Cannes Film Festival is probably one of the most recognized and respected international film festivals in the world. It is also quite possibly the oldest too. The Festival was created in 1939 as a proposition of the French minister for Public Instruction and the Arts, Jean Zay, who wanted to introduce an international film event in France. Cannes was chosen for its “sunshine and enchanting setting.” However, the festival didn’t see the light until after the WWII. In 1945, the French Association for Artistic Action was asked once again to organize a festival to be held under the aegis of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of National Education and, from 1946 onwards, the newly founded National Cinema (CNC). And the countdown has begun, as the festival closes in on 65-years as an international film festival.
Cannes Film Festival is regarded as the “it” festival. It is an honor to have your film viewed and judged by the internationally selected film committee which usually includes film experts from around the world. The festival is also the “it” event to be seen at. From French celebrities, like Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu, to American A-listers, like Brad Pitt and Robert DeNiro, Cannes fills up with high glamour, endless champagne and topless beach beauties for two full weeks while the festival rolls on.
The festival prides itself in being the place that not only brings world recognition to little-known directors, actors and writers, but also reclaims prestige among film industry players who have either been forgotten or were not recognized in their lifetime. This is where Hollywood gets its Oscar picks for the best “International Film” category each year and this is how the theatres around the world get to pick and play films that otherwise wouldn’t have made it across their cultural border. The festival also presents us with new international talents. This is how Penelope Cruz, Sophie Marceau and Gael García Bernal made it across the Atlantic to land roles in American films.
Of course, this is not the only reason many watch or attend the festival. The festival also draws in celebrities from around the world, whether they are part of the selected films or not –how else would you explain Pamela Anderson’s annual attendance? This is because — besides film reviews, awards and critiques – Cannes is a Petri dish for fab parties, either on land or water. Many celebrities of all kinds — from fashion designers and models to actors and Royal families — and millionaires come to Cannes armored with private yachts, luxury suites and a massive entourage who help feed all those A-listers red caviar, foie gras and Dom Pérignon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dom_P%C3%A9rignon_(wine), the préstige cuvée of Moët & Chandon).
And if you ever wonder where French go when Cannes is invaded by Hollywood and guilt-free paparazzi – try Corsica, just east of Cannes. It is the place where Napoleon was born and raised and is still the home of the largest navy base in France. But one of the most interesting facts is that it’s the place where Napoleon was not only born but where he later escaped to hide from the shame of defeat.
If you’d ever query who to turn to for public relations support in the South of France, try Denny Davidson, or one of the other PR moguls in France. And if you are looking to host and/or throw a grande party for one of your high profile and demanding friends (or clients), go to Quintessentially, a global concierge service. With offices around the world, they become experts for unusual accommodations, five-star services, and special events. They take care of anything and everything — from a private helicopter to the beach to black caviar delivered to the terrace of your private suite. However, you can still get satisfaction from a simple bed & breakfast petite room in the suburbs of Cannes with a 5-Euro glass of Beaujolais.
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Festival de Cannes (Cannes Film Festival)
May 13 – 24, 2009