Cannes Film Festival 2016: Beyond the Red Carpet

The Cannes Film Festival, or Festival de Cannes, depending on how confident you are in your French, is regarded as one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. Since its inception in 1946, Cannes has singlehandedly helped launch the careers of some of the greatest actors and directors in film. Those who are lucky enough to receive the coveted palm leaf stamp have continued on to do fantastic things in the industry in France and around the world. The 2016 event, held from May 11-22, promises to be yet another exciting year in filmmaking as Cannes is once again on the cusp of all that’s innovative in this beloved medium.

This year’s Cannes Film Festival will see 21 directors vying for the festival’s top prize, the coveted Palm d’Or. Those filmmakers who have films in this year’s competition include Pedro Almodovar, Jim Jarmusch, Jeff Nichols and Park Chan-wook. Stars expected to walk the red carpet in support of their films include Charlize Theron, Juliette Binoche, Marion Cotillard, Elle Fanning and Javier Bardem.

Can’t miss films at Cannes this year include “The BFG,” Steven Spielberg’s much-anticipated adaptation of the beloved Roald Dahl book. “Loving” (Nichols) tells the emotional story of a interracial couple in 1965 Virginia who are jailed for getting married. Kristen Stewart appears in two films this year. First, she reunites with Jesse Eisenberg in “Café Society” (Woody Allen). Then, she shows a darker side in “Personal Shopper” (Oliver Assayas), which is being described as a ghost story set in the underworld of Paris. Actor and sometimes performance artist Shia LaBeouf stars in the road movie “American Honey” (Andrea Arnold). There’s much buzz around “Paterson” (Jarmusch) starring Adam Driver, despite there being little known about the film’s plot.

As the film festival prepares for another year of celebrities taking over their beautiful seaside town, Entertainment Voice has compiled a travel guide for those of you yearning to attend Cannes 2016.

Flying into Cannes will have you landing in the neighboring town of Nice, the sort of big sister to Cannes. From there, it’s an easy jaunt to the festival location on the Promenade de la Croisette, otherwise known as the center of it all. This road is the main boulevard alongside the beach and through the heart of Cannes. First things first when arriving in the South of France – food. Swing through the Forville Market for a taste of everything this region has to offer from fresh berries, baguettes, and wine and cheese aplenty. Forville has everything the discerning Francophile could ever want, all in one place. Speaking of baguettes, Panini Federal serves up some decadent paninis, though in the true Italian fashion. Italy’s border lies near Cannes so keep an eye out for seaside gelato like the seasonal aficionados at Amorino. A mouth-first trip through the French Riviera wouldn’t be complete without at least one Michelin-starred restaurant. Locals recommend Le Park 45 in Le Grand Hotel for exquisite Mediterranean fare by the sea.  

Cocktails and wine are certainly the way to go when arriving in Cannes with a serious case of jetlag. La Chunga is a good place to start as this classy spot offers a taste of French contemporary style. Morrison’s Pub is a local Irish/American bar featuring live music and football, that is soccer, on the tube. If you’re looking for a cocktail atmosphere under the stars check out Bâoli where neon-lit palm trees tower over a seductive pool. The Carlton Bar at the Carlton Hotel offers the total Cannes experience with a décor and ambiance meant to highlight the best of this historic seaside town. If you’re looking to have some cocktails for a good cause, the amfAR organization will be holding their 22nd annual Cinema Against AIDS in support of life-saving research programs to fight against the disease. This star-studded gala has raised more than $170 million to date.

As far as places to lay your head, the aforementioned InterContinental Carlton Cannes is an ideal choice for those looking to rest in the same place where Faye Dunaway reportedly ordered numerous gallons of goat’s milk for a bath. For the quiet and cozy types, we recommend the Villa Garbo. With an absolutely historic façade dating back to 1884, the Villa Garbo houses affordable four-star rooms alongside a contemporary charm. With design features that set them apart from other luxury settings, Hôtel le Canberra offers all that a guest could ever dream of. Hôtel Renoir, on the other hand, features a great location in a classy boutique setting, perfect for those seeking a simple elegance.

As you can see, Cannes has a lot to offer. When you’re finished screening the latest submission and chatting up your favorite celebrity, be sure to take some time to explore the town beyond the red carpet with its hidden side streets to its golden sand beaches.

Cannes Film Festival will take place from May 11-22 in Cannes, France. All information regarding passes, directions and services can be found here.