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Useful information re the Cannes Film Festival

If anyone is going down to the Cannes film festival to either try and sell a completed feature or try to meet people to develop a feature and they are not in any of the official competition categories, below I offer a few of my personal thoughts and experiences on the festival if you are interested please read on:

Map of Cannes can be found here:

Who am I: I’m a UK independent feature film producer and director of several feature length films, I’ve been to the Cannes film festival many times, the first two times when I was a film student, I hitched my way down there, met a friend on the Croisette with tickets to the Miramax beach party, a quick change of clothes and a scrub-up in a hotel bathroom, I stashed my ruck-sack in the boot of a mates car and then into the very exclusive bash, ten minutes later I was incredibly introduced to the Winestein Brothers (the party hosts) in person (a missed opportunity). Years later I paid for a team of four (flights , accommodation and expenses) to attend in my absence, I was in production on another film at the time, so I’ve experienced the festival from many different financial perspectives.
Over the last decade the market has polarised, so now buyers, distributors and the trade press are nearly only interested in the films in competition and then the Hollywood promotional screenings with their attending guest film stars. So as an independent, trying to get their film attention or getting meetings with potential buyers and distributors or any press coverage, you’re very up against it. But with so many players in the film industry from all over the world attending, you have to try to get their attention so here are my observations and a head’s-up for how to find and meet the right people and to make the most of your time when attending, since it can be very expensive if you are on a limited budget.

The Obvious:
Registration should be done in advance through the festival website to avoid paying an idiots tax for an expensive three day pass (with very limited access).
Flights and accommodation should be booked before Christmas if possible or alternatively as early as you can (bigger companies book and reserve accommodation at least a year in advance by the way).

The skinny:
Firstly get hold of the festival /market guide from last year, an essential, invaluable tool. Use it to arrange meetings well in advance of arriving at the festival, most of the contact details, hotels etc from last year will still be good for this year’s festival. Take the time to read the guide, target your possible meetings carefully, and familiarize yourself with the relevant mug-shots (yes they actually print their head-shots in the guide) so you can recognize people not just when they are standing in their offices or stands but in a bar in the evening or on a hotel-terrace (more on this later).

