Every year, thousands of accredited individuals line the streets of the French Rivera for a glamorous two weeks of magical film entertainment. The Cinephile badge is available to “film enthusiasts and educational individualists”. This is the accreditation that I had for the duration of the festival, I however only stayed for a week, but let me tell you now, this is not an easy badge to manoeuvre.
Getting around the festival is easy, getting into the films is hard. This was something I expected before landing. Cinephile access is practically the lowest badge of the festival, and while it may seem extremely frustrating at times, it does have some perks. For one, every day around 8am you can line up outside the Cinephile office (Located between the harbour and the international village) the office opens at 9am, but I’d recommend getting there for 8am just to be on the safe side for tickets. This is where you’ll (Fingers crossed) be able to pick up some tickets for the day ahead. This can be anything from Cannes Classics to films in competition. Competition films are rare to see on the Cinephile badge, but I did get to see ‘The Dead Don’t Die‘ at the Grand Theatre Lumiere. The Grand Theatre Lumiere is the top notch cinema of Cannes. It is the iconic red steps that you will see all over the media. I say tickets, but in reality, I mean invitations. Yes, this is the snobby but glamorous name that Cannes uses for events, as a Cinephile, you will rarely see these but you can stand with “Invitations SVL” on a piece of paper, on the side where people *may* give you a spare. I didn’t think it would work until I saw several people bag them walking to dinner!
Alas, this doesn’t mean you won’t see any films. Cinephile badge holders have the chance to see their own films, in their own cinemas. This is the perk I mentioned above. Now some of these films might be a bit odd and, in some cases, plain boring, but we did see some real gems this way. I would really advice to do your research and pick your films as they often clash with screenings and the cinemas are not near each other. When you pick up your pass for Cinephile, you can grab a program for £4. These films, you can just turn up to. Like before, just get there early, aim for an hour if you really want to see it, otherwise thirty minutes is fine. For the tickets you pick up from the Cinephile office, if they are yellow it is a first come, first served basis and if they are blue you have a seat number. I had both of these, and the yellow ones were risky, just get in and start queuing these films are often available to other badge members so they are in high demand.
The whole of the Cannes film festival is basically a dominos effect. You may que for yellow ticketed film and not get in, but in that time, you’ve missed a Cinephile film. I’d say plan your day, but it’s almost impossible to do that before you see the morning tickets at the Cinephile office.
If this is sounding frustrating, don’t panic! It may sound crazy but it was fun and an adventure. There is however one last thing you can do if you are desperate to get into the competition films. The last-minute line is available to Cinephile badge holders at 8:30am, 4pm and 9pm. So, I took this as the 9am, 4pm and 10pm premieres as there wasn’t a 5pm premiere? This does NOT grantee you access to any of the films, as we found out by queuing for two hours only to turned away. The line is located to the left of the carpet next to the public viewing area.
Finally, lets talk about areas. There is so many areas of the festival you won’t be allowed in but the tickets you obtain from the office in the morning screen films in these areas. Use this to your advantage! Stay in these areas if you can and walk around the international village, pop in your country and say hi, then see the Palasis and the film markets. This is my clever Cannes hack!
So overall what does the Cannes Cinephile badge offer? Well the stupid answer would be not a lot, yet deep down with a bit of searching you can really find the benefits of this badge and see some amazing features. Yes, it can be extremely frustrating at times, but what film festival isn’t? Just remember your in Cannes! I was with my friend and we had such an amazing time despite being cross at the festival at times. When I was researching this trip, I couldn’t find much information on the Cinephile badge, so this is just for future people deciding to go! I will write a comparison to Venice, Berlin and Cannes because they are all so different, but for now,
Thanks for reading,