully it will be eligible.”

It is already due to be released in several cinemas nationwide and will be shown twice at Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre on Sunday July 14 with Otway also holding a Q&A session.