Tips for surviving April events on the French Riviera

April is here!  For most people this means the arrival of spring is well underway.  For myself, this is when the cogs really start turning for preparation leading up to the big May events, Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix.

Of course, I’ll be publishing in-depth guides for both Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix soon aimed at helping first-time visitors (or regulars) to the events get the most out of their stay on the Côte d’Azur.

APRIL EVENTS ON THE FRENCH RIVIERA

The French Riviera has a number of major events occurring in April including CANNESERIES, MIPDoc, MIPFormats, MIPTV, Monaco Ocean Week, the Maria Callas Exhibition at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, Top Marques Monaco, Performance d’Acteur comedy festival, Antibes Art Fair, Red Bull Air Race and the Cannes Triathlon to name a few 🙂

Unfortunately, there are also a number of transport strikes which makes things challenging logistically.

Transport strikes are part and parcel of living here in France, however the damage that a transport strike does to the tourism and event industry is exponential : visitor expenditure for delays, cancellations, arranging alternative transport (rather than using trains/buses) means they have less money to spend overall on accommodation, food and beverage, event advertising, shopping.

Strikes often occur here during bank holidays or vacances scolaires (school holidays) which are optimum times for unions to capitalise on huge movements of people.

Regional councils need to appreciate the planning and budgets that go into leisure and business tourism and if basic amenities such as reliable public transport to and from the airport as well as between towns is not readily available, tourists will choose to go elsewhere to major cities where amenities run smoothly.

This post aims to give you some handy tips to manage life-on-the-ground if you are attending any of these upcoming events on the Côte d’Azur.

Map of the French Riviera (map: Paul Cox / Pinterest)

TRAINS

With well-timed grèves (strikes), regional TER train services will be affected by over 30 days of strikes scheduled 5-9 April and until 28 June that will cross over with a number of major French Riviera events.

Here are the dates for the upcoming train disruptions:

Sunday 8 and Monday 9 April

Friday 13 and Saturday 14 April

Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 April

Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 April

Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 April

Thursday 3 and Friday 4 May

Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 9 May (Note: Wednesday is a big departure day leading up to the Ascension holiday weekend)

Sunday 13 and Monday 14 May (return from Ascension weekend)

Friday 18 and Sunday 19 May (departures for Pentecôte weekend)

Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 May (Note: Thursday is the first day of the 4-day Monaco Grand Prix event)

Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 May

Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 June

Thursday 7 and Friday 8 June

Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 June

Sunday 17 and Monday 18 June

Friday 22 and Saturday 23 June

Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 June

IMPORTANT:  For the dates above with train strikes, schedules will be published from 17h for the following day’s travel; for example if you want a timetable for Tuesday 29 May it will be released online from 17h on Monday 28 May.  To see the train times on these strike days, go to:  https://www.ter.sncf.com/paca/horaires/info-trafic-greve-sncf-ter

The main TER route people use is called Ligne 8 and runs between Les Arcs and Ventimiglia which includes the stations for Cannes, Golfe Juan, Juan les Pins, Antibes, Biot, Villeneuve Loubet, Cagnes-sur-Mer, St Laurent du Var, Nice, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Eze-sur-Mer, Cap d’ail, Monaco, Roquebrune Cap Martin and Menton.

For TER strike updates, you can also visit:  https://www.sncf.com/fr/itineraire-reservation/info-trafic/ter

train french riviera

Be prepared for more than 30 days that will be affected by TER train strikes on the French Riviera until the end of June 2018

BUSES

Envibus which run the bus routes for Antibes, Juan les Pins, Sophia Antipolis, Biot and Vallauris has transport updates on their website www.envibus.fr or the Communauté d’Agglomération Sophia Antipolis (CASA) website; look under the ‘Transports’ tab.

Lignes Azur which run buses for Nice, Cagnes-sur-Mer and Villeneuve Loubet have timetable updates on their website www.lignesazur.com; go to ‘Se deplacer’ and ‘Infos réseau’ for strike updates.   For changes to routes, go to the regional transport website here:  Buses on the French Riviera

Lignes d’Azur buses on the French Riviera

NICE CÔTE D’AZUR AIRPORT

Unfortunately, communication from Nice Côte d’Azur Airport is not particularly great during strikes.

Air France is well known for industrial action at holiday periods and has scheduled strikes for the following April dates below.  This includes a mix of pilots, cabin crew and ground staff so contact the airline prior to travel to check the status of your flight as generally 50% of flights are cancelled, delayed or brought forward.

Saturday 7 April

Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 April

Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 April

Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 April

If you need to rebook your Air France flight on any of these dates above, read here for the process:  Air France April 2018 Strikes

french airport strikes

Airport strike up ahead? Stay updated via the links below in my blog post

For general French airport strike updates, my ‘go-to’ websites for information are:

www.easytravelreport.com

Network Operations Portal (NOP)  – read their Headline News for strike updates

Direction des Opérations (DSNA) – bilingual information about the air traffic situation in France

Syndicat National des Contrôleurs du Trafic Aérien (in French) – the official site for the ATC (Air Traffic Controllers) Union.

Eurocontrol (The European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation) 

CANNESERIES

If you’re visiting Cannes for the inaugural festival for international series, there are a few perks for attendees:

Shopping:  If you buy anything at Galeries Lafayette and show your CANNESERIES badge you get a 10% discount (*conditions apply instore).

Happy Hour:  Who doesn’t love happy hour?  Drop by these bars from 6pm to 8pm during the festival and you’ll get preferential prices on some drinks.  Some of the participating bars for ‘Happy Series’ are:

Charlys Bar, 5 rue du Suquet

Ma Nolan’s on rue Buttura

Morrisons Pub, 10 rue Tessiere

La Bouche à Oreille, 7 rue des Garbes

Le Posto Publico, 9 rue Victor Cousin

Le Tube, 10 rue Florian

Plage C Beach, 45 boulevard de la Croisette

The Quays, Quai St Pierre

CANNESERIES is a new festival for Cannes (image: official CANNESERIES site)

MIPTV 

Taxis to and from Cannes

I constantly get feedback from both leisure and business travellers to the French Riviera, particularly those visiting Cannes, that taxis are too expensive.

In 2017, a study was completed about world taxi prices and out of 88 major destinations Paris, Nice and Monaco didn’t fare (pun intended) too well, all 3 were included in the Top 10 List of Most Expensive World Taxi Prices.   French Riviera taxis have been known to add surcharges on bank holidays, weekends, late night transfers, wait time, extra luggage, pets or having 4 or more passengers.

I know people who have been charged a base fare of €85 oneway from Nice Côte d’Azur Airport to Antibes in quiet traffic and €130 oneway to Cannes in off-peak.  Ouch!

Transport tips from Access Riviera for MIPTV

There is some good news though – for people attending MIPTV (or Cannes Lions, MIPCOM, ILTM etc) the Préfecture of Nice has declared from 1st March 2018 there will now be set fares for certain locations for taxis to and from Nice Côte d’Azur Airport. The set prices are:

Taxi between Nice Côte d’Azur Airport and Nice centre  €32

Taxi between Nice Côte d’Azur Airport and Cannes  €80

Taxi between Nice Côte d’Azur Airport and Monaco €90

NOTE:  If you prebook a Niçois taxi there is an additional surcharge of €4, for a Cannes taxi it is €2.

Another thing to be aware of is if you ask your hotel to book you a taxi; some have been known to order a people mover (minivan) or chauffeured luxury vehicle which are pricier, so always check first.

There is of course UBER which is a topic for a whole other blog post….

Airport buses to/from Cannes

For airport buses to and from Cannes, Aéroport Express Bus number 210 leaves every half hour. Tickets can be purchased from Terminal 1 or 2 at Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, the timetable is here Airport Bus Cannes 210 .   This is the fastest bus between the airport and Cannes.  Returning back to the airport from Cannes, the rue des Serbes bus stop in Cannes is not functional due to construction works so you must get the bus from Quai F at the Cannes train station.

Bus 200 also travels between Nice and Cannes, it is cheaper though much slower.  I have been campaigning with other tourism businesses for this Nice-Cannes airport express bus #210 to operate until the final evening flight – currently the last bus leaving Terminal 1 leaves at 8pm leaving many visitors arriving on evening flights no option but private transfers, infrequent night train times or a long wait for bus 200.

RED BULL AIR RACE

The Red Bull Air Race will be hosted in Cannes for the first time from 20-22 April 2018.

For road traffic, there are a number of closures before and during the event which will ensure a pleasant spectator experience and limit frustration for visitors to Cannes.

The road on the seaside frontage of the Croisette will close from 22h on 17 April until the event finishes to facilitate set up and breakdown for the event.  The Croisette will be closed for traffic on 20, 21 and 22 April between the hours of 7h30 and 21h (Access will be granted from 21h on the northern side of the Croisette for approved vehicles with badge).

To see the map from the Mairie of Cannes regarding road closures, go here:  Red Bull Air Race Cannes road closures

red bull air race cannes

Red Bull Air Race Cannes 2018 – road closures

If you have found this blog post informative, please share it on Twitter or Facebook.  I’ve put a lot of time into researching current sources of information which will hopefully save people time, money and frustration.  Thank you!  

 

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The 70th Cannes Film Festival 2017: The Ultimate Guide

The 70th edition of Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes) will start next week in Cannes and run from 17 to 28 May 2017.

The Cannes Film Festival is one of the French Riviera’s biggest events and a major Festival for both film industry attendance and appearances by the world’s A-listers.

cannes film festival 2017

The 70th Cannes Film Festival 2017 will be one of the biggest events on the French Riviera

WHY VISIT THE CANNES FILM FESTIVAL 2017?

The Cannes Film Festival is famous worldwide and sees the most exclusive parties, eclectic people and luxury brands all merge into one frenzy of film-fuelled decadence in one of the Cote d’Azur’s most popular destinations.

For first-timers and casual tourists, it is exceptional for people-watching and you really do see all walks of life during the duration of the Festival.

Global journalists, photographers and television presenters ensure that the fashion, celebrities, charity events and films are filling media columns daily – aside from the glitz and opulence during the Festival, there are also the less glamorous side stories and un-newsworthy tales of cantankerous door staff, road closures, bar and restaurant staff with egos to rival a Palme d’Or and paparazzi crowding the Croisette.

red carpet cannes

Cannes Film Festival red carpet is highly anticipated for the fashion and celebrities

Cannes is used to luxury lifestyles (enter stage left the superyachts at Vieux Port and high-end boutiques along the Croisette), but Cannes Film Festival throws the definition of ‘luxury’ to the ground and well and truly tramples it.  Expect every major luxury brand to fall over themselves for a piece of the action from dressing the beautiful people in the latest red carpet fashion and jewels, to premium supercars, rare Champagnes and every makeup brand Ambassador taking selfies with their ‘favourite’ lipstick for next season.

You’ll see the keenest Festival spectators in their finest suits and gowns outside the Palais des Festivals with signs such as ‘Premiere, s’il vous plait?’ and others perched on seats and ladders in the hope of chancing a celebrity on the famous red carpet; then immediately after a blacked-out vehicle with police escort will zoom past whisking some unknown passenger to a private soirée.

It’s a place where emerging talent sips cocktails beside established industry players, where having a glass of Champagne at 11am in haute couture is perfectly normal and headliners match hangovers.

Crazy, exciting, magic, super-hyped, bold and beautiful – I will be there again.  If you get to experience Cannes Film Festival I highly recommend it!

CANNES FILM FESTIVAL 2017 GUIDE

I have written this ‘Cannes Film Festival 2017 Guide’ for filmmakers, distributors, producers, film financiers, writers, film school students, international sales agents, press and casual tourists to help you understand the whole event and get value from your time in Cannes.  It includes lots of inside tips from living here in the region as well as first-hand knowledge from attending the Festival.

Cannes is a unique opportunity to network with practically every main buyer and seller within film there.

Note: My guide is the only in-depth online guide for Cannes Film Festival that specifically includes information for persons with reduced mobility to enable them to visit Cannes and experience the Festival. I hope you find it a useful resource and kindly share it on social media.  If you can’t find an answer within this guide, feel free to contact me here.

first timer guide to cannes film festival

Cannes Film Festival Ultimate Guide 2017 by Access Riviera

THE LOW DOWN:  HOW TO DO CANNES FILM FESTIVAL 2017

First things first, if you’re planning on coming to Cannes Film Festival say goodbye to a good nights sleep.  For accredited film industry professionals, media and celebrities, the action starts early – expect breakfast interviews, press junkets from early morning and lunches at the beach restaurants such as Le Plage 45, Z Plage and Carlton Beach.

If you don’t have an invite to the premieres, the same beach restaurants host nightly parties with endless buckets of rosé, Champagne and all kinds of entertainment.  They are invitation-only, so unless you’re on the guest list or a plus-one, it’s nigh on impossible to blag your way in.

Getting press accreditation does not mean you’ll be welcomed with open arms because you posted a photo of your favourite A-lister on Instagram; there are around 4,000 global journalists representing 90 countries therefore you’ll be required to submit samples of credited work plus media distribution numbers and your press badge has your photo on it, so sadly it’s not transferable.

A new reception venue, the Terrasse des Journalistes, on the 4th floor of the Palais des Festivals, will be inaugurated on Wednesday 17 May and open to journalists every day from 10 am to 7 pm.

For nightlife, there’s loads of options…..some of the best parties are hosted on superyachts, so keep reading….

Cannes Film Festival 2017 Jury

The aim of the jury is to decide the award winners between the films in competition.  The winners will be announced on Sunday 28 May at the closing ceremony, with the presentation of the highly-acclaimed Palme d’Or.

