Fast Facts

  • Location: Cannes, French Riviera
  • Best time to Visit: May (Check out the festival schedule in advance)
  • Entry Fee: Largely free and invitational. Few tickets are available for local cinema-goers.
  • How to Get:45 minutes by road from Nice. Local shuttle buses operate every half an hour carrying festival-goers from Nice International Airport to the city of Nice. Secure your flight and hotel booking as early as possible
  • Best time to Visit: Nice International Airport

Cannes Film Festival, unlike other festivals that are held around the world, is exclusively designed for cinema professionals and critics. The entries for the screening areas, press rooms, and even hotel lobbies are highly restricted. There is not much for the usual cinema buff, except for a few handfuls of tickets sold by the Cannes authority. Still, Cannes received an immense number of tourists during the month of May, the festival time, and most of them are definitely not professionally connected to the cinema or the media. The reason is simple: celebrity spotting!

Cannes is not only one of the most prestigious Cinema festivals in the world; it is also one of the largest film markets in the world. As a result, stars come here from all corners of the world to promote their films, work out lucrative professional deals, socialize, judge and at times, simply to hog the limelight. You have a better chance to spot a cine-star (not always your favorite star though, that is never guaranteed in Cannes) at Cannes than anywhere else at the world. The next question, obviously, is how to go about it?

The answer is both easy and difficult. Since the celebrities are all over the town during this time, you better try out the cafes and the restaurants. The hotel lobbies are difficult to get entry too if you do not have a pass or an official invitation. However, security is tough, and then there is the luck factor, which decides if you end up being at the right time at the right place or simply spend a futile day waiting. The best bet, however, is to be there before the evening screenings of the competitive films and look direct your gaze towards the legendary red carpet of Cannes. The stars and the director will surely be there, as will be the jury members who are usually celebrities of some sorts too, if not extremely popular ones. There may be surprise celebrities among the audience as well.

To get the best glimpse of your favorite celebrity, reach there early, as that is most important. The place gets crowded extremely fast. Do not stand at the sides! You will think it is the best place to stand only till the photographers and cameramen appear there from all possible directions and completely guard your view. Try to reach for the road, and take a position right behind the crowd barrier and keep looking at the entrance to the Palais. Surely, your wait will be rewarding.

Cannes Film Festival was born in 1938, out of a protest against the clear fascist intrusion into the sphere of aesthetic and artistic appreciation blatantly displayed in the award selection of the Venice International Film Festival held in the same year. After going underground during the World War period, the festival resurfaced in 1946 and was an immense success. By 1947, the CNC (Centre Nationale de la Cinematographer) took control of the selection and organizational duties. By the early fifties, the prominent and flamboyant presence of stars like Brigetta Bardot added a dash of unprecedented glamour to the festival.

If you are intent on watching a film at Cannes, you need to avail to accredit yourself to the committee. There are six kinds of accreditations available and the eligibilities differ. Festival Accreditation, Market Accreditation, Producers Network, Short Film Corner, Press Accreditation and Cinephiles Accreditation are the different accreditations available. Cinephiles Accreditation is your best bet, but again this is more geared towards allowing local residents a chance to watch the films.

Whether you actually get to see a celebrity or not, you will not escape glamour as long as you are in Cannes. The entire city becomes active and lively during the festival time as it never does at other times. It is usually a very calm and sleepy little beach town for the rest of the year. Bask in the sun, the beach and enjoy the great drinking and eating facilities of the city. The weather is spectacular during this time, nice and warm, and you get authentic south of France experience. Do not forget to taste the choicest wines. There are restaurants that cater to all kinds of taste and budget requirements.

Related Links : Check out the style and glamour of Cannes as celebrities walk up the red carpet in the Cannes Film Festival. You have seen this view a number of times, yet its magic never seems to wear. Another great sneak peek at the glamorous world of Cannes during festival time. Catch your celebrities here!

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