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  • Writer's pictureDavid Viney

The Cannes Film Festival

Updated: Jun 24

Cannes is renowned as the world's most prestigious, glamorous, and occasionally controversial film festival. In a sense, it is the beginning of the movie calendar; which culminates in the Oscar nominations the following January. The ultimate Oscar winners are quite often premiered at Cannes.

The first film festival was launched just a day before the start of the Second World War (and was largely cancelled as a result). However, since restarting in 1946, it has become a must-attend spectacle for the great and good of the movie industry; centred since 1949 on the purpose-built Palais des Festivals on the seafront promenade of La Croisette:

Cannes Film Festival - Red Carpet
The Red Carpet © Bestentours (for Wikipedia)

The red carpet (at the front of the festival) has become famous for celebrity fashion, photographs, and controversy (usually largely concocted but always fun).

The 76th iteration of the Cannes Film Festival - 2023

The 76th annual Cannes Film Festival took place from 16 to 27 May 2023, with Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund serving as jury president. The 2023 poster featured Gallic cinema icon Catherine Deneuve; using a black and white Jack Garofalo photo from the film “La Chamade” (Heartbeat), directed by Alain Cavalier:

Official poster of the 76th Festival de Cannes
Official poster of the 76th Festival de Cannes

Shot in 1968 on Pampelonne beach, near Saint-Tropez, the film stars Deneuve as Lucile, who the festival describes as living a “worldly and superficial life, tinged with ease and a taste for luxury. Her heart beats frantically, hurriedly, passionately.”

The 2023 Movie Premieres

The festival opened with Jeanne du Barry directed by Maïwenn and closed with Pixar's feature film Elemental directed by Peter Sohn. The high-profile premieres included Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City, and James Mangold's Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. In a nice surprise - and at short notice - an honorary Palme d'Or was awarded to Harrison Ford before the Indiana Jones premiere; adding to a second given to Michael Douglas during the opening ceremony.

Harrison Ford receives an honorary Palme D'Or

The 2023 Palme d'Or

The Palme d'Or is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2023, the winner was french film Anatomy of a Fall; a "genre-bending courtroom procedural, marriage drama and whodunnit" popular with critics. Justine Triet became the third female director to achieve the prize, after Jane Campion (1993) & Julia Ducournau (2021).

The 2024 Cannes Film Festival

For the next festival, expected world premieres include George Miller's Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga; Clint Eastwood’s final film Juror No.2; Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis; Paolo Sorrentino’s Parthenope; Audrey Diwan’s Emmanuelle; Ali Abbasi's The Apprentice; Andrea Arnold’s Bird; and David Cronenberg’s The Shrouds.

Cannes Film Festival Highlights

A nice little official video from the Festival gives some of the highlights from the 76th Film Festival in 2023:

How to Get there

  • By train: The best way to get to the event. The Cannes Train Station is served by both high-speed TGV services and local TER trains (on the Marseille–Ventimiglia railway). It is very central within Cannes and gives easy access to the shopping streets and markets. Timetables here.

  • By bus: Express Bus 81 (from Cote d'Azur Express Buses) goes direct from Nice Airport Terminal 2 to Cannes train station (and takes 50 minutes). There is free public transport during the event, via PalmBus. The Palm Express A Bus connects Cannes Station with the Cineum. Find here the daytime hours and night hours.

  • By car: If you really must (but I warn you will be busy!) leave the A8 Autoroute at “La Provençale” (exit 41) signed 'Cannes La Bocca' or exit 42 signed 'Mougins / Cannes (center)' and follow signs for the centre of town.

  • More information on getting there (including maps) is available on the Offical Film Festival site here.



Haute Vue Villa

With stunning panoramic views, private pool, super-fast broadband and modern air-conditioning, Haute Vue is a large Holiday Rental with pool in Montauroux; just 40 minutes drive from the festival site. Sleeping 10/12 in 5/6 bedrooms, it is the perfect central base for a holiday in the South of France; close to the beautiful perched villages of Provence and in easy reach of the beaches and sights of the sparkling Côte d'Azur.

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