Spanish director, screenwriter and producer Pedro Almodóvar was named Jury President back in January and will be joined by other jurors:

Jessica Chastain (Actress, Producer – United States)

Will Smith (Actor, Producer, Musician – United States

Fan Bingbing (Actress, Producer – China)

Agnès Jaoui (Actress, Screenwriter, Director, Singer – France)

Maren Ade   (Director, Screenwriter, Producer – Germany)

Park Chan-wook (Director, Screenwriter, Producer – South Korea)

Paolo Sorrentino (Director, Screenwriter – Italy)

Gabriel Yared (Composer – France)

cannes film festival jury

The jury of the 70th Cannes Film Festival

Italian actress Monica Bellucci will succeed French actor Laurent Lafitte in her 2017 role as the Mistress of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

Romanian director, screenwriter and producer Cristian Mungiu will preside over the Cinéfondation and Short Film Jury. Mungiu shared last year’s Best Director Award for his film ‘Graduation’ (the award was shared with Olivier Assayas for his film ‘Personal Shopper’).  Mungiu also won the Palme d’Or in 2007 with his feature ‘4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days.’ His ‘Beyond the Hill’ went on to win screenplay and actress prizes.

U.S. actress Uma Thurman and French actress Sandrine Kiberlain were previously named as presiding over the festival’s Un Certain Regard and Camera d’Or juries.

Cannes Film Festival 2017 :  Full list of films

When does the red carpet action actually happen?  For visitors and tourists hoping to see celebrities on the red carpet, the action outside the Palais des Festivals happens twice nightly at 7pm and 10pm when the Jury watch the films in competition and the industry stars show up.

Cannes Film Festival red carpet

The Festival is split into three main events, each with their own schedules – the Festival de Cannes, Directors’ Fortnight (Quinzaine des Réalisateurs; this is a budget-friendly way for the public to see a film) and Critics’ Week (La Semaine de la Critique).

Included in this are screenings for Un Certain Regard, Cinéfondation, and Short Films In Competition.  Entr’2 Marches runs alongside the main Festival from 21 to 26 May 2017 and screens short films with the themes of disability.

Cannes Film Festival is well known for its politics – the naming of the jury and awards always comes with debate.  This year, the official poster was slammed for photoshopping and Festival organisers have said they’ll ban Netflix from entering the films in competition next year unless an agreement is reached on French theatre release.

Regardless, here is the line-up for 2017:

Official selection

Opening film – out of competition
Les Fantômes d’Ismaël (dir: Arnaud Desplechin)

Competition
(BPM) Beats Per Minute (dir: Robin Campillo)

The Beguiled (dir: Sofia Coppola)
The Day After (dir: Hong Sang-soo)
A Gentle Creature (dir: Sergei Loznitsa)
Good Time (dirs: Benny & Josh Safdie)
Happy End (dir: Michael Haneke)
In the Fade (dir: Fatih Akin)
Jupiter’s Moon (dir: Kornél Mundruczó)
The Killing of a Sacred Deer (dir: Yorgos Lanthimos)
Redoubtable (dir: Michel Hazanavicius)
Loveless (dir: Andrey Zvyagintsev)
The Meyerowitz Stories (dir: Noah Baumbach)

Okja (dir: Bong Joon-ho)
Radiance (dir: Naomi Kawase)
The Square (dir: Ruben Ostlund)
Wonderstruck (dir: Todd Haynes)
You Were Never Really Here (dir: Lynne Ramsay)

Un Certain Regard
Barbara (dir: Mathieu Amalric) – opening film
April’s Daughter (dir: Michel Franco)
Beauty and the Dogs (dir: Kaouther Ben Hania)
Before We Vanish (dir: Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
Closeness (dir: Kantemir Balagov)
The Desert Bride (dir: Cecilia Atan and Valeria Pivato)

Directions (dir: Stephan Komandarev)
Dregs (dir: Mohammad Rasoulof)
Jeune Femme (dir: Léonor Serraille)
L’Atelier (dir: Laurent Cantet)
La Cordillera (dir: Santiago Mitre)
Lucky (dir: Sergio Castellitto)
The Nature of Time (dir: Karim Moussaoui)
Out (dir: György Kristóf)
Walking Past the Future (dir: Li Ruijun)
Western (dir: Valeska Grisebach)
Wind River (dir: Taylor Sheridan)

Out of competition
Based on a True Story (dir: Roman Polanski)
Blade of the Immortal (dir: Takashi Miike)
How to Talk to Girls at Parties (dir: John Cameron Mitchell)
Visages, Villages (dirs: Agnès Varda & JR)
Midnight screenings
A Prayer Before Dawn (dir: Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire)
The Merciless (dir: Byun Sung-hyun)
The Villainess (dir: Jung Byung-gil)
Special screenings
12 Jours (dir: Raymond Depardon)
24 Frames (dir: Abbas Kiarostami)
An Inconvenient Sequel (dir: Bonni Cohen & Jon Shenk)
Carré 35 (dir: Eric Caravaca)
Claire’s Camera (dir: Hong Sang-soo)
Demons in Paradise (dir: Jude Ratman)
Le Vénérable W (dir: Barbet Schroeder)
Napalm (dir: Claude Lanzmann)
Promised Land (dir: Eugene Jarecki)
Sea Sorrow (dir: Vanessa Redgrave)
They (dir: Anahita Ghazvinizadeh)
Top of the Lake (TV – dir: Jane Campion)
Twin Peaks (TV – dir: David Lynch)

Top of the Lake (Photo Credit: Parisa Taghizadeh)

Children’s screening
Zombillénium (dir: Arthur de Pins and Alexis Ducord)

Virtual reality
Carne y Arena (dir: Alejandro G Iñárritu)

Directors Fortnight

A Ciambra (dir: Jonas Carpignano)
Alive in France (dir: Abel Ferrara)
L’Amant d’un Jour (dir: Philippe Garrel)
Bushwick (dirs: Cary Murnion & Jonathan Milott)
Cuori Puri (dir: Roberto de Paolis)
The Florida Project (dir: Sean Baker)
Frost (dir: Sharunas Bartas)
I Am Not a Witch (dir: Rungano Nyoni)
Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc (dir: Bruno Dumont)
L’Intrusa (dir: Leonardo Di Costanzo)
La Defensa Del Dragón (dir: Natalia Santa)
Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts (dir: Mouly Surya)
Mobile Homes (dir: Vladimir De Fontenay)
Nothingwood (dir: Sonia Kronlund)
Ôtez-moi d’un Doute (dir: Carine Tardieu)

Patti Cake$ (dir: Geremy Jasper) – closing film

The Rider (dir: Chloé Zhao)
Un Beau Soleil Intérieur (dir: Claire Denis) – opening film
West of the Jordan River (Field Diary Revisited) (dir: Amos Gitai)

Critics’ Week

Competition
Ava (dir: Léa Mysius)
La Familia (dir: Gustavo Rondón Córdova)
Gabriel and the Mountain (dir: Fellipe Gamarano Barbosa)
Makala (dir: Emmanuel Gras)
Oh Lucy! (dir: Atsuko Hirayanagi)
Los Perros (dir: Marcela Said)
Tehran Taboo (dir: Ali Soozandeh)

Special Screenings
Sicilian Ghost Story (dir: Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza) – opening film
Brigsby Bear (dir: Dave McCary) – closing film
Bloody Milk (dir: Hubert Charuel)
A Violent Life (dir: Thierry de Perretti)

For a copy of the screenings guide for Cannes Film Festival 2017, you can download it here.

Special mentions

ROBIN WRIGHT: at the opening of Cannes Classics on Thursday 18 May in the Buñuel screening room at 8 PM, the actress, producer and now director will come to present her first short, The Dark of Night, homage to film noir. It will be followed by the screening of the restored copy of Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz, winner of the Palme d’or in Cannes in 1980.

CLINT EASTWOOD, who was President of the Jury in 1994, and will be in Cannes from 19 to 21 May. On Saturday 20th May at 4:45 PM, he will be at the Debussy Theatre to present the restored copy of Unforgiven, which is celebrating its own 25th anniversary at the Festival with Warner. The following day, he will inaugurate the 70th ANNIVERSARY MASTERCLASS with a discussion in the company of American critic Kenneth Turan, in the Buñuel screening room at 4 PM.

KRISTEN STEWART: after starring in the last two years in the films of Woody Allen and Olivier Assayas and winning a Best Supporting Actress Cesar, the young American actress will come to present Come Swim – her first work as a director – on Saturday 20 May at 6:45 PM.

On Monday 22 May, the Debussy Theatre will host a TRIBUTE TO ANDRÉ TÉCHINÉ. The French director, who was a member of the Feature Film Jury in 1999, has presented 11 films in the Official Selection since 1975, including 6 in Competition. His new film, Nos années folles, will be screened to mark the occasion. Those who have accompanied him in his movies throughout the years will be present.

JANE CAMPION, who presided the Feature Film Jury in 2014 and remains to this day the only female director to have garnered a Palme d’or for The Piano in 1993, will present her latest work on Tuesday 23rd May, Top of the Lake: China Girl, which she co-directed with Ariel Kleiman.

Finally, in memory of the immense ABBAS KIAROSTAMI, winner of the 1997 Palme d’or for Taste of Cherry, who died on 4 July 2016, there will be a screening of his posthumous film 24 Frames. The session will take place on Tuesday 23 May in the presence of his friends and his son Ahmad Kiarostami.

ALFONSO CUARÓN, a member of the Feature Film Jury in 2008, director, producer and screenwriter, will also give a Masterclass, in the company of film critic Michel Ciment on Wednesday 24th May at 4:30 PM in the Buñuel screening room, during which they will discuss his career in Hollywood and Mexico.

DAVID LYNCH, 1990 winner of the Palme d’or with Wild at Heart, Best Director in 2001 with Mulholland Drive and President of the Jury in 2002, will return to the Festival to present Season 3 of Twin Peaks on Thursday 25th May at 7:30 PM in the Grand Théâtre Lumière.

Throughout the Festival, ALEJANDRO G. IÑÁRRITU, the visionary director of Birdman and The Revenant, and winner of the Best Director for Babel, will present his 6 minutes 30 seconds film Carne y Arena, an immersive experience within an incredible Virtual Reality installation.

First in, best served

The first weekend at Cannes Film Festival is traditionally the busiest and the first week is most preferred by buyers of film distribution rights at Marché du Film as attendance usually dips in the last few days of the Festival. So, in essence go early to secure the best chance for industry success.

For first timers, there are various accreditation types to gain access to the ‘salles’ (cinemas) screenings, pavilions and events ranging from Festival Accreditation, Market/Marché du Film, Producers Network, Cinéphiles, Press accreditation and pricey Market passes on the day.

The Market / Marché du Film

Marché du Film is the biggest film market in the world with thousands of screenings and over 12,000 attendees buying, selling and financing film.

Registration includes a hefty Marché guide with contact information for around 5,000 registered companies, access to the Official Selection of the Festival and Marché du Film screenings, company listing on Cinando.com and access to reserved areas for industry only.

The Short Film Corner is run by the Marché from 22 to 28 May – it is important to mention that Short Film Corner is not part of the Official Selection of short films.

The Producers Network and Producers Workshop are hosted under the Marché umbrella. Producers Network is reserved for producers who have recently produced feature films and focuses on networking sessions to develop their projects.  The Producers Workshop is aimed at producers who want an introduction to the international market and provides practical sessions with tips for pitching, co-production and financing.

NEXT is part of the Marché and a venue for meetings and workshops.  It aims to highlight alternative forms of storytelling so it’s no surprise that VR has crept up in the programme with a dedicated mini theatre to watch registered VR projects.

Don’t miss the Mixers – a series of cocktail events for Market badge holders invited in accordance with the theme. Three cocktails target the key players in documentary, genre cinema or festival and sales agents; hosted at Plage des Palmes.

The Palme d’Or

The Palme d’Or is the highest award at the Cannes Film Festival, awarded to the best film in competition from the Official Selection.

Since 1998, the trophy has been crafted annually at the Chopard workshops in Meyrin near Geneva, it takes 7 craftsmen around 40 hours for the process including injecting fair mined certified gold into the mould and mounting it to the rock crystal pedestal.

Cannes Film Festival Dress Code

I’m often asked what the dress code is during Cannes Film Festival.  Unless you’re attending industry events, if you’re visiting Cannes in the day, smart casual is fine but in the evenings party attire is more acceptable.

Climate wise, the weather in May can be variable and alternate between hot days to rain so be prepared for all seasons!

For industry, smart casual during the day is fine but the evening is reserved for invitation-only events and gala screenings and you should dress appropriately.  For the In Competition screenings, the dress code is black tie/evening wear (and your invitation will usually advise of this).  Men, this means a tuxedo and ladies an evening dress. No visible brand labels emblazoned on clothing.

A special mention for the ladies:  The Croisette is paved but you should be aware that Cannes has many cobblestoned streets and pavement surfaces such as marble tiles (i.e slippery!) so wear comfortable heels and invest in those genius anti-slip sole grips.  You will thank me later.

What To Bring To Cannes Film Festival

Plenty of business cards.  Mobile/charger and adaptors.  Laptop / Pocket PC if you’re doing press. Sunglasses.  Travel umbrella.  Info from the main trades so you don’t hassle buyers who aren’t looking for new projects. Mints.  Paracetomol and eye drops to ward off tell-tale hangover signs.

Don’t bring pages of screenwriting; people are too busy rushing between workshops, screenings and parties to read anything.

Read the Festival Daily distributed each morning at the Palais entrances and the guides from main trades as they detail key events and screenings.

Cannes Film Festival 2017 Party Guide

Cannes Film Festival throws some epic parties and everybody always wants to know where the hottest parties during Cannes Film Festival 2017 will be!

