I, unfortunately, cannot attend this year (teaching, y’know). Next year we should be able to attend and promote the feature we’re making with Raindance. I attended two years ago. Before I went, I attended two information sessions to prepare me for it: one run by Raindance, and one run by Women in Film and TV (WFTV).
Some of my friends are attending for the first time. Plus some of the forums I’m on have had people asking advice for the first time they attended. Here are my tips for attending Cannes.
- go to many things as you get invited to them. That’s how you get to the amazing parties. Most parties don’t start until after midnight.
- bring business cards. When you receive a business card, immediately write on it where you met the person or take a photo of them holding it.
- wear layers. It may rain, it may get cold (not everyone is aware of that).
- wear comfortable shoes, because there will be a lot of walking and a lot of standing.
- ladies, wear clothes that you can dress up with accessories in case you get invited to a red carpet or event. You never know what will happen on the day.
- wear sunscreen
- go to the UK tent and ask what events they have that day or coming up. Then ask if you can be put on the door.
- be polite to bouncers and door staff.
- get on mailing lists before the event. Think about who you want to see. WFTV, Raindance (villa party), Shore Scripts, BFI, BAFTA … basically, think of any film organisation that could be there. See if they have an event or desk at Cannes. It will help you plan.
- don’t arrange to meet anyone at a set time / set place. You never know what will happen between then and now. Just know that Cannes is crazy and you can find your friends later.
- The American tent is the only one that charges entry — but it has wifi. It’s a good place to meet people.
- Uber has a crazy surcharge.
- you can walk everywhere.
- Staying in Cannes itself is crazy expensive. Cannes La Bocca is walking distance and cheaper. Staying nearby in Juan des Pins is a short train ride or bus or taxi. We stayed in Nice — much cheaper, the train is easy (40 mins or so), but the last train is midnight. And, like I said above, the parties go on all night.
- visit the national tents, watch films, network, have fun, all that jazz!