“So much of who we are, is where we have been”
When I look back at this year and reminisce on some of my travel adventures, I’m reminded of how incredible it is to travel – the world is full of magical things to do, see and experience.
Early this year, I was afforded an opportunity to travel to the Cannes Film Festival. Honestly, attending the Festival was never high on my bucket list of travel adventures. However, when the opportunity presented itself, I welcomed it with open arms. (Who would refuse a working trip to the French Riviera.)
I landed at the Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport, the airport was swarming with paparazzi, waiting to catch a glimpse of celebrities. Took a transfer from the airport to Cannes – a 30m ride. I checked in at our hotel and went to the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès to collect our access for the film festival.
Walking along the La Croisette, there was definitely a buzz in the air – people basking in the sun enjoying the French Riviera, others patiently waiting at hotels to catch a glimpse of the A-listers and boats out at sea.
The Film Festival attracts film makers, producers, directors, actors and celebrities from all over the world. The festival is overwhelming but filled with tremendous opportunity.
By day, the festival is all business, meetings, networking and an opportunity to catch a film, attend a masterclass.
An overview on how the film festival is structured and works, its divided into 5 Section:
- In Competition
- These are films that are up for the films Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) – the most prestigious award, awarded by the competition jury to the best picture of the festival.
- Out of Competition
- These are films not competing for the top prize, but there for the publicity.
- Un Certain Regard
- Focusses on films from newer directors with creative storytelling techniques. Films that are usually challenging art films that aren’t quite up to competing in the mainstream.
- Film by students at film schools around the world.
- The Marché du Film (The Market)
- The meeting place for buyers, distributors, producers and industry professionals.
- This area is very impressive, I was blown away by the sheer volumes of films being made and produced all over the world.
Over and above these sections, there are Special Screenings, Midnight Screenings and Masterclasses – given in public by world-renowned filmmakers. A must attend for anyone in film and tv.
By night this resort town become a party haven, it’s all about attending the ‘right’ events and parties. Thank goodness the people I was travelling with were not FOMO type people. Our evenings were spent having dinners and great conversations.
We did however have one amazing dinner experience at La Palme d’Or at Hotel Martinez. Where we were taken on a culinary journey, the chef creates a wonderful cuisine focusing on local Mediterranean foods. From the entrée to the dessert, everything was quite good.
The Film Festival is truly a unique but daunting experience, it requires proper planning and preparation. There’s a lot I took away from the festival, from just getting a sense of what it entails to put together an event of that magnitude. Every element has its own unique experience, there’s definitely something for everyone.
It truly was an extraordinary opportunity and a privilege to travel to the Cannes Film Festival and experience a bit of the French Riviera.