Cannes Film Festival has a number of high-profile parties at exclusive venues such as the stunning Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc

If your intention is to come to Cannes to gate-crash parties, then be aware that it is not as easy as the gossip magazines lead people to believe.  Access is usually very restricted; the expense to host a party during Cannes Film Festival runs from €50,000-upwards for a few hours on the beach so invitations are selective.

Hotels and private events will check your accreditation pass and you will often need your business card and/or I.D.  Press may not be guaranteed access; check first with each venue.   Due to the security in place, if you book a private driver to/from a Croisette hotel, they may need authorisation from the Mairie (Town Hall) to pick you up and drop you off.

Parties at Cannes Film Festival 2017

One of the most star-studded events to attend every year is the amfAR Cinema Against Aids charity gala night which is hosted at the beautiful Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc on the Cap d’Antibes. This year, the amfAR night will be on Thursday 25 May.   Every supermodel, producer, actor and member of high-society attends – here’s a video of last year’s amfAR event:

Here is a round-up of some of the other parties and top places to socialise during Cannes Film Festival 2017:

Wednesday 17 May – On the opening night, from early evening until late at night, Cannes Film Festival offers a welcome party to greet the Festival attendees and the press. The party will take place on the Plage du Majestic (Majestic beach) as well as on the Agora, with live music by the Fantasy Live Experience Orchestra and DJ Daddy Ryton.

Wednesday 17 May – Chopard’s ‘Glittering Prizes Exhibition’ presented by Chopard and Vogue featuring photographs of actresses and models on the Cannes red carpet.

Wednesday 17 May – L’Oréal at CanalPlus beach for open-air cinema

Wednesday 17 May – Swarovski party at Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc hosted by Nadja Swarovski with special guest Naomie Harris.

Naomie Harris

Wednesday 17 May – Nikki Beach, Gotha Club and Baoli Cannes opening nights

Thursday 18 May – Magnum Beach party for Magnum x Moschino with special guest Cara Delevingne and featuring Moschino creative director Jeremy Scott.

Thursday 18 May – Mouton Cadet Wine Bar opening event.

Thursday 18 May – Rihanna Loves Chopard collection.

Thursday 18 May – Salute to Akiro Kurosawa media event and panel discussion at the Majestic.

Thursday 18 May – L’Oréal at CanalPlus beach for open-air cinema with Susan Sarandon’s ‘Thelma & Louise’.

Friday 19 May – Jeffrey Katzenberg Gala night in the Grand Salon of the InterContinental Carlton, a dinner for the film industry professionals present in Cannes. On this occasion, a tribute will be paid to American producer Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Friday 19 May – L’Oréal at CanalPlus beach for open-air cinema with Elle Fanning.

Friday 19 May – Mouton Cadet Wine Bar ‘Global Gift’ evening with Eva Longoria and Maria Bravo.

Friday 19 May – Charles Finch Filmmaker Dinner with Jaeger LeCoultre : Paolo Sorrentino will be feted at this cocktail party followed by dinner event and awards ceremony. Also on view: Series 3 of Finch’s “The Art Of Behind The Scenes” photography exhibition.

Friday 19 May – Chopard’s SPACE party under the big top at Port Pierre Canto with headline act Bruno Mars.

Saturday 20 May – At the Agora, the “Dinner of the Festivals” will reunite 150 directors of the greatest film festivals in the world.

Saturday 20 May – VIP Pool Party at Chateau Savant hosted by SmokexMirrors and Mia Moretti

Saturday 20 May – L’Oréal at CanalPlus beach for open-air cinema with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

Saturday 20 May – Cannes Fashion and Global Short Film Awards

parties cannes film festival

Sunday 21 May – Villa Golden Gate will host a Jamie Reuben and Michael Kives’ dinner with Arnold Schwarzenegger to celebrate Jean-Michael Cousteau’s Wonders of the Sea 3D, followed by a party hosted by CAA.

Sunday 21 May – Netflix party at Villa St George.

Sunday 21 May – Hollywood Foreign Press Association party at Nikki Beach with special guest Jake Gyllenhaal in aid of the International Rescue Committee. 

Sunday 21 May – L’Oréal at CanalPlus beach for open-air cinema with Andie MacDowell’s ‘Sex, Lies and Videotape’.

Sunday 21 May – Private villa luncheon hosted by Three Six Zero and Champagne Armand de Brignac.

Sunday 21 May – Festival de Cannes and Kering Women in Motion Awards Dinner.

Monday 22 May – La Plage Royale luncheon (supported by YouTube) for the world premiere of Elton John: The Cut, followed by a screening and Q&A with the singer.

Monday 22 May – The annual Trophee Chopard event at Hotel Martinez.

Monday 22 May – L’Oréal at CanalPlus beach for open-air cinema with Eva Longoria’s ‘Lowriders’.

Monday 22 May – Spike Lee Gala

Tuesday 23 MayTiffany’s Red Carpet Fashion Show

Tuesday 23 May – The 70th anniversary dinner at the Grand Théâtre Lumière. Under the presidency of Isabelle Huppert, the stage will feature screenings, edited archives and film extracts, musical interludes and presentations by artists. The traditional anniversary dinner will bring together all the major figures at Cannes that evening, including many artists who have won the Palme d’Or, or have left their mark on the history of the Festival.

Tuesday 23 May – Top of the Lake: China Girl pre-party in partnership with Grey Goose at Versini and special guests Elisabeth Moss, Nicole Kidman and the cast of ‘China Girl’.

Tuesday 23 May – Queer Night Party at the American Pavilion hosted by John Cameron Mitchell.

Tuesday 23 May – Timothy White x Julian Lennon soiree benefiting amfAR with a DJ performance by the Misshapes, Decora and Andrew Mancilla at Chateau Savant.

Tuesday 23 May – de Grisogono Dinner + After Party Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc

de grisogono party cannes

Bella Hadid at the de Grisogono party in 2016

Wednesday 24 May – Chopard Gents Night with Annabel’s at Hotel Martinez.

Wednesday 24 May –  The Members Club at La Plage Royale is the venue for this charity event, Cinemoi Presents: Cannes Film Festival Fashion Charity Gala, that benefits Children United Nations. Revelers will be treated to a special fashion show straight from the runway of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Tokyo, presented by designers Keiichiro Yuri and Adolfo Sanchez. With performances by Maria Conchita Alonso, Ricky Rebel and American Idol’s Trenyce Cobbins.

Thursday 25 May – In the Grand Salon of the InterContinental Carlton, the Press Dinner will gather 250 international journalists and critics present in Cannes.

Thursday 25 May – The Haas brothers private reception to benefit The Art of Elysium by 1stdibs and Chateau Savant.

MTV

Wild Bunch

Variety

Vanity Fair Dinner

Naomi Campbell Birthday party

Horyou Charity Event

Belvedere Party

Hollywood Reporter

Villa Schweppes will feature performances by Atom, Breakbot & Irfane, Busy P, IAM, Kungs, Laurent Garnier, Para One and more!

Note:  Hosting a party during Cannes and want to be included on this list?  Contact me to be added.

How to get tickets to Cannes Film Festival parties

Some ways to get tickets to these parties include buying a ticket through registered sales agents such as Experience The French Riviera and Boutique Luxury International, approach the national pavilions at the Festival for an invite to their parties (for example, American, British, Canadian etc), make friends with publicists and PR agencies and try your luck with the door bouncers.

Of course, Cannes sees a flotilla of superyachts cruise into the region for May as many celebrities stay on for Monaco Grand Prix too.  If you’re not lucky enough to have booked a yacht charter for Cannes, you can try and grab an invite to some of the most spectacular parties hosted on board including Paul Allen’s incredible themed yacht party and Leonardo DiCaprio’s yacht party.

Port Vauban in the yachting hub of Antibes is now under new management and will host a schedule of events throughout the Festival with a Champagne bar from Perrier-Jouet, exclusive wine tastings from Riviera Wine, a whisky and cigar lounge, vodka and caviar tastings, drive-in cinema with vintage cars and fashion shows on the IYCA.  You can see the programme of events here:  http://events.vauban21.com/dynamics/EVENTS%20PROGRAM%200205.pdf

Cinéma de la Plage 2017

Each year, Cannes Film Festival shows free films at an open-air cinema on the beach for the public and you can see Cannes Classics and out-of-competition films.

The Cinéma de la Plage is easy to find – it is held at Plage Macé which is the public beach beside the Palais des Festivals and opposite the Majestic Barriere Hotel.  You can’t miss the giant screen set up on the beach!

Look for the scaffolding and sound system on the beach, you can't miss it! (Cinema de la Plage, Cannes)

Look for the scaffolding and sound system on the beach, you can’t miss it! (Cinema de la Plage, Cannes)

Various festival ‘how-to’ websites and the Cannes Office du Tourisme will tell you to reserve in advance, but it’s not necessary – entrance is free and you don’t have to show a physical ticket.

Films are listed as starting at 9pm but usually commence from 9.30pm nightly.  The deckchairs are limited, so show up early if you want one (many people arrive before 7pm).   If you miss out on a deck chair, take a picnic blanket to sit on the sand.  There are no food facilities, but you are able to take a picnic; glassware and glass bottles are not permitted so leave the bottle of rouge for another time.  Please respect the environment and take all your rubbish away with you.

The front row chairs are often reserved for film industry execs and often the Hollywood stars show up, so keep your eyes open for surprise guests!

It may be warm and sunny during the day, but Plage Macé can get chilly at night especially if there is a mistral blowing. Take warm clothes and rain protection as the entire zone is uncovered.

The nearest public toilets are located on the Croisette just past the children’s play ground, they are usually open late during the Cinéma de la Plage screenings.

Access notes: Persons with reduced mobility can access the beach at the Cinéma de la Plage site via a concrete ramp on the right-hand side at the entrance, there is no specific area set aside for wheelchairs but there is plenty of room for you.  Accessible toilets are just past the public toilets by the children’s playground; look for the silver automated cubicle, access is by a 50 centime coin.

The Cinéma de la Plage schedule for 2017 is:

Thurs 18 May: All About My Mother by Pedro Almodóvar

Fri 19 May: Bugsy Malone by Alan Parker

Sat 20 May: Saturday Night Fever by John Badham

Sun 21 May: No movie just a free concert from -M- Matthieu Chedid

Mon 22 May: Bad Boys by Michael Bay

Tues 23 May: Missing by Costa-Gavras

Wed 24 May: Chariots of Fire by Hugh Hudson

Thurs 25 May: Film & concert DJAM by Tony Gatlif

Fri 26 May: Weekend at Dunkirk by Henri Verneuil

Sat 27 May: Un 32 août sur terre by Denis Villeneuve

Practical Information for the Festival & Cannes

  • For a map of the Festival zones, layout of the Palais, map of Cannes and map that shows the entrances to the Palais for disabled visitors, download them here http://www.festival-cannes.com/en/festival/participer/prepare
  • For the layout of the screening rooms, click here
  • Information points with directions and information about the Festival and Marché are located at various spots in the Palais and at the entrances to Riviera and Pantiero; look for the info points signalled by a yellow ‘I’.
  • A luggage cloakroom is located at the Barrière Bistingo (near the Casino Croisette) and open most days until at least 5pm.
  • Lost property is at the Gare Maritime (the port building next to the Palais) and open until 6pm.
  • Download the free bilingual (English and French) mobile application ‘Festival de Cannes’  available for iPhone, iPad and Android to stay updated with hour-by-hour coverage, film trailers, videos from the red carpet and more.
  • Radio Festival will be broadcast on the official Festival de Cannes website and mobile app and will also be available on Deezer. And you can catch up with previous broadcasts on podcast platforms (iTunes, SoundCloud).  The radio studio will be located within the Festival enclosure and accessible to passing visitors.
  • On Twitter, you can follow @Festival_Cannes with hashtag #Cannes2017.  You’ll also find official Festival updates on Facebook, Instagram and Festival TV.

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TRANSPORT TO/FROM CANNES FILM FESTIVAL

The most popular option to arrive in Cannes is via train or bus. Central Cannes and the zones around the Palais and Croisette are flat and paved, and the distance from the train station or main bus station to the Croisette is only a few minutes walk.

If you’re driving, be aware that the large carparks nearby and under the Palais des Festivals are extremely busy.  There are road closures frequently during Cannes Film Festival (particularly on the Croisette) and police will block roads for major stars entry and exits from hotels and restaurants.

Public transport schedules at night are limited and taxis are expensive; I highly recommend you to pre-book a transfer before you decide to stay out late.  If you miss the last train/bus, don’t fret – you will not be the only Festival attendee doing the ‘walk of shame’ in the wee small hours of the morning.

Specialised transfers to/from Cannes

Helicopter transfers are by far the quickest way to get to Cannes from Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, book via Azur Helicoptere.  For bilingual English and French private chauffeured transfers, book via registered driver Djamel Bouzidi.

By train to Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes train station (Gare de Cannes SNCF) has ticket counters with attendants, but it is very easy and much quicker to buy your train tickets from the self-service ticket machines.

The self-service machines have English language as an option so you don’t need to be fluent in French to use them.  Use coins for the self-issuing machines as they can be temperamental and often they can’t read non-French issued credit and debit cards.

If you are in Cannes for the Festival, rather than buying single fares get a ‘ZOU ! Hebdo’ pass.  This is a train ticket valid for 7 consecutive days and gives you up to 75% fare discounts, they are available to tourists or residents.  You must specify your origin and destination point – for example, Antibes to Cannes.  TER SNCF, the regional train provider have a ton of fares including discounts if you’re under 26 years of age.

ALL tickets must be validated before boarding your train, look for the yellow validating machine (compostage de billets) at the entrance to the platforms.

04-theme_composteur

Cannes train station has caféterias, a newsagent selling newspapers, phone credit, cigarettes as well as vending machines with snacks. There are also high tables with connections for tablets and smartphones.

