8 practical tips for attending Cannes Film Festival for the first time (with Gifs)
Following up from my article ‘My Cannes experience’ I thought I’d write up some quick travel tips leading into the festival season. If this will be your first time in Cannes hopefully the below tips will help you navigate the festival and getting to the french riviera a little easier.
1. Take a partner
Going it alone is fine, but the festival is a huge social event and I found that it really helped to have my girlfriend with me on ground. Having a film making partner (producer/writer) or friend can really help in social situations, plus it’s good to have someone who will force you out of bed after a long night and keep the energy up when one of you is waning from 14 hours of meetings/partying. It was also very helpful in lots of moments where having a female perspective helped me get a second read on people in a networking room. Think of it like a giant party, if you have a friend it’s going to make you more relaxed and easier to talk to in a group.
If you don’t take a partner, just make sure you’re disciplined and don’t go home too early because you’re bored. Consider meeting up with a fellow filmmaker or meeting people in the market, and attacking the events together.
If you are Australian, Screen Australia typically runs an Aussies in Cannes Facebook page . Lots of other countries run events with screenings and parties at the ‘Village International’ embassies, which are a great place to relax and meet cool people.
Assuming you haven’t already, learning a little French will go a long way. The French are a lot nicer when you at least try to speak the language. We used a iPhone app called ‘Duolingo‘ to learn how to order and ask for directions.
You can buy a simcard from a local carrier quite cheaply but then you have to make sure you understand the terms (as they’ll likely be in French). The festival registration desk typically have a sim deal that you can use to make calls and data but it’s at a cost.
My tip is to buy a sim for important stuff only and use wifi as much as you can, using Skype to make calls. The British Pavilion has free wifi and the American Pavilion has it also but at an entry fee (which is worth it).
The coolest thing about the festival (other than the fact it’s Cannes) is that you’re in the French Riviera, so if one of the days turns out to be crap and you need a break, grab a baguette, eat it on the beach and take in the sunshine.
Sean Rodrigo is a Sydney-based Writer/Director. His short film Nerds in Love is a 12 minute romantic comedy which has screened at Flickerfest International Film Festival and St Kilda Film Festival and Comedy Central NZ. It was also represented at the Short Film Corner (Cannes Court Metrage) at Cannes Film Festival 2014.
Check out Sean’s (Australian) ABC News Radio National interview at Cannes.