Bonjour! :The “word” that’s going to stuck in your head for long time even after you left France!
Cinema is my passion but not my profession. Attending Cannes film festival was on my bucket list since long time. So, last year I applied for an accreditation and my request got accepted! I was really excited to attend the festival. I landed in PARIS and board the train to Antibes, My humble abode for a week. Next morning I reached Cannes and collected my badge. And so the madness begins!
- Apply for Cannes cinephiles accreditation. Best way to get in. Write a passionate motivation letter outlining how much you love cinema and how it influenced you over the years. Attach your writings (if any) or any cinema related membership card/badge.
- Having a cinephiles’ badge enables you to attend screenings at all venues but with some restrictions. I know everyone want to walk the red carpet. There are two ways to watch a film at Grand Théâtre Lumiere(Main competition films premiere’s venue) : First, you need an invitation ticket along with the badge. Second, via last minute access (if you don’t have an invitation letter). It’s difficult to get in via last minute access for morning and evening screenings. Best time to get in via last minute access is 4 pm screenings. If you’re adamant on watching a particular movie at Grand Theatre Lumiere. Best bet is to stand with a placard (I suggest near last minute access line) requesting people for an invitation ticket. 3-4 hrs before the screening time. With an invitation ticket and a badge no one can stop you from watching the film! It’s time consuming and maybe you will get frustrated and eventually give up. So, I recommend you to give it an hour(or till you give up), if you can’t find anyone then move on. Evening screenings at GTL require Evening dress for women and Dark Suit with a tie for men.
- Don’t just restrict yourself to Grand Theatre Lumiere. There’s a lot more to explore during the Cannes film festival. Debussy theater screens Un certain regard films. Invitation ticket not required. Also, check out films at Salle bunuel, salle bazin & salle du soixantieme (Invitation tickets for the same can be procured at cannes cinephiles’ office on daily basis). Special screenings, Cannes classics and films out of competition generally plays here. Then there’s a parallel section like Directors’ fortnight and International Critic’s week films which screens at Noga Hilton and Salle Miramar respectively(Invitation ticket not required). Do check out to discover hidden gems. There are 4-5 different queues at each venue and cinephiles’ badge holders queue has last priority everywhere. But there is a separate screening schedule for cannes cinephiles’ badge holders with screenings at theatres far from the main centre. To catch missed competition films, heads towards cannes la bocca. Not just competition films but other films too screens at La Licorne theatre for cannes cinephiles’ badge holders. One singular queue there.
- Since Cinephile’s badge has been given last priority access to all screenings except at Salle bunuel, salle bazin & salle du soixantieme. So, your best chances to watch films are at these theaters (after collecting the invitation ticket from cinephile’s office). Cannes Cinephile’s office is just a short walk away from Debussy theatre. For every other screenings I recommend to reach at least one to one and an half before the screening time and for Last minute access at Grand Theatre Lumiere I suggest at least 2 hours window.
|Cinema de la Plage
- My favorite experience was watching a film on the beach (Cinema de la Plage) which is free and open for all. Do not miss this experience. Singular queue. Watching a film under the stars with a blanket on and cool breeze blowing your face. Sweet!
- If you’re into celebrity watching, glamour and all that razzmatazz. I suggest you to go to barricade near GTL at least two hours before the screening since they close this area when celebrities arrive.
- As for accommodation, if you want to stay in Cannes only, you should book an accomadation at least 2-3 months ago for sane prices. Alternatively, you can try in nearby towns like Cannes la bocca (5 mins by train), Antibes (10 mins by train) or Nice (35 mins by train).
- Lastly, for dinner since there’s no time for lunch (quick bite of panini poulet/jambon took care of my lunch) I suggest you to head towards the cozy lanes behind Hotel de ville. Great ambience, good food and relatively cheaper.