If last Friday's 200-strong star-studded memorial for Wouter Barendrecht wasn't enough of a testament to the late Hong Kong resident's sway in the film community, then a tribute at the coming Cannes Film Festival surely is. The Dutchman and founder of Fortissimo Films, which was widely respected for supporting art films and Asian directors, died of heart failure on April 5 at the age of just 43. On the first afternoon of this year's Cannes festival on May 13, a loose gathering of programmers representing the world's top film festivals will celebrate Barendrecht's life and achievements at the Plage des Palmes restaurant. Considering that his credits include acclaimed directors like Wong Kar-wai, Peter Greenaway, Gregg Araki and Kiyoshi Kurosawa, it's no wonder this year's official competition at Cannes will also be dedicated to him. Barendrecht (left) moved operations to Hong Kong in 1997. He was known for his zest for life, so the memorial at the W Hotel last week certainly wasn't just a sombre wake. Chris Doyle had a speech prepared but it turned into a ramble, as he walked the aisle asking guests to sign a long white coat for Barendrecht. The touching part came from eulogies by Edko Film's Bill Kong Chi-keung - who lent Fortissimo the use of his Admiralty office when it first arrived in Hong Kong - and director Peter Chan Ho-sun, who poignantly confessed that he patched up a two-year feud with Barendrecht only a month before his death because 'life was too short'. Forty close friends later gathered for a private dinner hosted by Fortissimo.