Buyers rarely ever attend screening outside the Palias or at one of the big hotels in-house cinema’s or one of the several private cinema’s in Cannes , they are just too busy working to spend the ten or fifteen minutes travel time each way to attend. So paying for expensive screenings (£800 upwards for the necessary two hour slot) in the Hotel Gray D’Albion or even worse the Star Cinema on the Rue d’Antibes , the Olympia or Arcades is in my experience a waste of money (yes I have paid for screenings at both venues), since the only audience your likely to get attend are either, other filmmakers and actors, the general public or just non-professional festival hanger’s-on.
Much better to try and get an international sales agent or distributors interested in paying to screen you film in one of the several projection viewing rooms in the Palais, yes this is very expensive, approx 2K, but if they are seriously interested in seeing your feature they will not think twice at paying this cost, though don’t make the mistake of using the screening opportunity to try and get other interested buyers/distributors to attend the screening as I did, thereby annoying the company that had paid for the screening!
Paying for advertising in the trades or on the giant digital screens is a complete waste of money (the day slots are often completely obscured by the sun). Any free editorial during the festival in the dallies (free light-weight daily editions of the trade press which can be found in the Palais or any of the good hotels) is like gold dust but should be arranged as early as possible , preferably before Cannes, if you give the press i.e. Screen, Variety, Moving Pictures copy before they move en mass to their offices during the festival, they have more time to talk to you, are less pressured and stressed to take the time to sympathize with a low-budget filmmaker/producer trying to get free copy (taking it as red in the first place, that you've done your homework and can present them with a fat and very useful press kit when you do meet). Finally re the festival dallies, read them for heads up on who is doing what and more importantly who is buying what, for clues as to who is attending the festival to buy, what they are buying and if they are buying similar stuff as to what you are selling/pitching.
Spending all your time in the Pavilions is a mistake, you’ll meet lots of other filmmakers, crew, actors etc from all over the world and get the chance if your organised to attend some useful seminars (what homework), but you will not meet the right people. Though there is no sun, breeze, nice sea view, scintillating pleasant conversation or glamour to be found, you should be spending your time hard at work in either the Palais bunker/floors or “doing” one of the big hotels. The Palais des Festival has several floors, most business for independents is done in the bunker or basement floor. There you can visit most of the independent sales agents and distributors from around the world, try to arrange a meeting with them before the festival ends (since they are too busy selling early on in the festival to really have the time to talk with people presenting new possible product (at the end of the day that is what your film is, to the film business). You can also see what they are selling and try to find possible matches to your film. Take copies of good one-sheets (A4 double-sided, printed promotional , cards), yours should be better, if not learn from and mimic somebody else’s more eye-catching work. Look for windows of opportunity when a stand you are targeting is unusually quite, then visit the stand, they may have more time for you when their stand is quite, not wishing to be seen as quite, since it is better to seen talking to someone in your stand than twiddling their thumbs. Book a date as soon as possible in their dairy (your dairy is an invaluable pocket tool to organizing your festival) essentially leaving your mobile contact number for in case they have to bump your appointment, this will invariably happen, don’t get annoyed or rude, take it as a professional . Less important meetings will always get pushed back for more important one’s , I know it’s annoying when you are repeatedly pushed back and back till later and later dates, very bad when your meeting is pushed back till after you are due to leave to return home or worse when you finally go for your meet only to turn up to find the stand now vacated, they've packed up and gone home (it’s happened to me). Be polite and email them, remind them who you are and if they are honest people they will try to make it up to you by looking at the stuff you send to them in the post, if they don’t well you wouldn't have wanted to work with people like them anyway, so nothing lost .
The big hotels along La Croisette in Cannes are the Carlton, The Matinez, The Majestic, The Noga Hilton and the Grand. When not in the Palais des Festivals, then spend your time at one of these hotels, in the Lobby’s and doing the floor’s where temporary offices for film production, sales & distribution companies, national promotional bodies and film festival’s set up shop and are open to business. Do the same as you did in the Palais, walk the floors and try to set up meetings. Note these hotels are expensive, their clients industry big-wigs and film stars, you’ll get in easier if you wear you market badge and dress smartly or at least look like a possible business man or movie star (yes there are large crowds outside these hotels, star-watching, so don’t be afraid of looking the part), just walk confidently past the security and you will very rarely be challenged. Also in the evenings, instead of spending all you time, trying to crash parties, or getting wasted at the Petite Majestic (a fun and load back street bar of the Rue Des Antibes open to dawn), and if you haven’t got tickets to either of the official screenings that night of the film in the main Competition (that another long story), possibly as an alternative, dress smartly and try sitting in the bar of one of the expensive hotels, try to chat to anyone around you that looks like they want to also meet people, hail anyone you vaguely know that passes and ask them what’s going on, how their business day has been and most importantly share information or any leads that you have managed to find since you last met. I was for years afraid of even ordering a glass of water at the Majestic having been warned that it would cost me an arm and a leg, well they have a kind of minimum charge, to keep people like me out, I eventually found out that a very nice G&T was about the same price as a glass of water and if sipped very slowly I could make it last for a couple of hours. If you are really tough, sit with others who have purchased a drink and defer offer’s to get you one by the waiters. There are lots of powerful movie players hanging around these bars and terraces, sometimes waiting for cars or other people, maybe you might do your best business deals, meet the people you couldn't get past their secretaries during the day, whilst seemingly hanging around without a care in the world, you might even get to talk to a major film star or industry professional (but then that’s several other stories).
I’ll be attending again this year looking to find co-producers for my feature film project “Afraid of the Dark”, the promotional short/pilot (duration 8 mins 15 secs) has just been put up on Shooting People, best described as a very creepy art-house horror film, even you find the time to take a break from your packing and preparation please take a look.
The very best of luck at the festival
Regards Ray Brady

  • PART 2

    If anyone is going down to the Cannes film festival and you are not in any of the official competition categories, below I offer a few of my personal tips, thoughts and experiences on the festival if you are interested please read on:

    Cannes map:

