Cannes – by Raindance

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    Avatar photoSeanBreathnach

    [quote:2x10ur7g]Cannes Film Festival

    The Cannes Film Festival is arguably the largest and most exciting film event in the world. I heartily recommend that every writer, director, producer and actor go there at least twice: the first time just to be awed and to discover how the festival works, and the second time for business or pleasure depending on what your ambitions are.
    Cannes is composed of four things: screenings, parties, tradeshows and networking. It takes place in mid-May and is actually an amalgamation of several festivals: The Directors’ Fortnight, Un Certain Regard, the main festival competition, shorts and classic films. Admission is free, but to get a ticket to the screenings you need an invite.
    Routes to a Screening Ticket at Cannes

    Go to a sales agent
    Get your hands on a copy of the official catalogue and find out who the sales agents are that are handling the film. All or most of the sales agents with films in the festival also attend, and find out where their temporary offices are, and go and use your powers of persuasion to see if they can get you a ticket.

    Go to the festival office
    The film festival hands out tickets for the evening screenings each morning. They only give tickets to people with passes. The passes are free. To get a pass you must register about two months in advance. You can register with any one of the French guilds or unions as a special guest: producer, writer, director, cinematographer, journalist, cultural representative etc. Each French guild or union has an allocation of tickets which they dispense on the morning of each screening. To add to the confusion, each organisation has a different office in the festival building (called the Marché) which you must locate.Then you stand in line and hope they aren’t ‘sold out’ before your name is called.

    Stand outside the cinema
    Stand outside the cinema in a tuxedo or evening dress and hope that one of the invitees who shows up doesn’t make the dress code and is barred entry. When this happens, politely ask them for their ticket.

    Routes to a Party Invite at Cannes
    Cannes is a party festival with upwards of two dozen parties every night where you can enjoy the views over the harbour, the free drinks and food and to be impressed by the guest lists. Getting a ticket to the party of the moment is a fine art. Some travellers to the Cannes Film Festival spend their entire day trying to get a party invite.

    Go to a sales agent
    There will be parties after the screenings of many of the top films in the festival. Go to the sales agent, see if they will give you an invite. In the worst case, if you can’t get an invite, see if they will give you the location of the party. Then it is up to you to see how successful you are with the bouncers at the door.

    Go to the event organisers
    Few companies have the wherewithal to actually organise the party themselves. Indeed, many of the American companies would be lucky to have a single francophone employed by them. They hire the services of one of the professional event organisers. Many of these party and event organisers are based in London. Call them up, and either offer your services in exchange for a ticket, or see if you can convince them that your presence will enhance the atmosphere of the party.

    Go the national film organisations
    The Irish, the Canadians, the British and the South Africans are just a few of the many nations with formal film presences in Cannes and they all threw parties in 2003. Walk into their pavilions and ask for an invite. They are usually easier to get than film parties.

    Hang out at the Variety or American pavilion
    The Variety and American pavilions are the hangouts of the serious Cannes partygoers. Attend either of these pavilions early enough in the morning, and not only will you get a free coffee and croissant, but will hear about any upcoming parties. It is not unknown for serious party-ticket-trading to go on. You’ll overhear bartering along the lines of ‘I’ll give you two of my Sony boat party invites for one of your BBC Films lunch tickets.’
    Trade Show

    Cannes is really all about the trade show. While the festival is about the glamour, the red carpet and the celebrities, the trade show is a terrific place to make useful contacts.
    Stroll through the Riviera or along the Croisette into the lobbies of one of the luxury hotels and you will see display after display by broadcasters, distributors, producers, sales agents and manufacturers. In 2003 over 1700 companies exhibited in Cannes. If you do want to go to the trade show, you will either need your pass (which you must arrange two months before the festival) or have a letter from one of the exhibitors inviting you to a meeting within the trade show area.

    Another great reason to go to Cannes is to meet fellow writers, directors, producers and actors – all of whom are trying to do what you are. Meet at the cheap bars like the Petit Carlton away from the action, or just stroll along the beach with a bottle of wine, and see if you can find someone to collaborate with.

    Business Cards
    Whatever you do, do not go to Cannes without a couple of hundred business cards. You will need them to introduce yourself to everyone. Business cards also make you look professional.

    Getting Your Film into Cannes
    Every January, Thierry Frémaux, the artistic Director of the Cannes Film Festival visits London to view the year’s British submissions to Cannes. The screenings take place at Mr Young’s, a private screening room in the centre of Soho, London.

    In theory, if you have a British film, in order to be considered for entry to Cannes you need only get your film to Mr Young’s and M. Frémaux will see it, love it and screen it at his festival. It’s even free to submit.

    Here are the hiccups. The films can only be previewed on celluloid, so your film has to be at print stage. Mr Young’s charges £150 for a two-hour screening slot. M. Frémaux has to watch dozens of features on a single weekend. Imagine how many times he says the word ‘next’ before he stretches his legs and waits for the projectionist to thread the next film. And would you like to hazard a guess at how many how many of the features he watches all the way through?

    Maybe a better strategy is to submit your film to a smaller festival; the programmers are more likely to watch your film all the way through, and if it is selected, it won’t be lost amongst the thousands of others.

    HintThe ten top film festivals by acquisition executives
    San Sebastian
    Los Angeles Independent Film Festival
    Karlovy Vary[/quote:2x10ur7g]

    Full article here: … 17,0,0,1,0


    This was an interesting topic to say the least. Thank you so much for contributing here and letting this one be known to all of us. All the best for you!
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