Actors: 7 tips for attending the Cannes Film Festival

Tips for actors attending Cannes

Actress Dani Masterson

Should I go or not? This question bugs many actors and screenwriters every time time the new dates of the Cannes Film festival are announced. Rather than pontificate, I decided to ask actress Dani Masterson for a few tips about how actors can get the most out of a trip to Cannes.

1. Before Actors, book your accommodation as early as possible. I usually book mine in August/September before the festival. If you leave it late the prices will rise. If you leave it too late you will be staying outside Cannes. You don’t want to be wasting your time in traffic.

2. Packing Be prepared for every occasion – meetings, a beach party or red carpet. Ladies you must wear heels on the red carpet and men must be in a tux. I also believe a suit with bow tie is also acceptable. Also remember no selfies on the red carpet. It does rain in Cannes some years during the festival so bring a brolly! Business cards are an essential. You will leave Cannes with tons of new contacts but hold off for a week or two after the festival to contact them. People are inundated with emails during the festival. Juice banks for phones are also great to have if your on the go the whole day.

3. Travel If you are flying into Nice, I personally think the train is the best transport during the daytime and an uber if at night. The train travels along the coast with stunning views. An uber is about €60 and will get you to exactly where you want to go. There’s also ubercopter if you want to splash the cash.

4. POA  I try to plan my meetings and events before I go. Things do change so quickly during the festival so have a schedule as a rough guide. Find out film production companies and casting directors attending from your area, send them a quick email with your work and let them know you will be in Cannes. Throughout the years I have also seen some acclaimed casting directors hold workshops in Cannes.

5. Network Once you have your meetings sorted, enjoy the parties and network. I find the International Village is the best place to network during the day. A lot of pavilions have talks taking place during the day. It’s a great time to mingle after these talks. Being Irish, I very much enjoy going to the Irish Film Board Pavilion however I always make an effort to visit others. Don’t limit yourself to just finding work in your own country.

6. Screenings Accreditation usually opens in February. IMDB credits are vital when applying. If you are not approved accreditation- fear not! There are numerous ways to get your film fix. You may be offered last minute tickets by the Palais. It is in the interest of attendees to use all tickets, otherwise they may be affected when applying for others. Cinema de la Plage is free for all. Watch a film with sand in your toes and stars twinkling above. Also anyone can get Critics Week tickets.

7. Bon Voyage Most importantly, enjoy it! Don’t worry too much about invites, what to wear, money… There are tons of actors at Cannes you can learn from, create with and have a bit of craic!  I find that every year I go, I learn some more tips and tricks. Be open, go after opportunities and you will leave feeling more motivated than ever.  Bon voyage!

For more about Dani, check the Dani Masterson website. Casting directors can check her IMDB entry.