    The cheapest way to Cannes from the Airport is a bus. You buy your return ticket a small stand just outside the airports doors, the buses run every twenty mins and will drop you off right in the centre of Cannes opposite the marina behind the Palais, one mins walk from Cannes main taxi rank (located on the side closest to the Palais), which is on the side of the Vieux Port marina bus station. There is another central bus station approx five mins walk away outside Cannes train station.
    The taxi option is also good if four of you share one there and back, people often look for other people to share with, perhaps you will get your second chance to pitch why your attending the festival in the taxi on the way into Cannes (the first chance was to the stranger sitting next to you on the plane) .
    If you haven’t managed to get accreditation you can still get access to the festival buy buying a three day temporary pass (cost approx 80 Euros) but you will need to present a film professional business card and pass some internet goggle search to see what you’ve done or to access your film on-line CV from i.e. the before even being allowed to buy your temporary pass.
    When you arrive in Cannes (or on the day you are leaving) you may wish to store your baggage for a few hours before checking into your hotel or apartment, especially if you want to go into the Palais to pick up your accreditation (you won’t be allowed to bring a suitcase to the main building), there is a very handy reasonably priced and reputable portacabin just at the top of the Jette A. Edouard (ref map link) where for a small fee you can temporarily leave your suitcase, especially handy if the hotel or apartment you are staying in is out of Cannes and you want to jump straight into the festival as soon as you arrive.
    If staying out of town and you manage to Snapple some tickets for an evening screening remember to leave plenty of time to get in to town, as around the evening screenings the road in front of the Palais is closed off to enable limos to drop celebs, this backs up the traffic and creates gridlock anarchy throughout Cannes until well after the screenings begin.
    When you receive your accreditation pack in a bag it will include a piece of paper with your individual festival log-in number to the festival ticket office. You will need this to be able to log-in to the official ticket website to book tickets for screenings, you are given so many points, different screenings require more points, when you use the points, you will receive top up points to book more tickets, but only if you do attend (or someone in your place attends) the screening. The festival does not like empty seats and will bar you from future screenings if your seat is not filled, so make sure your ticket is scanned on the way into the Palais to prevent this happening accidentally, and if you can’t make a screening be sure to give your ticket away, outside the front of the Palais, just before screenings, dozens of eager people hang about begging tickets, so there is no excuse not to pass on your ticket. Oh...and beware the early 8am screenings, after a late night out sometimes it’s very easy to blow them out, could mean you can no longer get tickets thereafter.
    For evening dress screenings (from 4.30pm onwards in the main Palais theatre) women can more or less wear what they want as long as they look smart, men though have to always wear black tie evening dress, dickie bow, no sandals or open toe shoes, shorts, with the only exception being if you wearing national dress, so if you don’t own any evening wear but own a kilt, you’re good to go
    Lots of companies rent, or bring and park, boats in the Vieux Port harbor behind the Palias along the Jette A. Edouard. Also boats are rented out for one off parties, because of the size of these boats, they tend to be pretty exclusive affairs but, you can crash them if you look fabulous or have a lot of charm. Sometimes a bit of premeditated advance recce work can get you an invite. Outside the harbor itself are anchored the big boats, again sometimes booked out by companies to present seminars on film funding, or to pitch legal services, national film funds etc. You get to the big boats using the free boat shuttle services running from the harbor. Make sure to check you get on the right boat when boarding or you might find yourself arriving at the large floating casino/brothel that pitches up outside Cannes every year.
    The Pavilions behind the Palais are rented mostly by national film promotional bodies; one of my personal favorites is the American pavilion, large, with free wi-fi or use of public laptop stations. The seminars they organise each year are the best in town, the likes of George Lucas, Michael Moore and Quentin Tarantino have turned up and spoken there, first come get the good seats. If they are generous with their time, they sometimes hang around afterwards to meet their audience; I once met and talked to Oliver Stone. OK a yearly admission fee is around $90 when paid in advance (more now nearer to the festival), just Goggle American Pavilion, but is money very well spent, hey...there are free beers given out every day and lots of other freebies from their generous sponsors so bargain all round methinks. The British Pavilion is free, but as you would expect much smaller, they have free seminars as well so check out their itinerary when you are in there. Nearly all the national Pavilion tents have a yearly bash, with lots or free food and drinks, so do your research, leave business cards and talk to people to get yourself an invite as everyone would greatly prefer to have a big well attended bash than a small unnoticed affair. The Irish pavilion is one of my personal favorites, usually sponsored by Jamesons Whisky nuff said.
    Along the Plage de la Croisette opposite the big hotels is the beach front, sections are fenced-off and guarded to protect the celebrities therein. Access is garnered from either steps leading down from the Plage or possibly sometimes along the beach front. Exclusive private promotional parties are held on the temporary marquees they throw up on the sand every year, usually everything is free once you’re inside, but there’s the rub, security is always very tight, guest lists very limited. I was at the Miramax party on the beach once when someone swam in from the sea from God knows where since there wasn’t a boat in sight, security was called and when the interloper climbed on to the jetty in a wet suit, they were waiting for him, he produced and invite and they retreated, he proceeded to remove his wet-suit to reveal he was dressed in full black-tie evening ware, that’s what you call making an entrance. Dress to impress and you’ll be surprised to see what doors unexpectedly open for you, I decided to take a stroll down the beach to cool off before an evening screening in the main Palais, as I meandered down the beach I was guided by security into the rear entrance of a Marquee, I was proffered a glass of Champagne which I accepted thinking...why not, I then turned to ask a guy standing beside me what the party was for and noticed behind him some giant posters of him in various historical costumes, turned out to be Kenneth Branagh promoting his latest movie.
    A footnote on getting into the big hotels: Instead of fighting you way through the large crowds and banks of photographers outside and having to show your festival badge several times to security when entering through the front of the hotels. Find and use the rear entrances, often only manned by one or two security personal, so much quicker to get in and out, the same for the Festival Du Palais itself, the rear entrances are so much easier to get through when you late for a meeting or screening.
    If you’re really, really flush then a visit to the Hotel Du Cap near Cannes is recommended as it’s where most of the biggest film stars and directors stay when they are attending the festival, but bring lots of money with you, cash and expect to pay the most you’ll most ever likely to pay for a drink in your life, oh and if you can afford to buy a round count me in.
    Have a fab Cannes one and all
    Regards Ray Brady