Well-maintained and clean public toilets are located just outside the station, 50 metres along from the station entrance. These toilets are open Monday-Sunday 8am-9pm (excluding bank holidays), these toilets cost 50 centimes and you insert your coin into the automated turnstile and it opens the gate. There are 2 ladies toilets, 2 men’s toilets and an accessible parent’s room with baby changing facilities. There is a change machine there to swap notes for coins but it is often out of order so don’t rely on it or there being an attendant available.

Access notes: Persons with reduced mobility can contact ONET Accueil in the main hall of Cannes train station (service available Monday through to Sunday 7.30am-7.30pm) where they can assist passengers with luggage and access on and off trains. All interior facilities of the main train station including the public toilets are on flat ground and accessible.

Buses to and from Cannes Film Festival

From Nice Côte d’Azur Airport to Cannes you can take the following bus routes:

  • Express bus 210 line (between Nice Côte d’Azur Airport and Cannes via the highway)
  • Bus 200 (between Nice and Cannes)
  • Noctambus 200 (the night bus for weekends and bank holidays)

All of the above timetables with current prices as at 12 May 2017 are found here: https://www.departement06.fr/vous-deplacer-en-bus/lignes-et-horaires-3029.html

Bus 210 is the fastest bus from the airport, the journey from Terminal 1 to Hôtel de Ville close to the Palais takes just under one hour.

Bus 200 is a local bus and is particularly busy during peak hours with limited luggage storage on board.  The journey takes around 1.5 hours for the full oneway journey from Nice to Cannes, but it is by far the cheapest option at €1.50 oneway.

The Cannes bus stops are the Gare Routiere (near Hôtel de Ville, the port and close to the Palais), and outside the train station (the 200 stop is opposite Hotel Ligure).

If you are staying in Le Cannet, Palm Beach and Mandelieu-La Napoule, local company Palm Bus will run night buses during the Festival.  Their main website is in English, French and Italian with maps and timetables.  For the timetables for the night buses during Cannes Film Festival, download them here NightbusesPalmBus

Access notes: Buses have kneeling ramp entrances and designated wheelchair areas midway on the bus. On bus number 200 there is lighted signage and sound calls advising of the next bus stop to assist hearing and sight-impaired travellers as well on board visual route maps. Wheelchair bound travellers also have an on demand service for regional buses called Access06 whereby you can pre-book a designated minibus ; more information is here (in French only) https://www.departement06.fr/accessibilite-des-transports/service-access06-4020.html

WHERE TO EAT & DRINK

If you’re not invited to a party with free food and booze, don’t be put off from a few sundowners or a meal out in Cannes for fear of going home bankrupt. Here are Access Riviera’s recommendations for places to go for decently-priced food and drinks, good atmosphere or a true Cannois experience:

L’Epicurieux, 6 rue des Frères Casanova

A wine bar with excellent antipasti platters as well as pasta, salads and steak. The café gourmand is great and they regularly have live music.

rue Hoche

Rue Hoche is full of caféterias and restaurants so take your pick for somewhere to grab a coffee, drink or meal.  I highly recommend Da Laura on the corner of rue Hoche and rue du 24 août.

The Palace Hotels

All of the bars at the Palace hotels on the Croisette are very good.   My favourite is the terrace bar at the InterContinental Carlton, and Bar L’Amiral at Hôtel Martinez is also excellent with award-winning barmen.

cannes best bars

Bar L’Amiral at Hôtel Martinez is one of Cannes best bars

Marché Forville

I can’t mention food in Cannes without telling people to go to Marché Forville.   Fruit, vegetables, cured meat, seafood – this market has it all which is great for grabbing supplies for snacks or DIY dinners.

If you’re staying in a self- catering apartment, Marché Forville is surrounded by a couple of supermarkets, a boulangerie (bakery) and a few fancy shops selling caviar, salmon and foie gras.  Try the socca or sit for a drink at one of the many bars and restaurants.

The market is open every day from 7am-1pm, except on Monday when it is a bric-a-brac flea market.

Access notes: The entire market is accessible and on flat paved ground. There is an accessible ground-floor toilet at Café de l’Horloge next to the market.

Croisette 72 a.k.a The Gutter Bar

Most popular during Cannes Lions, Croisette 72 is the proper name of the infamous Gutter Bar just across the road from the glitzy Hotel Martinez.  This is one of the places to go at the end of the night during Cannes Film Festival where late night shenanigans morph into early morning shenanigans.  Drink, network, be merry, repeat.

Le Tikawa, Allées de la Liberté

Just a few minutes from the Palais opposite the port, Le Tikawa is a snack kiosk selling tasty decent-sized salads, paninis and cold beers.

It’s by no means plush, just merely a few tables and chairs beside the pétanque pitch, but it is one of the best places in Cannes to have a quick bite to eat – all for a snippet of the price at neighbouring restaurants.

Access notes: Fully accessible on flat ground. Nearest accessible toilet facilities are automated pay toilets in the square.

Le Petit Majestic, corner of rue Tony Allard and rue Victor Cousin

Le Petit Majestic has fame as being one of the Festival’s swarming watering holes to drop by late at night.  The owner has traditionally kept it open around the clock, closing for just one hour daily during Festival to allow for cleaning but this year he has a restriction and must close by 12.30am.  It’s fairly certain this won’t deter Festival attendees.

Le Petit Majestic - a Festival favourite for pre and post-event drinks

Le Petit Majestic – a Festival favourite for pre and post-event drinks

Ma Nolan’s Pub, 6 rue Buttura

Irish pub Ma Nolan’s gets a lot of Festival foot traffic due to it’s location close to the Palais.  They’ve had a bit of an issue with slowness of orders if you sit outside due to lack of staff, but the atmosphere is pretty good and if you’re not in a major hurry it remains one of Cannes best pubs.  Head along for tap beers, pub food, live music, and screening of football on TV.   www.manolans.com

Access notes: Ma’s is fully accessible outside with tables on flat ground, however there are stairs up to interior of the bar and toilet facilities.

Ma Nolans - one of Cannes best pubs

Ma Nolans – one of Cannes best pubs

WiFi

I get quite a bit of feedback that the WiFi in and around Cannes venues is dubious and erratic, it’s a real shame because the city is competing with other global destinations for festivals and events.  I have heard various explanations about network overloading due to attendee numbers, but for a major event it’s inexcusable in my opinion to have third-rate connection problems.  The Palais and pavilions have WiFi zones but elsewhere in Cannes here are some places to find WiFi.  If you go to any of these places to use their signal, please be courteous and buy a coffee/drink/meal:

  • Cristal Café on rue Felix Faure
  • Factory Café at the Gray d’Albion shopping arcade
  • La Potinière du Palais on square Merimee
  • Le Melting Pot at rue de la Rampe; the opposite side of the port from the Palais des Festivals
  • Mocca which is directly opposite the Palais des Festivals
  • New York New York on Allée de la Liberté Charles de Gaulle
Wifi in Cannes

Wifi in Cannes

WHERE TO STAY DURING CANNES FILM FESTIVAL 2017

During Cannes Film Festival, accommodation prices increase dramatically with the most expensive accommodation lining the Croisette.  If you want to book anything centrally located in Cannes you need to be prepared to pay top dollar.

The benefit of accommodation closer to the Festival is you have the option to return to your room/villa/apartment and save time when getting ready for other events.  Staying further away you’ll have to commute, but you will save money for accommodation.  Bear in mind, that over 60,000 people descend on Cannes so if you’re planning to get taxis to and from your accommodation you need to book in advance.

Staying in satellite suburbs and other nearby towns and commuting can be a more financially feasible option for many Festival attendees. Possibilities include Mandelieu la Napoule, Cannes La Bocca, Le Cannet, Golfe Juan, Juan les Pins or Antibes.

Accommodation during Cannes Film Festival 2017

I highly recommend Festival attendees to book through reputable sources or if you use third-party sites always verify their booking process and read some reviews.

Unfortunately, the Festival brings fraudulent companies to the scene who contact prospects with bogus offers using the logos of the Festival, Marché du Film and Palme d’Or so as to seem authentic accommodation providers.  The fraud is often not discovered until the time of check-in when the reservation, company and payment are no longer to be found.  Result = no refund and no reservation.

Check, check and triple check the authenticity of your accommodation source. French-registered rental businesses should have a physical address, contact details and a SIRET or SIREN number (business registration).

Overseas accommodation representatives should email you full booking details including local contact numbers, so take the time to check everything before transferring deposits or full payments.

Some fraudulent company names to avoid that have duped Festival goers in previous years include:

Business Travel International

Cannes Events

Euro-Events

Expos-International

Expo Travel Group

Global Living Group

Premier Destinations

Riviera Network

Splendor

Star Eventz

The Ultimate Living Group

Universal Events Solutions Limited

Universal Shows

If you’ve left your Cannes accommodation until the last minute, check with the Office du Tourisme at the Palais des Festivals as they often have updated information on hotel availability and partner hotels give them last minute rates to fill rooms.

THINGS TO SEE & DO IN CANNES

If you are not an accredited Festival badge holder, you can still visit Cannes and enjoy the atmosphere. Here are a few local tips of things to see and do during Cannes Film Festival 2017:

Film-related sightseeing

Cannes connection with film goes beyond the 12 days that the Festival will be hosted; there are a number of film-related sites to visit around town.

At the base of the Palais des Festivals, you can see the ‘Allées des Étoile’s du Cinema’ which is a trail of handprints from film stars. Unfortunately, there are no plaques with information to match the handprints but you can grab a few photos of Angelina Jolie, Sylvester Stallone, Jodie Foster or Sophia Loren’s hands.

Access notes: Fully accessible on paved flat surface.

Allées des Étoiles, Cannes

As well as the handprints, Cannes has a series of film-themed murals scattered around the city on walls of buildings.  The most prominent one is right near the port at the Gare Routiere bus station.  The murals include Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin and cars from films.

For directions to find each mural and descriptions, download this map : Murs peints de Cannes

Access notes: Fully accessible on flat paved surfaces.

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Two new murals were added recently at Pont Alexandre III of Pulp Fiction and the Piano.

The Croisette

Outside of Festival time, it is one of the best seafront promenades on the Côte d’Azur but ‘La Croisette’ is undeniably the hub of all the action during Film Festival.

It is a supremely entertaining strip of road to visit with an eclectic variety of people found there during Film Festival  – hardy tourists, wannabe stars with their own ‘rent-a-photographer’ escorting them, men in tuxedos at 9 a.m, champagne swiggers at beach clubs, and every dressed-up fashionista in town strutting along with the chance to be snapped by any one of the many photographers.

Stroll along the Croisette and you will see all of the promotional billboards at the entrances and on the façades of the hotels. Security is tight for all the hotels, but you can join the spectators and paparazzi crowding the road frontages for free.   The top hotels for star spotting are the Hotel Martinez, InterContinental Carlton and the Majestic Barrière.

For families who are visiting, there is a small public playground with fairground area and carousel (fee applies) near to the Palais, and another small public playground at the other end of the Croisette before Port Pierre Canto. All of the kiosks along the Croisette sell ice-cream, snacks and drinks.

Access notes: The Croisette is paved and flat all the way from the Palais des Festivals to Port Pierre Canto, and there are accessible public toilets along the Croisette.

‘Games, Chance & Cinema’ at Palm Beach Casino

Situated at the far end of the Croisette, the legendary Palm Beach Casino was built in 1929 and welcomed all the jet set personalities including stars from the world of cinema.

It will be closing soon to move to Hotel-Casino 3.14 in Cannes and therefore to honour its legacy there will be an exhibition from 150 painters, sculptors, visual artists and photographers on the theme “Games, Chance and Cinema”. The includes works from fine art photographer Justin Gage, Italian painter Giacomo de Pass and French artist Patrick Moya.  The 10 Colossi statues have been customised by artists and will be sold at the end of the exhibition.

The exhibition has started already and will run until Sunday 4 June 2017.  At the closing of the exhibition, over 400 historic items will be auctioned off at 10am including the roulette tables, chandeliers, a bronze Sphinx statue from the Carlton, photographic portraits of film stars, light fittings, plush armchairs (for just €50!) and a very special Steinway & Sons piano (Lot 166) which has accompanied concerts by Charles Aznavour (a frequent performer at the Moulin Rouge), Louis Armstrong and Django Reinhardt.  For the auction lots, see here PalmBeachCasinoAuctionLots

Le Suquet

Charming Le Suquet is the Old Town quarter of Cannes, interspersed with terraced stone houses with flower boxes, small alleyways and many restaurants.

To get to the top of the hill where the church is (fee applies to enter the museum Musée de la Castre , excluding the 1st Sunday of the month when entry is free), walk up rue Saint-Antoine, rue du Suquet, and then Traverse de la Tour. The views from the top are excellent and reach across Cannes, the Lérins Islands and the Ésterels.

Access notes: Wheelchair bound or tourists with reduced mobility can still visit the top to enjoy the views, though the streets are steep!   Follow rue Saint-Antoine, rue du Suquet, rue du Pré then rue Louis Perrisol. This route follows paved flat roads and avoid the many stairways in Le Suquet. Or jump onboard the Petit Train tourist train that departs from near the Palais des Festivals as it chugs it way up there too.

Thank you for reading Access Riviera’s ‘Ultimate Guide to the Cannes Film Festival 2017!  This guide has taken me a lot of research hours and checking of content so if you’ve found this resource informative or you are featured in this guide, please leave a comment and/or kindly share it on social media crediting Access Riviera (Facebook or Twitter). Thank you!

 

 

Cannes Film Festival 2016: Insider Tips No One Tells You

The annual Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes) is hosted each year in May at the Palais des Festivals beside Vieux Port and is one of the French Riviera’s primary events and a major Festival on the global film circuit.

