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The Film Festival
Perhaps the most prominent film festival in the world, the inaugural Cannes Film Festival opened on the French Riviera on 20 September 1946. This festival was a direct response to the Venice Film Festival—the world's first annual film festival, started in 1932—which had evolved into a vehicle for Fascist and Nazi propaganda. Cannes had aimed to debut in 1939, but the opening was delayed by the outbreak of World War II.
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Cannes Film Festival - lights, camera, and ACTION!
63rd Film Festival 12-23th May 2010
Fewer big Hollywood stars expected this year
With only two "large" U.S. production in theatres ("Robin Hood" from Ridley Scott's opening and "Wall Street 2" out of competition), those climbing the stairs may be a little less glamorous than previous years. Expected are Russel Crowe ("Robin Hood"), Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen and Susan Sarandon ("Wall Street 2"), Naomi Watts, Anthony Hopkins and Antonio Bandres (for Woody Allen), Javier Bardem ("Beautiful"), Sean Penn ("Fair Game") and French stars less well known outside France. The Judging committee will include Tim Burton, Kate Beckinsale and director Benicio Del Toro,
Whats it all about? Lights, camera, and .... ACTION! Celebrity madness grips France for two weeks in May when Hollywood comes to the Riviera. International stars, parties, and film promoters take over all Cannes. The daily main news item is who has arrived in town. Stylists for luxury brands set up in the suites of the grand hotels, dressing the actresses in Chopard, Versace and Jimmy Choos, to ensure coverage when they climb the red steps of the Palais des Festivals
Prior accreditation is required to gain access to the Festival, that treasured pass. The nightly big screenings at 18:30 0pm are reserved for film industry bigwigs and the stars themselves. You can't just buy a ticket - its by committee invitation only. Anyone can linger and star spot though, but be prepared to do battle with excited crowds toting camera phones and a thousand paparazzi armed with alarmingly big telephoto lenses, and stepladders, as this event is one of their most important sources of income in the year.
The paparazzi know which stars are lodged in which hotels (because the daily Nice Matin publishes it) , so first spotting them camped outside anywhere is a good guide where to get a glimpse as the famous emerge from their private suites to slide into the back seat of black limos.
The stars attend private parties long into the night, and then its back to Sir Eltons, or Paul Allens at Cap Ferrat , or exclusive villas on Cap d'Antibes rented for the occasion.
Prices for accommodation go through the roof, as journalists on expenses pour in from all over the world to cover the Festival, and over in Monaco the Grand Prix draws thousands of motor-racing mad spectators.
People Watching Factor 100 (off the scale!)
- Arts and Culture
le Palais des Festivals
The gigantic peach-coloured Palais des Festivals on esplanade Georges Pompidou was inaugurated in 1983. It was built as the new home of the world famous Cannes Film Festival and an exhibition hall for other events. It also houses a casino (Jimmy'z) and the Cannes tourist office. Since its inauguration, the structure has welcomed the glamorous world of cinema which walks up its steps on "le tapis rouge" (red carpet) every month of May. On the grounds surrounding the Palais are handprints of many famous European and American actors, a homage to the Festival.
Prior to 1983, the Film Festival was held at the old Palais des Festivals which dated from the 1940s and was located in the centre of la Croisette. Sadly, in a highly controversial move, the old Palais was destroyed only to be replaced with the hideous-looking Palais Stéphanie (formerly, the Noga Hilton Hotel). Many had advocated the preservation of the old Palais des Festivals as a museum and monument to the movie stars who attended it, but such move did not succeed. Rumour has it, bribes were involved...
- Historical Travel
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Palais Des Festivals Et Des Congres
Palais Des Festivals becomes the highlight of the town (and the world) during the film festival event where celebrities all over the world come together. It was not the film festival while I was there and so this place was not so much of an attraction to me.
Without the film stars these stairs are of a great banality. The architecture of the "Palais des Festivals et des Congrès" is not really exciting. If you expected to see something grandiose you will be disappointed.
However it is a good idea that the red carpet is left on the stairs to the "Grand Auditorium" of the film festival; ordinary people can hold the pose for the most common photo souvenir of Cannes.
Palais des Festivals
This is the section of town where the stars and sand combine to make the film festival the magical event that it is. The centerpiece of it all is the Grand Auditorium that is connected with a casino and located right by the harbor. On the other side of the Auditorium is a long stretch of beach and fancy hotels. On any given night if your looking for action and good times its most likely going to be in this area!