    8 years ago
  • Hi Ray

    enjoyable read, thank for posting it, we may be interested in running it in the Universal Film Magazine

    8 years ago
  • Hi Tyrone,
    That would be completely fine by me.
    Many thanks
    Kindest regards Ray

    8 years ago
  • Great couple of posts - kindly appreciated :-)

    8 years ago
    • Your very kind Paddy.
      Many thanks
      Kindest regards Ray Brady

      8 years ago
  • Hi,
    thank you for all your positive emails re my posts. I encourage all Shooter's that has useful information re attending the Cannes Film Festival to add footnotes to my post please. In the spirit of Shooting People lets all help one another trying to make it in a very difficult business.
    Kindest regards Ray Brady

    8 years ago
  • Foot note: In response to a email question re “tickets to either of the official screenings that night of the film in the main Competition (that another long story)”, as soon as you get into town go into the Palias for accreditation because every hour you are accredited enables you to get two extra points. Forty eight in a day, the evening main Competition screenings will cost you one hundred points or so, so it will take you two days to accumulate enough points to go to one and only after being able to be lucky enough to log into the system to get them at exactly the right time (which is random and never the same). Less important screenings cost you a lot less points, i.e. 8am till 4pm Palias screenings will cost you about thirty points, you will watch exactly the same film but sitting among a half sleeping audience, rather than in the same auditorium as the films stars. If you pay attention and are prepared to queue up, there are repeat screenings for free at cinemas at the back of the Palias right beside the Pavilions on the beach. These will cost you no points at all, so if you don’t have enough points left to get into a Palias screening it means that you can still can get to see the competition film that is screening that day (or late the night before). Hot festival films generate long queues, so be warned that you may have to stand queuing in the Sun for an hour to ensure a seat. Good luck and see you in the queues, oh if you still haven’t seen my short “Afraid of the Dark”, a promotional short/pilot for a intended follow-up feature (duration 8 mins 15 secs) it’s now up on Shooting People, best described as a very creepy art-house horror film, even you find the time to take a break from your packing and preparation please take a look.
    The very best of luck at the festival
    Regards Ray Brady

    8 years ago
  • Hi Ray,

    Thank you for your very insightful post, it’s great information!

    I’m hoping you could quickly answer a question. Myself (the director) and James Bowsher (the producer) of Ladies First ( have got into the short film corner. We realise that this only provides us with 2 accreditation passes for the week. We were hoping a friend (who doesn't have a pass) of ours would be able to come along, she’s going to do her own thing in the day (whilst myself and James go round the markets etc..) but for us to meet up in the evening.

    In this above discussion, you suggest going into the big hotels in the evening and to try and meet industry professionals (the ones we will struggle to get past their receptionists in the day). Do you need a pass to get into these hotel bars at night? Do we need a pass to get into any evening events? Are the places that you have suggested for us to go in the evening, accessible without a pass? I.e. will my friend be able to get in?

    We’ve looked into acquiring our friend a 3 day pass but unfortunately it’s not an option. What i’m asking is, will myself and James be restricted to what we can do in the evening if my friend is with us? From a business point of view, is it best that my friend doesn’t come along (although we would really like her to come)?

    Thank you for your time,

    5 years ago
  • Hi Matthew,
    As to getting into the big hotels, just act confident, dress sharp and look like you know where you going to get past security at the front doors. Most hotels have a rear entrance where the security is either none existent or at least minimal and also benefits with quick entrance and exit as the front door can get grid locked by crowds especially when film stars are staying at them. Even in the evening you will need to show your festival pass badge to get into any events in the Paliase or the rear pavilions, there are nearly a hundred. Along the beach front you can wing entry by being polite and talking to the head of security who has been selected to ensure the right people get into private parties (even if they haven't got an invite) blagging does sometimes work. Meet your friend for lunch in one of the many restaurant running along the streets parallel to the main drag. Pick one that seats many people and simply try to engage the people near you in small talk as you never know who you are sitting next to you unless you listen and then engage them in conversation.
    There is lot's to do and see in Cannes, the old town at night is the place to be seen, the hill top church with spectacular views day and night. Free outdoor evening screenings of classic films on the beach in the evenings. Dozens of great bars like the Petite Majestic off the Rue De Antibes (where the Brits love to congregate, chat, share notes and find out what is happening later (open some nights till four or five am), in the past I've left there gone for breakfast and then went straight into the Paliase.