The 69th Festival starts on 11 May and runs until 22 May 2016.

cannes film festival

Cannes Film Festival 2016 – official festival poster

The Cannes Film Festival is iconic and Cannes itself is a fitting backdrop to the proceedings – luxury hotels are booked well in advance and fashion boutiques line the Croisette, while the same designer garments are draped over the celebrities on the red carpet.  Every big name luxury brand wants a piece of the action from diamond-dripping  jewellery to luxe supercars, expensive liquor to makeup brands.

I have curated this post ‘Cannes Film Festival 2016: Insider Tips No One Tells You’ with local tips and advice to help Festival attendees get the most out of your visit whether you are in Cannes for the first time or a regular attendee.

Note: This guide is the only online guide for Cannes Film Festival that specifically includes supplementary ‘Access Notes’ after most sections giving information for persons with reduced mobility to enable them to enjoy the Festival. I hope you find this informative and share it on social media.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2016

Woody Allen’s Café Society starring Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, Blake Lively, Steve Carrell and Parker Posey will open the Festival and it signals the third time the director has kicked off the Festival, following 2002’s Hollywood Ending and 2011’s Midnight in Paris.

Woody Allen's 'Café Society' will open Cannes Film Festival 2016

Woody Allen’s ‘Café Society’ will open Cannes Film Festival 2016

The Festival Jury & La Palme d’Or

This year’s Festival Jury is presided over by Australian screenwriter, producer and director George Miller (of Mad Max credit) who will be joined by other jury members that include Mads Mikkelsen, Vanessa Paradis, Donald Sutherland, Kirsten Dunst, László Nemes and Valeria Golino and their aim is to decide the award winners between 21 films in competition including the winner of the coveted Palme d’Or.

The Palme d’Or is the highest accolade at the Cannes Film Festival, awarded to the best film in the official selection.  Since 1998, the trophy has been crafted annually at the Chopard workshops in Meyrin near Geneva, it takes 7 craftsmen around 40 hours for the process including injecting fair mined certified gold into the mould and mounting it to the rock crystal pedestal.

Get in early

For first timers to Cannes, the first weekend is traditionally the busiest and the first week is most preferred by buyers of film distribution rights at Marché du Film as attendance drops off in the last few days of the Festival. So, in essence go early to bag the best chance for industry success.

There are various accreditation types to gain access to screenings, pavilions and events ranging from Buyer passes to Producers Network accreditation and of course, highly sought after Press accreditation.

Screenings

For spectators (i.e. visitors / tourists hoping to see celebrities), the red carpet sashaying happens twice nightly at 7pm and 10pm when the Jury watch the films in competition at the Palais and the main stars show up.

celebrities-and-models-attend-red-carpet-movie-premieres-where-hundreds-of-paparazzi-await-their-arrival

For a copy of the screenings guide for Cannes Film Festival 2016, you can download it here: http://www.festival-cannes.fr/assets/File/WEB-2016/PDF/2016_HORAIRES%20CANNES%20web2.pdf

Other screenings include Un Certain Regard, Cinéfondation, Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (also known as the Director’s Fortnight and a budget-friendly way for the public to see a film), and Short Films In Competition.  A sidebar festival is Entr’2 Marches which runs alongside the main Festival from 15 to 20 May 2016 and screens short films with the themes of disability.

Cannes Film Festival Parties

As well as a hub for business networking, Cannes hosts some epic parties including those thrown by Wild Bunch, Variety and Film 4.

THE event to be at each year is the amfAR Cinema Against AIDS gala night; 2016 sees the 23rd gala fundraiser hosted at the legendary Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc on the Cap d’Antibes on Thursday 19 May.   Every supermodel, actor and producer in town attends – here’s a video of last year’s amfAR event:

Dress Code

I’m often asked what the dress code is for tourists to Cannes during Film Festival – if you’re going in the day, smart casual is normal but in the evenings party attire is perfectly fine.  For those lucky enough to get to the gala screenings, the dress code is black tie/evening wear.   The weather in May can swing from baking hot to rain storms so be ready for all seasons!

Cinema de la Plage 2016

Each year, free screenings are held on the beach for the public and you can see Cannes Classics and out-of-competition films.

To find the Cinema de la Plage open-air cinema, go to Plage Macé which is the public beach beside the Palais des Festivals and opposite the Majestic Barriere Hotel.  You can’t miss the huge film screen and sound system on the beach!

Look for the scaffolding and sound system on the beach, you can't miss it! (Cinema de la Plage, Cannes)

Look for the scaffolding and sound system on the beach, you can’t miss it! (Cinema de la Plage, Cannes)

The Cannes Office du Tourisme will tell you to reserve in advance, but it’s not necessary, entrance is free and you don’t have to show a physical ticket.

Screenings are listed as starting at 9pm but usually commence from 9.30pm nightly.  If you want one of the deckchairs, show up early (many people arrive before 7pm).

The front row chairs are often reserved for film industry execs and sometimes the Hollywood stars show up (in 2014, I spotted Adrian Grenier from Entourage, Quentin Tarantino, John Travolta and Uma Thurman who showed up for Pulp Fiction).  Keep your eyes open for surprise guests!

Cinema de la Plage, Cannes

Cinema de la Plage, Cannes

If you miss out on a deckchair, there is plenty of room on the right-hand side of the screen on the sand so take a picnic blanket.

It may be warm and sunny during the day, but Plage Macé can get chilly at night especially if there is a mistral blowing. Take warm clothes and rain protection as the entire zone is uncovered.

There are no food facilities, but you are able to take a picnic.  We have taken a bottle of wine and plastic glasses before also with no problems; please respect the environment and take all your rubbish away with you.

The nearest public toilets are located on the Croisette just past the children’s play ground, they are usually open late during the Cinéma de la Plage screenings.

Access notes: Persons with reduced mobility can access the beach via a concrete ramp at the Cinema de la Plage site, there is no specific area set aside for disabled people but there is plenty of room for you.

The Cinema de la Plage schedule for 2016 is:

Thursday 12 May   Purple Rain – Albert Magnoli, 1984, duration 1 hour 50 minutes

Friday 13 May  King of Hearts (Le Roi de Coeur) – Philippe de Broca, 1966, duration 1 hour 42 minutes

Saturday 14 May  Coup de Tête – Jean-Jacques Annaud, 1979, duration 1 hour 32 minutes

Sunday 15 May Surprise film

Monday 16 May The Endless Summer – Bruce Brown, 1966, duration 1 hour 35 minutes

Tuesday 17 May The Great Dictator (with Charlie Chaplin) – 1940, duration 2 hours 5 minutes

Wednesday 18 May  Sorcerer – William Friedkin, 1977, duration 2 hours

Thursday 19 May The Easy Life (Il Sorpasso) – Dino Risi, 1962, duration 1 hour 45 minutes

Friday 20 May Kiss Me Deadly – Robert Aldrich, 1955, duration 1 hour 46 minutes

Saturday 21 May  We All Loved Each Other So Much (C’eravamo Tanto Amati) – Ettore Scola, 1974, duration 2 hours

WHY VISIT THE CANNES FILM FESTIVAL?

Cannes Film Festival may appear a crazy mix for first-timers; international media focuses on the red carpet, the awards, the charity galas, the fashion and the celeb sightings but you won’t find much reporting of road closures, numerous security personnel, wait staff with attitude to boot and photographers and camera crews clawing for their space on every spare inch of pavement on the Croisette.

croisette cannes film festival

However, it’s a fantastic place for people-watching and you really do see all walks of life during the Festival. Festival spectators bring their own seats and ladders to the Croisette in the hope of seeing a movie star on the red carpet – frequently, their view is of the back of someone else’s head, but we can all dream of a slice of cinema magic.

Cannes Film Festival is a magic event where cinema welcomes the big names and emerging talent to this glossy town that once was a fishing village – if you get the chance to visit the French Riviera during Film Festival I highly recommend it.

PRACTICAL DOWNLOADS FOR CANNES

  • If you’re attending the Festival, click onto this pdf link for the map of the Festival sites
  • For the layout of the actual Palais, click here
  • Access notes: For persons requiring disabled access, download this accessmap for entry points to the Palais
  • For a tourist map of Cannes, click on this link Cannesmap
  • Download the free bilingual (English and French) mobile application ‘Festival de Cannes’  available for iPhone, iPad and Android to stay updated with hour-by-hour coverage, film trailers, videos from the red carpet and more.
  • On Twitter, you can follow @Festival_Cannes with hashtag #Cannes2016.  You’ll also find official Festival updates on Facebook, Instagram and Festival TV.

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TRANSPORT

The most popular option to arrive in Cannes is via bus or train. Central Cannes and the zones around the Palais and Croisette are flat and paved, and the distance from the train station to the Croisette is only 5 minutes walk.

If you’re driving, be aware that the large carparks nearby and under the Palais des Festivals are extremely busy.  There are road closures during Cannes Film Festival, notably the Croisette, and police frequently block roads for major stars exits from hotels and restaurants.

It’s a given that Festival combines business with pleasure and you’ll experience some memorable (and forgettable) parties, however be aware that if you decide to stay out late you may end up for paying pricey cab fares. Public transport schedules at night are limited and taxis are expensive; try to pre-book a transfer before you hit the nightlife.

Cannes train station

The Cannes train station (Gare de Cannes SNCF) has ticket counters with attendants, but you can also purchase your train tickets from the self-service ticket machines.

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TOP TIPS: Use coins for the self-service ticket machines as they can be temperamental and often they can’t read non-French issued credit and debit cards.  The self-service machines have English language options so you don’t need to be fluent in French.

ZOU ! Hebdo is a train ticket valid for 7 consecutive days and gives you up to 75% fare discounts and they are available to tourists or residents.  You have to specify your origin point and destination point – for example, Juan les Pins or Antibes to Cannes.  These passes give you super savings if you’re in the region for Cannes Film Festival.  TER SNCF, the regional train providers offer many different fare discounts including discounts if you’re under 26 years of age so ask at the ticket counters as they don’t willingly sell them unless you ask!

ALL tickets must be validated before boarding your train, look for the yellow validating machine (compostage de billets) at the entrance to the platforms.

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The train station has a newsagent selling newspapers, phone credit, cigarettes, snacks. There are caféterias and vending machines onsite, and high tables with connections for smartphones and tablets.

Well-maintained and clean public toilets are located just outside the station, 50 metres to the left of the station entrance. These toilets are open Monday-Sunday 8am-9pm (excluding bank holidays), these toilets cost 50 centimes and you insert your coin into the automated turnstile and it opens the gate. There are 2 ladies toilets, 2 men’s toilets and a parent’s room with baby changing facilities. There is a change machine there to swap notes for coins but it is often out of order so don’t rely on it.

Access notes: Persons with reduced mobility can contact ONET Accueil in the main hall of Cannes train station (service available Monday through to Sunday 7.30am-7.30pm) where they can assist passengers with luggage and access on and off trains. All interior facilities of the train station including the public toilets are on flat ground and accessible.

Buses

Getting to Cannes you can take the following bus routes:

  • Bus 200 (between Nice and Cannes)
  • 210 line (between Nice Airport and Cannes via the highway)
  • 200 line Noctambus (a night service exclusively for Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights and bank holidays between Nice Airport and Cannes)

All of the above timetables and prices current as at 07 May 2016 are found here: https://www.departement06.fr/vous-deplacer-en-bus/lignes-et-horaires-3029.html

The journey on Bus 200 takes around 1.5 hours for the full oneway journey from Nice to Cannes, but it is by far the cheapest option at €1.50 oneway.  To compare, the train journey from Nice to Cannes takes about 40 minutes.  It should be noted that Bus 200 is a local bus that is particularly busy during peak hours and luggage storage is limited onboard.

The Cannes bus stops are the Gare Routiere (near Hôtel de Ville and the port), and outside the train station (the 200 stop is opposite Hotel Ligure).

Local Cannes buses with Palm Bus cover the greater Cannes area and nearby zones of Le Cannet, Palm Beach and Mandelieu-La Napoule.   Their website is in English, French and Italian with maps and timetables – visit it here www.palmbus.fr

Access notes: Buses have kneeling ramp entrances and designated wheelchair areas midway on the bus. On main route number 200 there are on board visual route maps, lighted signage and sound calls advising of the next bus stop to assist hearing and sight-impaired travellers. Wheelchair bound travellers also have an on demand service for regional buses called Access06 whereby you can pre-book a designated minibus ; more information is here (in French only) https://www.departement06.fr/accessibilite-des-transports/service-access06-4020.html

Specialised transfers

For helicopter transfers, private chauffeured transfers or classic car rental, I recommend using registered businesses that know the region well.  Find out more in my Cannes Film Festival 2016: Supplier List

WINE AND DINE

Don’t be discouraged from a few sundowners or a meal out in Cannes for fear of breaking your bank balance during Film Festival. Here are Access Riviera’s suggestions for places to go for well-priced food and drinks, great atmosphere or a true Cannois experience:

La Boulangerie par Jean Luc Pelé, 3 rue du Vingt-Quatre Août

If you need a snack on the run, head here for artisan breads, salads (most priced around €6-€7), sandwiches, fruit salad and yoghurt, open Monday-Saturday 7.30am-7.30pm.

Or grab some chocolates and macarons at Jean-Luc Pélé’s patisserie-chocolatier shops on rue de Meynadier and rue d’Antibes.

Access notes: Fully accessible on flat ground. No toilet facilities.

Le Petit Majestic, rue Tony Allard

Le Petit Majestic is a lounge bar that actually is a Festival street party.  Festival attendees rock up here pre and post-event to mingle and network, and the French authorities don’t bat an eyelid at people drinking beer in the street.

