Cannes Film Festival: How to See Films Without a Badge

The films for the Cannes Film Festival were just announced and, to quote Vanity Fair, it looks like an all-out, art-house glamour year.  But if you’re not an industry insider and can’t get a badge, who cares?  Au contraire mon petit chou!  Here’s the Best of Nice Blog’s insider guide to how the non-accredited can see films at the Cannes Film Festival:

Free Movies on the Beach   Every night Cinema de la Plage screens an ‘Out of Competition’ or ‘Cannes Classic’ film on the beach across from the Majestic, and they even provide comfy beach chairs and blankets.  No tickets reqired this year, just line up, and if you’re too late for a chair, you can always throw down a towel or perch on the beach wall.  Bring a picnic and wine and it’s a lovely way to experience the Festival.

Free Films in the Critic’s Week Section   Anyone can get a free ticket to the Critic’s Week films if you can just find their unassuming ticket tent tucked away on the sidestreet next to the Miramar Hotel.  Free tickets are limited, and entry is not guaranteed (badged fesival-goers have priority) but the trick here is to just get in line at least an hour in advance.   To pass the time, first pop into the Miramar lobby first to stock up on the daily trade papers, or just watch the sidewalk parade which is very amusing in itself.

Buy Tickets   You can buy tickets to the Director’s Fortnight screenings for a very reasonable 7-8€.   The ticket booth is to the left of the Mariott (formerly the Palais Stephanie, and before that known as the Noga), and then line up on the sidestreet to the right of the hotel.  All the films are subtitled in English, and the first screening of each film features an intro and Q&A by the director and cast.  But even with a ticket, you need to line up early (and be sure you are in the right line: Billets).

Go to the Free ‘Off’ Festival  Cannes Cinephiles offers free screenings of all the Festival films (but not necessarily subtitled) at 3 venues around Cannes:  La Licorne in La Bocca, Studio 13 at MJC Picaud, and the Cinema Raimu in Ranguin.  These free screenings are open to anyone, not just to people with Cannes Cinephiles accreditation.

Hang out by the Red Carpet and Hope for the Best   If you dress nice (guys, this means tuxedo) and stand around the red carpet zone, you might get lucky and be given an extra ticket.  Just know that without a badge you can only get in with a blue ticket: the brown ones are a badge-only bummer.   UPDATE: see latest post for a happy update to this brown ticket rule.

Cannes Residents get Free Palme d’Or Screenings   The city offers 3 screenings the Monday after the Festival to Cannes residents; to get your free tickets, go to the Hotel de Ville the last Sunday morning with some ID and your lease, France Telecom or EDF bill to prove residency.

And for next year: Cannes Cinephile Accreditation  Plan ahead and join a local film appreciation group now (like the Cine Cafe in Nice), then you can apply for a local film-lover’s accreditation next January and get a coveted badge!

I’ll rerun this post with much more detail, links and maps a little closer to the Festival, but now you know:  Yes, you Cannes!  Here’s that list of films to start studying!

See Related Page:  How to do the Cannes Film Festival Without a Badge

RELATED POST:  Cannes Film Festival 2011 Opening Night:  Yes You Cannes!

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