    Wear a tux in the evening, even if you don't have tickets for one of the 4pm to after midnight screenings in the Palias as it changes security guards perceptions about you. Not wanting to offend or embarrass anyone potentially famous security have often just let me walk right in to exclusive parties or events without an invite or ticket, without question. I once was dragged into a party by my brother (also in a tux), there was a massive cue to get in but the security just stood aside whilst he dragged me in (incredible I know but true). On another occasion I went to get a free drink and some shade in a pavilion near to the Palais before a screening and was steered by security down a beach pathway into the back of a huge beach Marquee and right into a very exclusive party. I was offered a glass of champagne and was wondering what the event was about when I spotted several larger than life posters of Kenneth Branagh dressed in Shakespearean costume. It was a promotional sales bash for his latest movie. Minutes latter as he walked the room to personally meet and greet his guests he walked up right up to me and introduced himself. I immediately explained and apologised for my mistaken entry and he very graciously said no problem at all and welcomed me to stay as long as I wanted. Unreal yeah! So looking and acting the part can get you a lot further than you would think sometimes.

    Final note: If you have the time and the inclination, I have heard of people going on to the and giving their friends credits as PR/Executive Producer/Head of Sales/Researcher/Company Publicist etc on their past, present or future film projects, post her/his picture up (now free to do) so when you get to Cannes you will then be able to pay for a three day pass (because you still will need to be a film professional to be able to buy one), always an option.

    Regards Ray Brady

    5 years ago
  • Do you know how or where to get a list of the parties going on?

    5 years ago
  • And thank you for all this information, all very useful

    5 years ago
  • Hi Jane,
    You are very welcome. Answer: Not that I know of. If you were competing in the festival I'm pretty sure like most major film festivals they keep their guests informed of all official parties and events and do their very best to keep all their top notch stars and filmmakers busy and happy. Outside of that very elite group though you are own your own with the other 20K or so film professionals in town looking for parties every night. Most of the invites that I get are after talking to people at various national tents and when they see that you mean business they sometimes kindly invite you to their exclusive bash. These are not published anywhere as if word gets out too early they are often swamped. The UK, American Pavilions etc all have yearly parties, but even then you really have to pay attention. Several years ago there were massive extravagant parties like the Moving Pictures yearly bash that took place in a castle down the coast, all free drink and laid on free coaches from Cannes to the event, but after the sub prime black hole changed the world, publicity budgets were slashed or completely cut, the big parties with international pop stars performing sadly became rarer, smaller and much more exclusive, usually inside an exclusive bash there is a VIP area, even more exclusive and harder to get into. Talking to one and all during the day is the best way to pick-up on parties, if you can combine it with your meetings then great. I tend now to go to far fewer parties nowadays, I watch as many evening premiers that can and screenings of friends films. Avoid any party that has "Play Boy" or similar hosting, be wary of parties on boats and in Super Cannes (especially in the evening as it's sometimes impossible to get cabs back down to Cannes), always much easier to get to off shore boat parties, getting back can be very expensive. Send emails to all your film contacts now to let them know that you will be attending and check to see if they, or their company will be hosting one, promise to reciprocate a good lead to them in return when you are in Cannes and hear about one, then follow through on the promise as there is always next year to plan for. The Casino does a great one with international djs flown in and even free Champagne, but getting an invite is difficult. Best of luck, when you're down there and if you know anyone that's looking for an intelligent horror feature length film, then please remember to pass on my name.
    Kindest regards Ray Brady

    5 years ago
  • Great info for a first-time attendee Ray. I'd love to buy you a drink over there if you have time.
    Thanks again!

    5 years ago
  • Hi Justin, I will be staying in town (literally, for the first time after more than twenty visits) from the 15th till the 23rd this year and it would be great to meet up. I will be picking up my email messages, email me at: please remember to chase me up during the festival.

    5 years ago
  • Update re getting tickets for screenings:
    I received an email from the festival yesterday with something new. They explained that due to extremely high demand being (four times higher than available seating capacity) the festival has made changes. I was sent a password and code to enter a new part of the festivals website where I could browse the film screening schedules in advance and make requests for tickets. This is fabulous news and I was really getting excited until I released my partner Anne, who I always attend screenings with didn't get the same email. Instead she was sadly informed that she would not be able to book festival tickets this year! So in reality we are now worse off, last year getting two tickets for an envening premier screening was an enigmatic anathema, this year, you're simply either in or out.
    Regards Ray
    PS For all you out there that think I am lucky to be able to get one, it's not the way I roll, it's either both in or neither. So we'll be chasing tickets and looking for swaps, or simply giving one away if we can not acquire two.

    5 years ago
  • BTW anyone who's after the festival films, not the black tie premiere, as I recall there's a very large temporary screen dedicated to reruns of the previous day's festival films in the Palais compound

    5 years ago
  • Hi Ray,
    I have been studying your Cannes info and i just wanted to check something. I have been told I am not able to apply for tickets to the Grand Theatre Lumiere unless I queue up for them. I think from what you say that I will have to queue from 4pm in an evening outfit at the Cinema itself or at the central tickets desk? I just wanted to check as I only have three full days there & don't want to miss a chance. Thank you for your help.
    Best Wishes

    5 years ago
  • Cannes Film Festival Screening locations:

    The Grand Théâtre Lumière presents the feature films of the Official Selection in Competition and Out of Competition.
    Admission: via the Red Carpet Steps, on presentation of your Invitation

    or just with your badge for last-minute access, is to the right of the red carpet as you face the Paliase building, there is a small holding pen, queuing here means standing in the sun with no shelter for over an hour for the possibility of getting in, but most of the time the seating capacity is all taken and you are either turned away or sometimes directed into an overflow cinema screen (you don't get to sit in the main auditorium with the direct and cast in the room, but the film is screened at exactly the same time as the premier screening next door).