Le Petit Majestic - a Festival favourite for pre and post-event drinks

Le Petit Majestic – a Festival favourite for pre and post-event drinks

L’Epicurieux, 6 rue des Frères Casanova

A wine bar first and foremost, they serve excellent antipasti platters as well as pasta, salads and steak. The café gourmand is great and they regularly have live music.

L'Epicurieux café gourmand

L’Epicurieux café gourmand

Le Jardin Secret, 2 rue Frères

Le Jardin Secret is located in Le Suquet (Old Town) and is a low-key place with entry through a narrow bar area/art gallery. Open from 7pm (also open for weekend brunches) if you’re looking for white table linen and silver service dining don’t go there – they serve tapas-style dishes in a laidback manner.

Lovely little garden courtyard and Wifi. Look for the entrance on rue Frères through the old door and the sign with the key. Follow them on their Facebook page for current news on opening times as they close for private events.

Access notes: Accessible but can get crowded in the garden.

Le Jardin Secret, Cannes

Le Jardin Secret, Cannes

Le Tube, 10 rue Florian

Super stylish, modern with a slightly industrial feel with brickwork, exposed pipes and graffiti artworks Le Tube offers French food with a modern twist.  The steak is good, but be warned its pricey.  An excellent choice for pre or post-Festival meet ups.

Access notes: Fully accessible.

Le Tube, Cannes (letube.fr)

Le Tube, Cannes (letube.fr)

Le Tikawa, Allées de la Liberté

It may not be the hub for industry wheeling-and-dealing, however this local snack kiosk sells tasty decent-sized salads, paninis and cold beers – all for a fraction of the price at neighbouring restaurants.

My favourite salad costs a wallet-pleasing €7 and its an under-the-radar option where you can get a table beside the plane trees, have a quick bite to eat and watch the locals playing pétanque.

Access notes: Fully accessible on flat ground. Nearest accessible toilet facilities are automated pay toilets in the square.

Ma Nolan’s, 6 rue Buttura

One of Cannes better pubs and found on a corner site close to the Palais des Festivals, Ma’s gets a lot of Festival foot traffic.  Head there for tap beers, pub food, live music, and sports coverage such as football on TV.   www.manolans.com

Access notes: Fully accessible outside tables on flat ground, however there are stairs up to interior of the bar and toilet facilities.

Ma Nolans - one of Cannes best pubs

Ma Nolans – one of Cannes best pubs

Marché Forville

I can’t mention food in Cannes without a tip to go to Marché Forville.

As well as fruit, vegetables, cheese, cured and fresh meat, seafood etc there are specialty shops around the perimeter of the main covered market including a shop selling regional products and duck, a Fish and Chips shop, a salmon and caviar store, a bakery (boulangerie), a roast chicken store, and a socca vendor.

Marché Forville, Cannes

Marché Forville, Cannes

Many bistros and bars are around the Marché Forville, and there are also a few supermarkets there – LeaderMarket, SPAR, and Picard for frozen foods (good for people staying in apartments who are self-catering).

The market is open every day from 7am-1pm, except on Monday when it is a bric-a-brac flea market.

Access notes: The entire market is accessible and on flat paved ground. There is an accessible ground-floor toilet at Café de l’Horloge next to the market.

Philcat, promenade de la Pantiero

Head to promenade de la Pantiero beside the port to the unassuming blue and white snack kiosk where Philcat serves one of the best pan-bagnats in Cannes. For those not already in the know, a pan-bagnat is a regional specialty (of Nice) and comprises of a pain de campagne (French sourdough) or white bread bun filled with salad Niçoise.

Access notes: Fully accessible on flat ground. Nearest accessible toilet facilities are automated pay toilets in the square across the road.

Philcat on the promenade de la Pantiero (accessriviera.wordpress.com)

Philcat on the promenade de la Pantiero (accessriviera.wordpress.com)

rue Hoche

Rue Hoche is a great place to grab a meal, coffee or drink.  I can recommend:

  • Le Cirque with lots of seating outside or indoors upstairs if you need a quieter space, most mains cost under €15 and they have good coffee.  Access notes: Fully accessible outside terrace on flat ground, however toilet facilities are located upstairs.
  • Volupte Anytime is a tearoom but has some of the best coffee in Cannes!  Great cakes, sandwiches and salads for reasonable prices.

WIFI

Here are some places in Cannes to find Wifi:

  • Hotel de Ville (Town Hall) gardens across from the port. For details on how to log on, click ẀifiCannes
  • Mocca (directly opposite the Palais des Festivals)
  • La Potinière du Palais (on square Merimee)
  • New York New York (Allée de la Liberté Charles de Gaulle)
  • Cristal Café (rue Felix Faure)
  • Le Melting Pot (rue de la Rampe; the opposite side of the port from the Palais des Festivals)
  • Factory Café (Gray d’Albion shopping arcade)
Wifi in Cannes

Wifi in Cannes

LAST MINUTE ACCOMMODATION

Cannes is a money pot for rental companies and generally any accommodation centrally located in Cannes will increase room rates dramatically for Film Festival.

I’d advise Festival attendees to book through reputable sources or if you use 3rd-party sites check out some reviews.

This can be difficult to avoid, however sadly when Festival arrives it brings fraudulent companies to the scene so check, check and double check the authenticity of your accommodation source. French-registered rental businesses should have a physical address, contact details and a SIRET or SIREN number (business registration).

Overseas accommodation representatives should email you full booking details including local contact numbers, so take the time to check before parting with your cash.

Some fraudulent company names to avoid that have duped Festival goers in previous years include: Business Travel International or Expo Travel Group, Cannes Events, Euro-Events, Global Living Group, Premier Destinations, Riviera Network, The Ultimate Living Group, Universal Shows or Splendor.

Staying outside central Cannes can be a more financially feasible option for many Festival goers. Possibilities include Mandelieu la Napoule, Cannes La Bocca, Le Cannet, Golfe Juan, Juan les Pins or Antibes.

Here are some suggestions for last minute Festival accommodation for attendees who may have a smaller budget, are travelling solo or are happy to commute:

Antibes

Antibes is just 15 minutes by train to Cannes – stay in a cute one bedroom apartment on the first floor of an old fisherman’s cottage in Old Town Antibes, Wifi, close to all town amenities including restaurants, beaches and the covered market.  Bookings and enquiries via https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/5911531?s=8&user_id=15895004&ref_device_id=217525741291f1b9cc6c4ff0d9a1b993c04efc84

Juan les Pins

Juan les Pins is 12 minutes by train to Cannes – Hotel Astor is 5 minutes from the Juan les Pins train station and bus stop to Cannes, and located in a quiet residential street. It is run by a friendly bilingual French couple who have a number of clean and comfortable spacious rooms and studios. Free Wifi, flat screen TV’s, free parking and some accommodations with balcony or patio terrace.  Bookings and enquiries via http://astorhotel.fr/

astor

Le Cannet

Just off boulevard Carnot, close to Cannes there is a studio with own entrance with some availability for the end of Festival, sleeps 2.  Wifi, and 1 minute from bus route which takes 5 minutes to get into Cannes (or walkable in 25 minutes). Bookings via https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/741466

Mandelieu la Napoule

Villa Béthanie has two bedrooms with king-sized beds, Wifi, parking, it’s on the bus route to Cannes and Nice Airport and large outdoor entertaining space with BBQ.  Book via https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/8751253?guests=4&s=3XZ7rXAx

Mouans Sartoux

Villa sleeping 6 located in Mouans Sartoux with short distance to local restaurants, golf  course and shopping. Book via https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/5079395?s=8

Mougins

Le Club Mougins Diamond Resorts have single and duplex accommodation in a resort-style hotel close to golf courses, restaurants and just 8.6 kilometres from Cannes.  There are some renovations being undertaken so enquire at time of booking if this affects your room.

Roquefort les Pins

Perfect for a post Festival stay to wind down, there are rooms (bookable per night) and apartments (minimum 3 night stay) available in a 17th-century restored manor located between Cannes, Grasse and Nice.  Bookings and enquiries via Mas Shabanou

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If you’ve left your Cannes accommodation until the last minute, you can also ask at the Office du Tourisme at the Palais des Festivals as they often have updated information on hotel availability and get last minute rates to fill rooms at partner hotels.

FREE THINGS TO SEE & DO

If you are not an actor, crew, director, or have a Press Pass or Festival badge, you can still visit Cannes and enjoy the atmosphere at the Film Festival for free (or a low budget). Here are a few inside tips:

Allée des Étoiles du Cinema

Outside the Office de Tourisme at the base of the Palais des Festivals, you can see handprints from movie stars but it is nowhere near as extensive (or publicised) as the Hollywood Walk of Fame and there’s no plaques with information.

If you’re spending a few days on the French Riviera and really into immortalised handprints, Juan les Pins also has a Walk-of-Fame of jazz stars from the annual Jazz à Juan Festival, and Monaco has a Champions Promenade which pays tribute to some of the world’s best footballers.

Access notes: Fully accessible on paved flat surface.

Allées des Étoiles, Cannes (accessriviera.wordpress.com)

Allées des Étoiles, Cannes (accessriviera.wordpress.com)

Cannes cinema murals

For over a decade, Cannes has been developing a series of film-themed murals scattered around the city on walls of buildings.

There are 15 in total, including murals of Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, and cars from films.

For the map of where to find each mural and descriptions, download this pdf the Murs peints de Cannes

Access notes: Fully accessible on flat paved surfaces.

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La Croisette

The Croisette buzzes during Film Festival and is one of the best seafront promenades on the French Riviera, with a huge cross-section of people found there during Film Festival  – keen tourists, wannabe celebrities with their own ‘rent-a-photographer’ following them, men in tuxedos at 9 a.m, champagne guzzlers at beach restaurants, and every dressed-up fashion addict in town strutting along hoping to be snapped by any one of the many photographers.

Seats and ladders for red carpet viewing on the Croisette

Spectator seats for red carpet viewing on the Croisette

It’s all great fun and superbly entertaining.

Walk along the Croisette and you’ll see the promotional billboards draping down the façades of the hotels from the film production companies.

The top hotels for star spotting are the Carlton Intercontinental, Hotel Martinez and the Majestic Barrière. Security is intense for all the hotels, but you can join the spectators and paparazzi crowding the road frontages for free; enter inside you better have a hefty credit card limit. The beach restaurants are set up with marquees for the private events.

To break up the frenzy for families, there is a small fairground area with carousel (fee applies) and a public playground near to the Palais, and also another small public playground at the other end of the Croisette.

Access notes: The Croisette is paved and flat all the way from the Palais des Festivals to Port Canto, and there are accessible public toilets along the Croisette.

Le Suquet

Le Suquet is Cannes Old Town, interspersed with old houses spilling over with flower boxes, brick-vaulted entrances, small alleyways and numerous restaurants.

While the Croisette, Palais des Festivals and the seafront hotels are famously busy (and expensive) during the Festival, Le Suquet goes about each day almost unaware an international festival is happening mere minutes away.

Traverse de la Tour, Le Suquet, Cannes (accessriviera.wordpress.com)

Traverse de la Tour, Le Suquet, Cannes (accessriviera.wordpress.com)

To get to the church and Musée de la Castre at the summit (fee applies to enter the museum, excluding the 1st Sunday of the month when entry is free), walk up rue Saint-Antoine, rue du Suquet, and then Traverse de la Tour. The views from the top are some of the best in the area stretching across Cannes, the Lerins Islands and the Esterels.

View from Le Suquet (accessriviera.wordpress.com)

View from Le Suquet (accessriviera.wordpress.com)

Access notes: Wheelchair bound or tourists with reduced mobility can still visit the top to enjoy the views, though the streets are steep!   Follow rue Saint-Antoine, rue du Suquet, rue du Pré then rue Louis Perrisol. This route follows paved flat roads and avoid the many stairways in Le Suquet. Or jump onboard the Petit Train tourist train that departs from near the Palais des Festivals as it chugs it way up there too.

Vieux Port (old port)

Stroll for free along the port admiring the expensive superyachts berthed there. Many yachts host private parties in the evening so it’s a good time to wander past for a nosey.

Access notes: Fully accessible on paved flat surface.

If you’ve found this post informative, please share on Facebook or Twitter. Thank you!

 

 

An Advanced Guide to Cannes Film Festival

Cannes has flourished from its origins as a small fishing port, and now stamps a firm mark as one of the major tourist destinations in this region.

Every year, the red carpet is rolled out again for the annual Festival de Cannes (Cannes Film Festival) being held this year between 13 May – 24 May 2015.

Cannes Film Festival 2015 official poster (festival-cannes.fr)

Cannes Film Festival 2015 official poster (festival-cannes.fr)

The Cannes Film Festival is iconic and epitomises the glamour of Cannes – celebrities dressed in haute couture dripping with jewellery from the leading jewellery houses, photographers clicking away incessantly on the red carpet outside the Palais des Festivals, and tourists jostling on the Croisette for a glimpse of a celebrity.

Whether you’re a first time visitor or a regular stalwart, Access Riviera has curated this ‘Advanced Guide to Cannes Film Festival’ with local tips and advice to help you get the most out of your visit.

Note: This guide features supplementary ‘Access Notes’ after most sections specifically giving information for persons with reduced mobility to enable them to enjoy a Festival experience. I hope you find this information useful and share it on social media.

What’s included in the 2015 Programme?

French drama La Tête Haute (Standing Tall) opens the festival with the director Emmanuelle Bercot becoming the first woman to launch the event in over 25 years.

Controversial films include ‘Amy’ about the life story of singer Amy Winehouse, and ‘Carol’ a lesbian drama starring the beautiful Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.   It seems Woody Allen and Emma Stone can’t stay away from the French Riviera – they filmed ‘Magic in the Moonlight’ here in 2014 and are at Cannes Film Festival this year for out-of-competition mystery drama ‘Irrational Man’.

