Thursday, 21 January 2016

Red carpet Cannes

The international village at the Cannes Film Festival.
I always thought I'd love the glamour of the Cannes Film Festival, the famous La Croisette promenade, the celebrities and the sheer buzz of international activity.

Unfortunately when I visited - just a short train-ride from Les Arcs-sur-Argens - it was crowded, hot and humid, noisy and not a celeb in sight.

People were already waiting patiently - filling the five tiers of hard wooden seats opposite the main entrance at 11am in the bright May sunshine (and through a couple of sudden showers!), their sandwiches and cameras at their sides.

Photographers had already bagged their spot with dangerous looking tripods and hefty boxes of equipment - and the festivities were not due to start for another seven or eight hours!

But, like meandering through Hollywood (although there you have to meander with a vehicle), it is fun picking out the stars' hand prints in the pavement, gathering information on the latest films that have been nominated, or checking out the giant launches in the harbour while sitting at an outdoor cafĂ© along La Croisette enjoying the delicious wines of the region.
Plenty of weird street performers among the crowds.

There is always something happening on the streets - street performers, musicians, protest marches, giant multi-coloured bubbles wobbling precariously as people pass, street vendors and so much more - so it can be great fun to stop and watch the action.

But the sea-level crowds, the noise and traffic, drove us higher into Cannes old town on the promontory at the western end of the bay.

It is cooler up there, catching the sea breeze, with less traffic and fewer people.

It is also very much worth a wander, particularly through the narrow streets on the slopes of the hill below where tiny boutiques are tucked in alongside equally small restaurants set at rakish angles, which serve every delicacy of the Mediterranean.
A steep climb, but well worth the view.
If you do manage to end up in Cannes during the film festival, go a little later in the day than we did. There is a open air cinema on the beach during the balmy evenings. That is the time, too, when you may - if you're lucky - see a celebrity glide by in a limousine.

But don't forget to take an umbrella - the festival often blows up a storm.


  1. We did go a several years ago on the last night of the Film Festival. The hotel we had to take was about 15 kilometres away because of the costs in Cannes. I didn't get to see any famous faces either. But we did see lots of sugar daddies and dolly birds living it up! I did get my photo taken on the red carpet but no one wanted my autograph. No invites back to the yacht either!

  2. You may not have seen a celeb Jan but you certainly got some good photos. And thank you for the advice - I'll keep it mind if we ever get to Cannes.