    Priority access for the press, on presentation of your badge for the 8:30 screenings.

    The Debussy Theatre presents the feature films in Competition and Out of Competition at 8:30, the Selection for Un Certain Regard, Short Films in Competition and Press screenings.
    Admission: via the Debussy Steps, on presentation of your badge

    The Buñuel Theatre screens the Cannes Classics programmes, the Cinéfondation Selection, the Cinema Masterclasses and Press screenings.
    Admission: via the main entrance of the Palais F+5, on presentation of your badge

    The Soixantième Theatre hosts Special Screenings, Day-After screenings (of feature films in Competition and Out of Competition) and Tributes.
    Admission: Forecourt of the Riviera, on presentation of your badge. The entrance to this cinema is located at the very back of the Palais about fifty feet from the British Pavilion, you need to get there well in adavance of start times (between 1 & 2 hours) to get in the queue to get in. Standing in the midday sun can be a killer so don't forget to bring a large bottle of water.

    The Bazin Theatre hosts Un Certain Regard Day-After screenings and Press screenings.
    Admission: via the main entrance of the Palais (F+3), on presentation of your Press badge, or any other badge for Day-After screenings.

    The Cinéma de la Plage offers open-air screenings each evening at 9:00 pm.
    Admission: open to all depending on the number of available places, Macé Beach. Every night Cinema de la Plage screens an ‘Out of Competition’ or ‘Cannes Classic’ film on the beach across from the Majestic, and they even provide comfortable beach chairs and blankets. No tickets required, just line up early, and if you’re too late for a chair, you can always throw down a towel or perch on the beach wall. Bring a picnic and wine and it’s a lovely way to experience the Festival, but be forewarned, not all beach films are subtitled, so pick your night carefully.

    Free Films in the Critic’s Week Section: Critic’s Week is a rather avant garde subsection of the Festival, and dedicated to discovering the next crop of hot new directors. All films are subtitled in English with director Q&A’s after most screenings. Anyone can get a free ticket to the Critic’s Week films if you can just find their unassuming ticket tent tucked away on the side street next to the Miramar Hotel at 35 rue Pasteur. Free tickets are limited, and entry is not guaranteed (badged festival-goers have priority) but the trick here is just to get in line at least an hour in advance. To pass the time, first pop into the Miramar lobby first to stock up on the daily trade papers, or just watch the side walk parade which is very amusing in itself. Click here for the Critic’s Week film list and schedule.

    Buy Tickets to Director’s Fortnight Section: Anyone can buy tickets to the Director’s Fortnight screenings for a very reasonable 7€. The ticket booth is to the left of the Mariott (formerly the Palais Stephanie, and before that known as the Noga), and then line up on the side street to the right of the hotel. All the films are subtitled in English, and the first screening of each film features an intro and Q&A by the director and cast. But even with a ticket, you need to line up early (and be sure you are in the right line: "Billets"

    See you in a queue there.

    5 years ago
  • Thank you Ray - that is great. I can't wait to see what happens for me! Best Wishes Kate

    5 years ago
  • Hi,
    Just an update on this post. Met with Kate Sandison in Cannes after originally first connecting with her via this post, have had the pleasure of working with her twice since. Also, greatly looking forward to working with her once again on our forthcoming indie feature shooting later this year. Kate will be attending Cannes and very kindly flying the flag for us this year in our absence, as for the first time in over a decade UKFILM.CO will not be attending. Our experiences at last Cannes on changes to ticketing and events made at last years festival can be found on our website page by clicking on the "More" right-hand tab and then selecting "CANNES".
    Sadly, for at least the near future these will be our last Cannes survival updates.
    Hope that you find some of the information posted there helpful.
    Good hunting and safe travels
    Ray Brady

    2 years ago
  • Good stuff Ray, I've seen your opinions and points of view before and always like to read them. This would make a good magazine or trade article.

    There is no substitute in getting first hand experience advice and opinions when making decisions. Everyone should Thank You for these notes and opinions.

    2 years ago
  • Hi George, I find nowadays that hardly anyone takes the time to say thanks or even move their mouse slightly to "like" anything anymore. For example, I get an email from Vimeo every month which states how many views my films, trailers, etc on their site have had and even though there are hundreds of views, there are never any comments or likes. Really eerie sometimes working in a vacuum so...many thanks for that, really very greatly appreciated George.