Un Certain Regard, a section of the official competition features global films from countries including Japan, Italy and the Philippines.

The Palme d’Or is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival. . The palm design is a tribute to the coat of arms of the City of Cannes.

Cannes coat of arms

Cannes coat of arms

The trophy has been crafted annually in the Chopard workshops since 1998 and is now created with ‘fairmined’ certified gold. In tribute to the 60th anniversary of the trophy, Chopard has designed two jewellery lines inspired by the palm leaf with one collection being showcased at a special release lunch on 17 May at the Chopard Rooftop at the Hotel Martinez. There will also be the gala evening at Port Canto on 18 May with a concert by Robbie Williams.

The Palme d'Or crafted by Chopard (image: Chopard)

The Palme d’Or crafted by Chopard (image: Chopard)

Why visit the Cannes Film Festival?

For first-timers to the Cannes Film Festival it may seem like a crazy place with road blockages, numerous security personnel and photographers and camera crews occupying every spare inch of pavement on the Croisette.

However, it’s a fantastic place for people-watching and you really do see all walks of life during the Festival. Spectators bring their own seats and ladders to the Croisette in the hope of seeing a movie star on the red carpet – frequently, their view is of the back of someone else’s head, but we can all dream of a slice of cinema magic.

Film and fashion combine to bring the big names and undiscovered stars to the streets of Cannes, if you get the chance to visit during Film Festival I highly recommend it.

Useful downloads for visitors to Cannes Film Festival

If you’re attending the Festival, click onto this pdf link for the layout of the Palais

Access notes: For persons requiring disabled access, download this accessmap for entry points to the Palais

Download the free bilingual (English and French) mobile application ‘Festival de Cannes’ in partnership with Orange that is available on the App Store and Google Play for Festival news, hour-by-hour coverage, videos from the red carpet and more. The app link is here http://www.festival-cannes.fr/en/apps.html

If you need a general map of Cannes for orientation (a tourist map), click on this link Cannesmap

Can you get tickets to the films?

The official Film Festival and the Main Marketplace are closed to the general public, so unfortunately you’re out of luck if you were hoping to buy a ticket and sit beside someone famous.

The Director’s Fortnight and International Critics Week have a small allocation of public tickets, and residents of Cannes can win a ticket to a free screening; they apply to the Mairie (Town Hall) and they are entered in a lucky dip.

Things to see and do during Cannes Film Festival

If you are not a producer, actor, production crew or have a Press Pass or Festival badge, you can still enjoy Cannes and the atmosphere at the Film Festival for free (or a low budget). Access Riviera has many tips and snippets of advice:

La Croisette

Undeniably, one of the best seafront promenades on the Côte d’Azur, the Croisette throngs during Film Festival.

The Croisette offers an incredible mix of people during Film Festival time – imagine eager tourists, ladies in haute couture cocktail dresses, champagne at terrace restaurants, and private parties on superyachts.

Seats and ladders for red carpet viewing on the Croisette

Seats and ladders for red carpet viewing on the Croisette

Wander along and check out the huge promotional billboards draping down the façades of the hotels from the film production companies. The top hotels for star spotting are the Carlton Intercontinental, Hotel Martinez and the Majestic Barrière. Security is intense for all the hotels, but you can join the spectators and paparazzi crowding the road frontages for free; enter inside you better have a hefty credit card limit. The beach restaurants are set up with marquees for the private events.

To break up the frenzy for families, there is a small fairground area with carousel (fee applies) and a public playground near to the Palais, and also another small public playground at the other end of the Croisette.

Access notes: The Croisette is paved and flat all the way from the Palais des Festivals to Port Canto, and there are accessible public toilets along the Croisette.

Allée des Étoiles du Cinema

Outside the Office de Tourisme at the base of the Palais des Festivals, you can see handprints from movie stars but it is nowhere near as extensive (or publicised) as the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

If you’re spending a few days on the French Riviera and really into immortalised handprints, Juan les Pins also has a Walk-of-Fame of jazz stars from the annual Jazz à Juan Festival, and Monaco has a Champions Promenade which pays tribute to some of the world’s best footballers.

Access notes: Fully accessible on paved flat surface.

Allées des Étoiles, Cannes (accessriviera.wordpress.com)

Allées des Étoiles, Cannes (accessriviera.wordpress.com)

Cinéma de la Plage (Open-air cinema)

Every evening during the Film Festival, there are free public film screenings at the open-air cinema at Plage Macé opposite the Majestic Hotel.

Screenings start from approximately 9.30pm nightly, but due to its popularity Access Riviera recommends you arrive early to have any chance to grab a deckchair.

The Tourist Office advises tourists to prebook an invitation, but it’s not necessary. The 2015 schedule of films is here

Access notes: The open-air cinema is on the beach so direct access is tricky. There is a concrete ramp with small landing at the entrance where you can watch but no designated area for persons with wheelchairs or reduced mobility. The Croisette is raised from the beach though, and the projection screen is huge so you can also watch from the promenade.

Cinéma de la Plage (festival-cannes.fr)

Cinéma de la Plage (festival-cannes.fr)

Vieux Port (old port)

Stroll for free along the port admiring the expensive superyachts berthed there. Many yachts host private parties in the evening so it’s a good time to wander past for a nosey.

Access notes: Fully accessible on paved flat surface.

Le Suquet

While the Croisette, Palais des Festivals and the seafront hotels are frenetic (and expensive) during the Festival, Le Suquet awakens each day almost unaware an international festival is happening mere minutes away.

Le Suquet is Cannes Old Town, interspersed with old houses spilling over with flower boxes, brick-vaulted entrances, small alleyways and numerous restaurants.

Traverse de la Tour, Le Suquet, Cannes (accessriviera.wordpress.com)

Traverse de la Tour, Le Suquet, Cannes (accessriviera.wordpress.com)

To get to the church and Musée de la Castre at the summit (fee applies to enter the museum, excluding the 1st Sunday of the month when entry is free), walk up rue Saint-Antoine, rue du Suquet, and then Traverse de la Tour. The views from the top are some of the best in the area stretching across Cannes, the Lerins Islands and the Esterels.

View from Le Suquet (accessriviera.wordpress.com)

View from Le Suquet (accessriviera.wordpress.com)

Access notes: Wheelchair bound or tourists with reduced mobility can still visit the top to enjoy the views, though the streets are steep!   Follow rue Saint-Antoine, rue du Suquet, rue du Pré then rue Louis Perrisol. This route follows paved flat roads and avoid the many stairways in Le Suquet. Or jump onboard the Petit Train tourist train that departs from near the Palais des Festivals as it chugs it way up there too.

Cannes cinema murals

Since 2002, Cannes has been developing a series of film-themed murals scattered around the city on walls of buildings.

There are 15 in total, including murals of Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, and cars from films.

For the map of where to find each mural and descriptions, download this pdf the Murs peints de Cannes

Access notes: Fully accessible on flat paved surfaces.

Cannes cinema murals (accessriviera.wordpress.com)

Cannes cinema murals (accessriviera.wordpress.com)

Festival updates

A pop-up TV stage is set up on the Croisette, with presenters interviewing stars, directors and other industry notables. If it all gets too much ‘on location’, you can still watch the Film Festival action from your Cannes hotel room. TV Festival de Cannes will be broadcast in French and English throughout the Palais complex and in most hotels along the Croisette on the TV Orange, Canal 30 and Canal 32 channels in the CANAL+ and CANALSAT packages.

On Twitter, you can follow @Festival_Cannes for all the latest Film Festival news.

TV Festival Cannes (festival-cannes.fr)

TV Festival Cannes (accessriviera.wordpress.com)

Transport

My recommendation is to arrive via bus or train. There are road blockages during the Festival, notably the Croisette, and police frequently block roads for major stars exits from hotels and restaurants.

The large carparks nearby and under the Palais des Festivals are extremely busy.

Cannes is walkable, and the distance from the train station to the Croisette is only 5 minutes.

Outside of Film Festival season there is a small minibus (called City Palm) that travels a circuit regularly between Hôtel de Ville, the Croisette, rue Latour-Maubourg, eastern end of rue d’Antibes, the train station (Gare SNCF), and rue Félix Faure. However, it doesn’t operate during Film Festival time due to the Croisette closures.

Cannes train station

The Cannes train station (Gare de Cannes SNCF) is still undergoing renovations – it’s much lighter and brighter than it’s predecessor, with ample glass to let in more natural light and more seating but you’ll find construction vehicles and pedestrian detours outside the entrance.

There are ticket counters with attendants, but you can also purchase your train tickets from the blue ticket machines and then validate them in the yellow machine at the platform entrance. TOP TIP: Use coins for the blue ticket machines as often they can’t read non-French issued credit and debit cards.

As at 12 May 2015, there is just one yellow validating machine – located at the entrance to the westbound platform (Voie 2) – so ALL tickets must be validated here whether you are using either platform.

The train station has a Relay newsagent selling newspapers, phone credit, cigarettes, snacks. There are caféterias and vending machines onsite.

Well-maintained and clean public toilets are located just outside the station 50 metres to the left of the station entrance. These toilets are open Monday-Sunday 8am-9pm (excluding bank holidays), these toilets cost 50 centimes and you insert your coin into the automated turnstill and it opens the gate. There are 2 ladies toilets, 2 men’s toilets and a parent’s room with baby changing facilities. There is a change machine there to swap notes for coins but it is often out of order so don’t rely on it.

Access notes: Due to ongoing renovations including new installation of elevators at Cannes train station, persons with reduced mobility can contact ONET Accueil in the main hall of Cannes train station (service available Monday through to Sunday 7.30am-7.30pm) where they can assist passengers with luggage and access on and off trains. All interior facilities of the train station including the public toilets are on flat ground and accessible.

Buses

Cannes is on the following bus routes:

  • Bus 200 (between Nice and Cannes)
  • 210 line (between Nice Airport and Cannes)
  • 210 line Noctambus (a night service exclusively for Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights and bank holidays between Nice Airport and Cannes)

All of the above timetables and prices current as at 12 May 2015 are found here https://www.departement06.fr/vous-deplacer-en-bus/lignes-et-horaires-3029.html

The journey on Bus 200 takes around 1.5 hours for the full oneway journey from Nice to Cannes, but it is by far the cheapest option at €1.50 oneway. The train from Nice to Cannes takes about 40 minutes.

The Cannes bus stops are the Gare Routiere (near Hôtel de Ville and the port), and outside the train station (the 200 stop is opposite Hotel Ligure).

Local Cannes buses with Palm Bus (previously known as BusAzur) cover the immediate Cannes area and extend to nearby areas of Le Cannet, Palm Beach and Mandelieu-La Napoule.   Their website is in English, French and Italian with maps and timetables – check it out here www.palmbus.fr

Access notes: Buses have kneeling ramp entrances and designated wheelchair areas midway on the bus. On main route number 200 there are on board visual route maps, lighted signage and sound calls advising of the next bus stop to assist hearing and sight-impaired travellers. Wheelchair bound travellers also have an on demand service for regional buses called Access06 whereby you can prebook a designated minibus ; more information is here (in French only) https://www.departement06.fr/accessibilite-des-transports/service-access06-4020.html

Specialised transfers

If time is the essence, make use of a helicopter transfer with Uber and Helipass between Nice Airport and Cannes. Available from 8am-9pm for the duration of the Film Festival, the trip duration is less than 7 minutes, cost €160 per passenger which includes a private driver from Nice/Cannes to the heliport and then to central destination (maximum of 4 passengers). There are 7 helicopters on call. To book your Ubercopter transfer:

From Nice airport to Cannes downtown or vice versa

  • Open the Uber app and request ‘UberCopter’ at the bottom right of the screen.
  • Go to the Hélipass desk, following the indications at the airport.
  • A private driver will take you from the heliport to your final destination.
  • From Cannes downtown to Nice downtown or vice versa
  • Open the Uber app and request ‘UberCopter’ at the bottom right of the screen.
  • Request your driver. He will get in touch with you to confirm the flight.
  • Benefit from a private drive to the heliport.
  • Upon your arrival, another private driver will take you from the heliport to your final destination.
Uber helicopter transfers Cannes (image: uber.blog.fr)

Uber helicopter transfers Cannes (image: uber.blog.fr)

For something a bit different and to stand out on the Croisette, book one of the stunning cars from Riviera Classic Car Hire. The rental fleet includes head-turning cars such as a Morgan 4/4, Fiat 124 Spider and a Triumph TR3. www.rivieraclassiccarhire.com

Where to find Wifi hotspots

France is cottoning on that the world likes 24/7 online access.   Here are some places in Cannes to find Wifi:

  • Hotel de Ville (Town Hall) gardens across from the port. For details on how to log on, click ẀifiCannes
  • Mocca (directly opposite the Palais des Festivals)
  • La Potinière du Palais (on square Merimee)
  • New York New York (Allée de la Liberté Charles de Gaulle)
  • Cristal Café (rue Felix Faure)
  • Le Melting Pot (rue de la Rampe; the opposite side of the port from the Palais des Festivals)
  • Factory Café (Gray d’Albion shopping arcade)

Where to wine and dine

Don’t be discouraged from dining in Cannes for fear of breaking your bank balance during Film Festival. Here are some of Access Riviera’s favourite places for well-priced food and drinks, atmosphere or a true Cannois experience:

Le Jardin Secret, 2 rue Frères

Le Jardin Secret is an eclectic place in Le Suquet with entry through a narrow bar area/art gallery. Open from 7pm (also open for weekend brunches) if you’re looking for high-end fine dining don’t go there – they serve tapas-style dishes in a laidback manner.

Lovely little garden courtyard and Wifi. Look for the entrance on rue Frères through the old door and the sign with the key. Follow them on their Facebook page for current news on opening times as they close for private events.