This is where it all happens, in terms of the movie magic that the film festival brings to Cannes every year. The Grand Auditorium is located right on the waterfront and seats over 2,300. When not being used for showing films its the home for various events and conventions.
Palais des Festivals et des Congres
The Palais as it is known is the home of the Cannes Film Festival. The rest of the year, it is the home of many other festivals and shows. When we were in town, there was a huge yacht and boat show taking place.
The palais does not look like it does when you see it on tv for the film festival. There were no red carpets, no paparazzi and the stars must have all slept in the day we were there.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Cannes Film Festival Nightlife - VIP room
A fave - Bob Sinclar - DJing at Cannes
Bob Sinclar at VIP Room, Cannes FF
Specialist Parisian DJ in "cheesy 80's disco" reinventions, excelling with "Western Dreams" album ("World Hold on" etc) . Video shows what goes on party time during the Film Festival - great!
Film winners climb the restaurant steps
Just opposite the Palais a restaurant likes to remind you who won every Festival prize over the last forty years, culminating top right in that shameless political polemic from the 2004 ultimate "Stupid Fat White Man" (title of his own book), Michael Moore.
There were some great films here, and more than a few dogs. But that's showbiz.
Palais des Festivals et Congres
"The Bunker" on the front at Cannes is the centre for many international conferences, music concerts, and of course the annual film festival in May each year.
Film Festival fortnight aside - all the big French and International singers will feature Cannes on their tour itinerary. It is well worth checking on the net or at French stores like Virgin and FNAC in Nice if there is a forthcoming concert during your stay for which you can buy tickets. Concerts are usually announced six months in advance so there may well be a great opportunity for you to catch a favourite star, in a much more intimate environment than the likes of London Docklands or Wembley Arena (where you pay same price to see your favourite band "Four Dots on the Horizon").
Be warned: live concerts in France are a "big ticket" item - expect 60 $/Euro a seat plus. Worse still, expect your fellow French audience to set up a group "clap along" whenever a beat is laid down. Oh and France is big on "classic songs". The audience know every word by heart, and after the initial applause of recognition dies down, expect the first ten rows to sing along raucously. One concert any minute I was expecting 500 cigarette lighters to start their slow windmill arm motion.
Within the Palais the seat rows rise vertiginously to ensure everyone has a good view of the stage or screen. Very fit young Cannois assistants glide up and down the aisle steps to show you to your seat. It is customary to tip for this service. This is no cheapskate venue. - show some style.Tip generously.This is about who you are, not how much can you save.
If you do brave the process, my tip is to bring your own small binoculars - "lorgnettes" the kind you used to have mounted on the seat in front of you at the opera. Makes a big difference.
La montée des marches
A must during the festival !!! "La montée des marches" to see your favorite stars enter the palais des festivals. If you want to make the better of it, try to be there in the afternoon instead of the evening : they climb the stairs 2 or 3 times a day, and there are less spectators in the afternoon, so you should have a better view!!!
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Cannes, festival town number 1 at the Cote d'Azur
Cannes attracts thousands, if not millions of visitors by festivals, exhibitions, bourses and trade fairs. This is also a reason to go to Cannes and it can also be a reason to stay away (as parking will even be more difficult for the use of space as exhibition ground). For the latest Cannes festivals and activities in this ... see website ...
The European version of the walk of fame
Is this Hollywood? No, definately not. In Hollywood the walk of fame is polished every day, while here the street is dirty and the hands therefore too. A daily washing is obviously not a custom, which will be no doubt different at the moment the stars arrive (but, hey, that's how it goes in the glitter and glamour world of the stars). Nice to see is that the hands of the stars are variating from the last three to four decades. Some names do not even ring a bell, while others ... well, the deserved their picture taken (see seperate travelogue).
Palais des Festival et des Congress
Here the filmfestival takes place, but also numerous other congresses and festivals go year'round in and around this relatively ugly building. The architect obviously was not inspired to make the block fit into the already excisting environment and even aluminated at night it still is not a wonderful sight for eyes. The festivals however always have a certain style: mondain and often ... quite extravagant. During our visit a luxery festival took place and exclusive yaughts and cars were exposed for public.
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