    2 years ago
  • Hi Ray and fellow shooters,
    I attended Cannes 2019 and just got back! It was a really good festival with some amazing films. My favourites were 'Bacurau' by Kleber Mendoza Filho and the new Terence Malick Film 'A Hidden Life'. The weather this year was a bit grey - which couldn't be helped but the beautiful sun is a part of Cannes which was missed. The policy of no photos on the red carpet has continued and though it probably makes it easier to get the audience in for screenings it is a pity as in the past, people were so excited to get a photo or selfie. There were some wonderful tribute events for the legendary Alain Delon and the cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel by the Angenieux camera organisation. I also went to a Premiere of 'Tommaso' by Abel Ferrara which was attended by the cast including Willem Dafoe who was only a few metres away and said some very interesting things about acting and life. Only in Cannes do you get these experiences! I was there promoting 'Host', the new horror feature film by the UK Film Company and everyone I spoke to thought it sounded great. There were many horror films on offer at the Marche, by companies like Blood Window and Devilworks but nothing sounded like 'Host'. I can't wait to see what next year at Cannes brings!

    2 years ago
  • Cannes 2021 so many variables.
    Before booking flights, accommodation what are the present travel restrictions and liability going to the south of France for the Festival dates 6th -17th July.

    On 11 March, the French government announced it was easing restrictions on travel from the UK. From 12 March, arrivals no longer need to justify an essential reason to enter France. All other measures (such as the pre-departure testing requirement) remain in place and apply to all air, car, ferry and train passengers. For further details, please see the Entry requirements.
    According to
    It is illegal to travel abroad from the UK for holidays. Follow current COVID-19 rules where you live in the UK.

    In England, you must have a permitted reason to travel abroad and complete the declaration form.

    The Cannes Film Festival is now open for people to register to attend this year's film festival.

    Travelling to sell and market your film projects at a festival I guess is enough justification to allow travel and the same for the press but, the question is, for actors wishing to attend to self promote themselves without a film screening at the festival, would they be attending legally? Is this allowed at this time?

    Would attending mean that on returning to the UK you would require to isolate for a time?

    4 months ago

    Coronavirus (COVID-19): declaration form for international travel
    Complete this form to confirm that you have a reasonable excuse to travel abroad from England.

    Legislation – the legal requirement to carry the travel declaration form
    It is a legal requirement to carry a completed copy of the travel declaration form if you travel abroad from England. From 29 March, it will be a legal requirement to carry the form when you begin a journey where you intend to leave the UK. Read the legislation that sets out this requirement.

    4 months ago
  • The latest is that if you attend Cannes FF this year since France is in the Amber list you will need to: amber list - you must quarantine in the place you’re staying and take 2 COVID-19 tests
    This is going to stop a lot of Brits from attending this year's festival.

    3 months ago
  • Latest news from Variety full article here:

    Elsa Keslassy - Question: What special health protocols have you put in place for the festival?

    Thierry Fremaux - Answer: Like all events with more than 1,000 people, the festival will be accessible to those who have a health pass, meaning people who are fully vaccinated, or have a negative PCR test, or an immunity to COVID-19 that dates back more than 15 days and less than 6 months. This will all soon be part of the “routine.” As for the rest, the event will put public measures in place in July. Those will evolve again in the weeks to come. But there again, we must not forget the virus. We will have to be disciplined, not forget the basic steps, masks and respecting others. There will be dinners but with tables of six people maximum, etc. We all know how to do that, and we all want to be reasonable and responsible.

    3 months ago
  • Blow to Cannes as France Imposes Seven-Day Quarantine on U.K. Visitors.
    Source Variety by Naman Ramachandran

    Hopeful Cannes attendees from the U.K. face some hard decisions as France announces a seven-day quarantine for visitors from the country.

    The quarantine rules are expected to come into force from Monday.

    “There is a new situation with the progression of the so-called Indian variant in the United Kingdom,” said French government spokesman Gabriel Attal. He added that France “will set up compulsory isolation for people coming from the United Kingdom.”

    Clement Beaune, France’s junior minister for European Affairs, confirmed that U.K. visitors would also need to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken 48 hours before departure.
    More here:

    2 months ago
  • Cannes Exploring Solutions if France’s Seven-Day Quarantine on U.K. Visitors Persists in July
    Source: Variety by Naman Ramachandran and Elsa Keslassy

    Hopeful Cannes attendees from the U.K. could face some hard decisions as France imposes a seven-day quarantine for visitors from the country, but festival organizers have been already been exploring different solutions in case these restrictions persist beyond June, Variety has learned.

    The quarantine rules will come into effect from Monday, but they will likely be changed by next month. If the quarantine for U.K. travelers, or other overseas visitors, stays in place in early July, the Cannes Film Festival will seek special exemptions for industry executives and talent attending the festival, on the condition that they are fully vaccinated and have a negative PCR test dating from less than 72 hours, according to a source close to Cannes.