Access notes: Accessible but can get crowded in the garden.

Le Jardin Secret, Cannes

Le Jardin Secret, Cannes

Marché Forville

I’m always promoting Marché Forville – why? Because I think it’s one of the French Riviera’s best markets for ambience, food stores and convenience – the people-watching is great too!

Drop by to buy fruit, vegetables, fresh pastas, tapenades, sun-dried tomatoes, sauces, cheese, cured meats, fish, eggs, honey, olive oils.

Marché Forville, Cannes (accessriviera.wordpress.com)

Marché Forville, Cannes (accessriviera.wordpress.com)

You will also find products here that are sold much cheaper than a supermarket such as courgette flowers, morel mushrooms and Fleur de Sel de Camargue, the salt harvested near the town of Aigues-Mortes.

There are specialty shops surrounding the main covered market including a shop selling regional products and duck, a salmon and caviar store, a bakery (boulangerie), a roast chicken store, a Fish and Chips caféteria and a socca vendor. There are also a number of supermarkets there – LeaderMarket, SPAR, and for frozen foods go to Picard (good for people staying in apartments who are self-catering).

Many restaurants, bistros and bars fringe the Marché Forville including an oyster/wine bar. My pick is Café de l’Horloge with it’s French bistro-style with clocks adorning the walls. A café noisette costs €1.60 or stop by for a glass of wine after your shopping.

The market is open every day from 7am-1pm, except on Monday when it is a bric-a-brac flea market.

Any day is great to visit, but my tip is on Sunday as that is when the farmers and growers go to the market to sell their produce.

Top Tip: Take cash in small change (avoid €50 notes) and take your own shopping bags.

Access notes: The entire market is accessible and on flat paved ground. There is an accessible ground-floor toilet at Café de l’Horloge next to the market.

Astou et Cie Brun, 27 rue Felix Faure

If you’re feeling partial for seafood, head here where you can gorge yourself on seafood platters piled with clams, prawns and oysters or fresh sea bream. Reservations recommended as it gets busy.

La Boulangerie par Jean Luc Pelé, 3 rue du Vingt-Quatre Août

Grab your fill of artisan breads, salads (most priced around €6-€7), sandwiches, fruit salad and yoghurt, open Monday-Saturday 7.30am-7.30pm.

Or for sweet tooths, drool over the store windows filled with chocolates and macarons at Jean-Luc Pélé’s patisserie-chocolatier shops on rue d’Antibes and rue de Meynadier.

Access notes: Fully accessible on flat ground. No toilet facilities.

Le Cirque, 30 rue Hoche

This café/bistro has a modern cosmopolitan vibe that wouldn’t see it out of place in New York, Melbourne or London.

Le Cirque, Cannes (all images Access Riviera, except bottom image LeCirque.fr)

Le Cirque, Cannes (all images Access Riviera, except bottom image LeCirque.fr)

Situated on a corner site, it has a modern décor (design geeks will love their quirky logo, and interior fittings) with good coffee and most mains are under €15. A café noisette cost €2. Plenty of seating – indoors includes a second-level, or outdoors with terrace tables. There is a high-chair for babies, and a baby change table in the toilet facilities upstairs. Recommended.

Access notes: Fully accessible outside terrace on flat ground, however toilet facilities are located upstairs.

Le Bouche a Oreille, 7 rue des Gabres

Cosy wine bar serving tapas platters. A good diversion from some of the overhyped, overcrowded Croisette eateries.

Access notes:  Accessible with outside tables.

La Bouche a Oreille, Cannes

La Bouche a Oreille, Cannes

Le Tikawa, Allées de la Liberté (next to Le Grand Café)

Whoever thinks grabbing food from a snack kiosk is not ‘de rigeur du jour’ during Cannes Film Festival is missing out!

Le Tikawa may not have the prestigious surrounds to finalise film deals, but they sell tasty decent-sized salads, paninis and cold drinks – all for a fraction of the price at any of the neighbouring restaurants.

My favourite salad costs a wallet-pleasing €6.50.

Grab a table beside the plane trees, have a quick bite to eat and watch the locals playing pétanque.

Access notes: Fully accessible on flat ground. Nearest accessible toilet facilities are automated pay toilets in the square.

Philcat, promenade de la Pantiero

Head to promenade de la Pantiero beside the port to the unassuming blue and white snack kiosk where Philcat serves one of the best pan-bagnats in Cannes. For those not already in the know, a pan-bagnat is a regional specialty (of Nice) and comprises of a pain de campagne (French sourdough) or white bread bun filled with salad Niçoise.

Access notes: Fully accessible on flat ground. Nearest accessible toilet facilities are automated pay toilets in the square across the road.

Philcat on the promenade de la Pantiero (accessriviera.wordpress.com)

Philcat on the promenade de la Pantiero (accessriviera.wordpress.com)

Ma Nolan’s, 6 rue Buttura

Looking for a decent pint? Head to Ma Nolan’s.   It can get rowdy, but it escapes the pretentiousness that sometimes sniffs around Cannes bars. Good range of tap beers and pub food, and only a hop, skip and a jump from the Croisette action and the Palais des Festivals. www.manolans.com

Access notes: Fully accessible outside tables on flat ground, however there are stairs up to interior of the bar and toilet facilities.

Factory Café, 17 la Croisette Gray d’Albion

Situated in the arcade for the Galerie du Gray d’Albion shopping centre between rue des Serbes and rue des États-Unis. They serve burgers, meat dishes, pasta ranging up to €15 and most are served with fries and coleslaw. Friendly staff. Seating indoors, or outside including a small patio area with wine barrels as tables (perfect for resting a pint of beer). Has played non-intrusive jazz/lounge music in the background on my last few visits. A café noisette cost €1.80. Mainly corporate clientele. A bonus is they have free Wifi.

Access notes: Accessible outdoors but a tight squeeze indoors and one step down.

Le Tube, 10 rue Florian

One of my top picks for Cannes. If traditional French bistros aren’t your thing, Le Tube will inject some oomph into your gastronomic search. Stylish, modern with a slightly industrial feel with brickwork, exposed pipes and graffiti artworks Le Tube offers French food with a modern twist. Try their menu du marché and café gourmand. A good option for pre or post-Festival cocktails too.

Access notes: Fully accessible.

Le Tube, Cannes (letube.fr)

Le Tube, Cannes (letube.fr)

Things to avoid

Big notes at Marché Forville – take small denominations of Euros; avoid €50 or higher denomination notes. French market vendors are none too pleased when you buy a slice of cheese or a bottle of truffle oil and pay with a €100 note.

Driving – avoid driving if at all possible, especially anywhere near the Croisette. During festival time, there are many road blockages and unannounced road diversions. Park at Port Canto, find a car park on the outer rim of central Cannes or catch a train or bus.

Booking accommodation through non-reputable sources – this can be difficult to avoid however check, check and double check the authenticity of your accommodation source. French-registered businesses should have a physical address, contact details and a SIRET or SIREN number (business registration). Overseas accommodation representatives should email you full booking details including local contact numbers. Some fraudulent company names to avoid that have duped Festival goers in previous years include: Premier Destinations, Cannes Events, Euro-Events, Global Living Group, The Ultimate Living Group, Riviera Network, Business Travel International or Expo Travel Group, Universal Shows or Splendor.

Bear in mind, that any accommodation centrally located in Cannes will increase room rates dramatically for Film Festival – if you can stay outside Cannes at other towns it may be a good option. Possibilities include Mandelieu La Napoule, Cannes La Bocca, Le Cannet, Golfe Juan, Juan les Pins or Antibes.   If you’ve left your Cannes accommodation until the last minute, ask at the Office du Tourisme at the Palais des Festivals as they often have updated information on hotel availability and get good rates to fill rooms at partner hotels.

Partying till late if you’re not staying in Cannes – It’s a given that Festival goers will enjoy a sundowner or two, however be aware that if you decide to prolong the party action you may end up for paying pricey cab fares. Taxis are expensive on the French Riviera and public transport schedules at night are limited.

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Airport buses on the French Riviera

There is another disruption to the train services along the coast today, so lots of travellers have been stopping me regularly asking directions to the bus stops.

The bus network in the region is quite good, however bus schedules are reduced on weekends and bank holidays, and evening services are limited.  There are some flights that arrive at Nice Airport in the evening that may not coincide with airport buses so always check the timetables beforehand.

I am regularly queried regarding timetables and routes for the buses to/from Nice Airport and am happy to answer as the route and timetables are not posted at every bus stop.

Below, you will find more information and timetable links to Nice Airport buses  (current as at July 2014, all timetables subject to change):

  • Bus 110: Bus service between Nice Airport and Monaco and Menton 110busNiceAirportMonacoMenton
  • Bus 200:  This is a local bus that runs daily in both directions between Nice old town and Cannes.  The airport stop is outside the terminals on the main road (follow the people with suitcases!), it is called ‘Aéroport/Promenade’.  You will need to signal the driver; even though this bus is usually busy they don’t stop at every bus stop unless requested.  Also, be aware it is not specifically an ‘airport’ bus so there is no designated area onboard for luggage storage, which is important to know if you have lots of luggage or baby strollers/prams.  The main stops are:

Aéroport / Promenade = this is the Nice Airport stop

Gare de Biot = this is the stop for Biot by the sea (not Biot Village), Biot train station and Marineland, Kids Island, AntibesLand

Passerelle = Antibes (cross the railway overbridge for Antibes train station). IMPORTANT NOTE:  As at Monday 21 July 2014, the new bus interchange station at the Passerelle stop in Antibes is not open yet.

Passerelle bus stop in Antibes, still unopened at May 2014

Passerelle bus interchange station in Antibes, still unopened at 21 July 2014

In replacement of the Passerelle bus station, there are some temporary stops for the 200 bus if you are travelling to/from Antibes:

From Nice direction TO Antibes:  As a replacement for the Passerelle stop, there is a temporary stop on boulevard Général Vautrin. It is outside Hotel Le Collier, a small sign says ‘ Arrêt Provisoire’.  This is the stop you should get off at if you need to go to Antibes train station or port (then you can cross the road and the overbridge to the train station). Or the other stop which is the nearest to Antibes’ main square Place de  Gaulle and the old town is called ‘Dir. Chaudon’ which is on rue Directeur Chaudon.

From Antibes TO Nice direction:  There are 2 stops in Antibes for the 200 bus if you are leaving from Antibes in the Nice direction – the first one is named ‘Dugommier’ and is located outside the Sushi Shop/Monoprix on boulevard Dugommier, and the second one is a temporary stop on boulevard Général Vautrin.  Photos below:

First stop for 200 bus leaving Antibes heading in Nice direction (outside Sushi Shop/Monoprix). The designated 200 stop is the one directly outside Sushi Shop however sometimes the 200 bus has been known to stop outside the Monoprix so be warned it may stop at any of these bus stops along this stretch:

200 bus Antibes to Nice (bus departs outside Monoprix on blvd Dugommier)

200 bus Antibes to Nice (bus departs outside Sushi Shop/Monoprix on blvd Dugommier)

Second stop for 200 bus leaving Antibes heading in Nice direction (a temporary bus stop on boulevard Général Vautrin, it is near the overbridge, opposite Antibes Bike Center and IRC France (depannage informatique) a computer repair store).  There is no shelter at this bus stop for hot or adverse weather, or seating so bear this in mind:

Temporary stop for 200 bus Antibes to Nice, boulevard Général Vautrin

Temporary stop for 200 bus Antibes to Nice, boulevard Général Vautrin

Régence = this is the closest stop to Juan les Pins central. This stop is less than 10 minutes walk from Juan les Pins train station and seafront.

Square Nabonnand = central Golfe Juan

Gare Routière = this is Cannes main stop located near Hôtel de Ville and Cannes port. Less than 5 minutes walk to the Palais des Festivals / Croisette.

The 200 bus timetable is found here 200bus

  • Bus 200 night-bus:  Same route as the number 200 day bus, but this operates late nights on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and bank holidays only. Timetable here noctambus_200NiceCannes
  • Bus 210: This is the express service between Nice Airport and Cannes as it travels on the autoroute as opposed to the longer suburban bus 200 route via Juan les Pins, Antibes etc Timetable is here 210NiceAirportCannesExpress
  • Bus 250: Express service between Nice and Golfe Juan, including stops at Antibes and Juan les Pins. This bus has designated luggage storage, it is less crowded than bus 200 and has a faster journey time. Downside, more expensive.  Tip: I have used both buses and I would recommend this bus if you are traveling with lots of luggage, or children as bus 200 while cheaper is much busier and there is no designated luggage storage.  Timetable is here 250busExpressNiceAirportGolfeJuan

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Bus 250 to Antibes FROM Nice direction, get off at the stop in Antibes named ‘Chaudon’, on rue Directeur Chaudon.

Bus 250 leaving Antibes TO Nice direction, the 250 stop for Antibes is on boulevard Général Vautrin, it is near the overbridge, opposite Antibes Bike Center and IRC France (depannage informatique) a computer repair store.  The 250 does not go through Antibes centre it is only the 200 bus that leaves from outside the Sushi Shop/Monoprix in Antibes.

Temporary stop for 200 and 250 bus Antibes to Nice, boulevard Général Vautrin

Temporary stop for 200 and 250 bus Antibes to Nice, boulevard Général Vautrin

  • Bus 500: From Nice to Grasse including a stop at Nice Airport. The stop at Nice Airport is at Terminal 1, platform 4. Buy your ticket from the bus ticket office near to the stop. Please note, if you take more than one carry-on bag they may charge you €1 per extra bag, and oversize luggage (larger than 165cms, for example snowboards) €5 per item.  Timetable is here 500NiceGrasse

All timetables are subject to change.

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