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5 Tips for Visiting the Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes Film Festival is one of the artistic highlights of the year. Each spring, thousands of filmmakers gather in Cannes, France to show films that are screened in events called Competition, Out of Competition, at Un Certain Regard, Cinefondation and Special Screenings. It is an opportunity for film artists to showcase their films in front of the world’s producers and directors. However, thousands more attend just for the fun of it. Here are 5 tips for the traveller who plans on attending the Cannes International Film Festival to enjoy the sights and sounds and to rub elbows with the elite (and not-so-elite) in the film industry. This year’s festival is in full swing - here are our top 5 tips for visiting Cannes, any year:
 

1. Understand the Types of Screenings Available

The Cannes Film Festival has three basic categories of films, and each one has different requirements for entrance. This is decidedly not like seeing a show at the movie theatre in your hometown. The first type is public screenings that are usually free and no credentials are needed for entrance. The second screening type is the official screenings held by the festival, and credentials are required for entrance. The third type of screening is films offered by private movie companies who hope to sell the rights to their films. These screenings are mostly open to people who are most likely to be true film buyers.
 

2. Plan on Doing a Lot of Walking

The film festival is crowded, but mingling is the whole point of attending this event. Do not plan on hanging out in the Pavilions all day because that is not the way to get the full effect of this glorious venue. Even if there are no credentials in hand, there are streets to roam, restaurants and pubs to discover, people to meet and so much more. Be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes if the intent is to experience the full effect of the artsy festival. Cabs are hard to come by and the streets are packed with traffic.
 

3. Venture to the Outer Limits

Sometimes people need a break from the intense crowds and non-stop activity. It is possible to watch films up to 18 hours a day at the Cannes Film Festival. There are numerous options for taking a breather. For example, go to a Croisette beach restaurant and spend a little time floating on the water and pondering the mysteries of filmmaking. A stroll through Old Town in the Antibes is relaxing, and it is only a 20-minute drive away. If finding a cab is difficult, ask the hotel for help arranging a visit. These are just two suggestions, but there are many other ways to unwind. Take a deep breath and enjoy!
 

4. Plan Ahead for the Unexpected

Though food and public transportation area reasonable at the Cannes Film Festival, it is easy to end up in an expensive restaurant or drinking high-priced drinks. It may be necessary to visit the Monoprix to purchase groceries or items accidentally left at home. It would put a damper on the fun to be short of cash.
 

5. Currency Tips

British travellers need Euros at the festival. Some people advise not changing cash before the trip, but that is not particularly good advice. UK debit cards tend to have extremely high fees. Exchanging currency with ACE-FX before the trip will allow the traveller to buy Euros at various times when the spread is small. Planning ahead can also save the traveller money by allowing time to work with a currency converter that charges reasonable fees and has experience in exchange rates. In addition, knowing a currency converter can help during the trip, should additional cash be needed.

The Cannes International Film Festival is a major world-class event that brings together all types of people from independent filmmakers to casual visitors who want to have some fun. It is a great time to meet new people, see interesting cutting-edge films and experience the excitement of new art forms. The best advice a film attendee can get is this: Plan for the unexpected, and the rewards will be immense.
 

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