    Such exemptions have been given to at least one other global event. Mobile World Congress Barcelona will place from June 28 to July 1 with similar conditions for entry.

    The French government is closely monitoring the fast-evolving health situation and previously said it would re-evaluate restrictions and guidelines frequently.

    2 months ago
  • Cannes Travel: U.K. Visitors With Special Certificate Can Enter, But Mandatory Quarantine Still in Place For Now. Those from the U.K. who can provide a certificate declaring 'compelling' reasons for travel can enter the country.

    With the Cannes Film Festival just over a month away, France has unveiled more details around how U.K. visitors can expect to enter the country amid rising cases of the so-called Indian variant. Those from the U.K. who can provide a certificate declaring “compelling” reasons for travel before boarding can enter the country. But questions still remain about whether or not a seven-day quarantine will be mandatory upon entry.

    On the certificate, travellers with several types of urgent or compelling personal, professional or health reasons are allowed to travel from the U.K. to France. Although the Cannes Film Festival isn’t presently listed, a source close to the festival tells Variety that one of the existing conditions could be used to greenlight direct entry for hopeful festival attendees.
    Source: Elsa Keslassy

    2 months ago
  • The Cannes Film Festival will require attendees to be tested for COVID-19 every 48 hours if they haven’t been fully vaccinated, according to new protocols released by organizers on Wednesday.

    Delegates will be required to show one of three options. The first is a certificate “demonstrating full vaccination of a vaccine recognized by the European Medicines Agency.” This will need to prove that 14 days have passed since a second shot for those vaccinated with double-dose vaccines, or that four weeks have gone by since a single-dose vaccine.

    Alternatively, festivalgoers can show a negative PCR or antigen test result that’s no more than 48 hours old. This means that tests need to be renewed every two days throughout the duration of everyone’s time at the festival.
    Source: Variety by Manori Ravindran

    2 months ago
  • Cannes Travel: U.K. Visitors Can Expect Quarantine Clarity in 36 Hours, Says Festival President
    Source Variety by Elsa Keslassy

    2 months ago
  • Great stuff. Just as Ray mentioned above, I am just underlining that anyone *returning* from France will currently need to quarantine at home or in a hotel for 10 days (Amber list), so it makes short trips quite long!

    2 months ago
  • After announcing restrictions for U.K. travellers last week, the French government has decided to allow fully vaccinated visitors from Britain to enter the country, according to The Times.

    However, even if U.K. travellers are fully vaccinated, they will need to show French authorities a negative PCR test upon arrival.

    Visitors who are not vaccinated, meanwhile, will have to self-isolate for seven days upon arrival in France and they will need to fill out a certificate stating a compelling reason for travelling to France, in addition to a negative PCR test.
    Source: Variety by After announcing restrictions for U.K. travellers last week, the French government has decided to allow fully vaccinated visitors from Britain to enter the country, according to The Times.

    However, even if U.K. travellers are fully vaccinated, they will need to show French authorities a negative PCR test upon arrival.

    Visitors who are not vaccinated, meanwhile, will have to self-isolate for seven days upon arrival in France and they will need to fill out a certificate stating a compelling reason for travelling to France, in addition to a negative PCR test.
    Source: Variety by Elsa Keslassy
    June 4th 21 update

    2 months ago
    • If you’re travelling to England, what you need to do depends on where you have been in the 10 days before you arrive. If you have been in a country or territory on the:

      France is on the amber list for entering England, so on returning from the Cannes Film Festival

      amber list - you must quarantine in the place you’re staying and take 2 COVID-19 tests

      2 months ago
  • The Cannes Film Festival has obtained an exemption of quarantine for tested visitors coming from the U.K. and other countries designated “orange” under the European Union’s system for travel in the COVID-19 era.

    Industry guests and talents attending Cannes won’t need to quarantine for seven days upon entering France, even if they haven’t been fully vaccinated 15 days before the start of the festival. They will, however, be required to show a negative PCR test and get tested every 48 hours during the fest, unless they can show proof of immunity via a positive antibody test or RT-PCR test taken within 15 days and completed within six months.
    Source: Variety by Elsa Keslassy

    1 month ago
  • For the latest information update and news from the BFI go to:

    1 month ago
  • Cannes UK Pavillion will be virtual this year
    The virtual UK Pavilion can’t offer you tea and a terrace with a sea view, but we can provide online support, information and advice for international professionals to connect with the UK.
    "We're delighted to be taking part in this year’s Virtual Cannes Marché du Film (6-15 July) and hosting online industry events available to all on"

    Their industry events this year will be available to EVERYONE on Hosting topical panel discussions and talent talks with filmmakers such as Eva Husson and Mark Cousins.

    Also, showcasing UK films and co-productions in Cannes, providing key information and help international professionals connect with the UK.

    1 month ago