Cannes Film Festival
How to do the Cannes Film Festival without a Badge
The mythic Cannes Film Festival is an industry only festival with badges and strict access.
However, there are free movies on the beach. Every night at 9 PM Cinema de la Plage, screens classic films on the beach next to the Palais and across from the Hotel Majestic. They even provide comfortable beach chairs and blankets. No tickets required just line up early and if you're late you can always throw down your own towel. Bring a picnic and wine and it's a lovely way to experience the festival, but be forewarned, not all beach films or subtitle.
Another good way is to hang out by the red carpet or blue carpet and hope for the best. Badge holders actually get penalized if they take tickets and then don't use them, so there are a lot of tickets that are given out by badge holders at the last minute to avoid the dreaded chicken penalty. If you dress nice and stand around a red carpet zone you might get lucky. One detail to be remembered is that without a badge you can get in with a blue ticket but you can make the much more plentiful brown ones work to, if you are accompanied by a badge holder or standing next to a guy who was a brown ticket and agrees to say "yeah she's with me."
Be aware that evening red carpet screenings there is an intense inspection by the fashion police, which means a tux for men. Critics Week is a rather avant-garde subsection of the Festival and is dedicated to discovering the next new crop of hot directors. All films are subtitle in English and there is a director question and answer after most screenings. Anyone can get a free ticket to the Critics Week films if you just find their unassuming ticket tent tucked away on a side street next to the Miramar Hotel at 35 rue Pasteur. Free tickets are limited but the trick is to get in line at least an hour in advance.
Buy tickets to Directors Fortnight Section. This is open to anyone in the ticket booth is to the left of the Marriott. Then line up on the side street to the right of the hotel. All films are subtitle in English and again there is a question answer by the director and cast. Be there early. Sometimes Ticketnetwork has promo tickets for VIPs in the industry. Be sure to get special promo codes for Ticketnetwork before you go on a website.
Cannes residents get free Palme díOr screenings. The city offers three screenings the Monday after the festival to the residents. Get your free tickets at the Hotel de Ville, and be sure to bring proof of residency.
One can always plan ahead and join a local film appreciation group well in advance and then apply for a free local film loverís accreditation and get a coveted badge.
There are many stargazing opportunities that include the red carpet or tapis rouge. Get there early and walk the Croisette. Make sure you dress up. After the competition films, hang out at the barrier near the alley behind the Palais to see the stars. For late-night try the Petite Majestic Bar behind the Grand Hotel. During the festival, entry to the major hotels is restricted to badge only. But sometimes if you look the part, have an attitude and insist that your meeting someone at the bar it can work. Just a warning the price of these drinks at these hotel bars are quite high.