The Cannes Film festival is by far the most prestigious event in the movie calendar, attended by the industry’s great and good who descend on the glamorous French Riviera town every May to watch some of the year’s most talked about films.
This year’s festival, which takes place between May 16th and 27th in and around the resort’s fabulous Palais des Festivals et des Congres, just 15 minutes helicopter ride to Cannes from St Tropez, will mark the event’s 65th anniversary.
The inaugural Cannes Film Festival was held in September 1939, in Cannes but it was not until 1949 that it was hosted in the Palais des Festivals, a building especially designed for the occasion on the Boulevard de la Promenade de la Croisette. The grandiose building moved to its current location in 1979.
The film festival, which is well worth the trip to Cannes from St Tropez and a must for visitors to the area in May, stopped during the war and then started again in September 1946. From the early 1950s it was moved to April, and in 1955 the prestigious Palme d’Or prize was introduced.
It wasn’t until the 1960s that the Cannes Film Festival really established itself, securing its status as the world’s most prestigious event in the movie calendar. It is made up of seven major sections: In Competition, Out of Competition, Un Certain Regard, Cinefondation, Critics’ Week, Directors’ Fortnight and Marche du Film.
This year there are 22 feature films nominated for the prestigious Palme d’Or prize, which is judged by a distinguished jury who have made their names in the film world. This year’s panel is headed by Italian director Nanni Moretti, who chose four men and four women to assist in the judging, French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier, British actor Ewan McGregor and German actress Diane Kruger are the most well known.
Unfortunately – or fortunately if you are a ticket holder – the main screenings are reserved for those in the industry but other film enthusiasts can get tickets for the Out of Competition category films that are screened on Plage Mace. Watch a movie under the stars and then head home by helicopter from Cannes to St Tropez.
Alternatively invites to some of the post-screening parties held in the exclusive bars and restaurants lining La Croisette can be secured, just be sure to book your helicopter from Cannes to St Tropez early as you get swept away in the celebrations.