The Cannes film festival: the ten essentials for enjoying (not sulking at) a professional cocktail

The Cannes Film Festival is the meeting point for film industry professionals and cinema lovers from around the world. It’s a unique opportunity to attend legendary parties. A whirlwind of screenings, dinners, parties, galas… Making a good impression, gathering useful contacts, and enjoying the moment is an art! Here are some tips and tricks for the chic and savvy festival-goers.


1) Adopt a Glamorous Look


During the Cannes Film Festival (FIF), a glamorous look is essential. In the evening, women wear very elegant dresses, preferably long. There’s no question of wearing the same outfit twice, so you must arrive in Cannes with a full wardrobe. Impeccable hairstyle, jewelry, lipstick, doe eyes… Even if it’s cold, forget about tights and coats. A shawl within reach is tolerated.

For men, a tuxedo is mandatory for attending many parties. In any case, a bow tie, even if optional, immediately sets the tone. You’re supposed to be among the Happy Few.


2) Never Go Out Without Your Pair of Flip-Flops


From one party to another, you’ll walk miles along the Croisette. In their evening clutch (make sure it’s big enough), women are too happy at 2 AM to swap their 15-centimeter high heels for a pair of foldable flip-flops (yes, they exist!). Make sure to charge your phone before going out and set it to “energy-saving” mode. But after exchanging photos, Instagram, and Snapchat, it might be that your phone is dead. So, it’s better to have a paper version of the bus and train schedules… unless you have your personal chauffeur waiting at the VIP exit.


3) Must Have: Water, Homeopathy, Essential Oil


Drinking plenty of water before going to a party can prevent headaches.

On-site, one drink is fine, two drinks, and it’s trouble! Of course, you can drink champagne glasses in a row… if you can sleep until 2 PM the next day. But generally, screenings and meetings follow one another during the day. It’s a race against time for ten days.

Homeopathy is a precious aid: Nux Vomica 5CH in five granules, before and after a party. Note that peppermint essential oil, applied to the temples, relieves migraines.


4) The Magic Number is Two

Well, it’s a bit of a killjoy advice. But let’s be honest, if you’re not a celebrity, a big client, a film industry professional, you have little chance of climbing the stairs, attending the Chopard party, or the Festival’s Closing Party. But without an invitation, you risk nothing by trying your luck to enter more “accessible” parties. The magic number is two. Preferably, a woman and a man, both stylish, matching, and complicit. The “beautiful people” are less easily turned away. Another option: you arrive alone, but never in groups of three. Forget about the gang of friends.


5) Be Among the First Guests


Contrary to popular belief, it’s better to arrive among the first guests. You can then hope to exchange a few words with the host. If you’re shy or don’t know anyone, you can more easily strike up a conversation with the small group of people already present. By 9 PM, you can escape… and enjoy another party. But don’t sulk your pleasure. If the party is in full swing and you’re having fun, you stay!


6) Move from One Room to Another, from the Terrace to the Garden


Don’t cling to the few people you know. It would be a shame to spend the entire evening with them! With a drink in hand, introduce yourself to those (or that person) isolated in their corner. It’s not okay to stand in front of the buffet, risking being seen as a freeloader. Move from one room to another, from the terrace to the garden. Anyway, in “classy” places, servers make several rounds with a tray in hand.


7) Make Introductions Properly


You’ll be thanked for making introductions. It remains a generous gesture, alas, not very widespread. And yet, it can change the atmosphere of the evening. Using just the first name is not always well received. Add the last name and the function which will provide a first topic of conversation.
Introduce a man to a woman, the youngest to the eldest unless the former holds a higher hierarchical rank.

Never use the curt and ugly “Pleased to meet you,” but prefer “Delighted to make your acquaintance.” Make an effort to speak in English for foreigners: “Nice to meet you”. “Why don’t we have some champagne?”


8) Get Your Interlocutor Talking


You’re approached by a stranger. Try to understand who is the person facing you. Ask questions: “What field are you in?” “What are you expecting from this festival this year?”… Then, introduce yourself, adapting your pitch to this new contact, of course. Your presentation will be more or less lengthy depending on your interest level. To not linger too long, present your business card, as you have other people to meet. It’s the name of the game. After all, you’re both there for that!


9) Escape the Bore of the Evening


The unemployed old actor rushes at the crowd. You exchange three words, then announce: “I’m going to get a glass of champagne and I’ll be back.” You never return. He reappears. You smile, then divert your gaze: “One of my partners has just arrived, I’m going to greet him.” Too bad if it’s a lie. The bore of the evening is intelligent; he’ll find another prey.


10) Know When to Leave


Past a certain hour, tongues loosen. Some let go and forget they’re there for professional reasons. The party then becomes the place of all dangers. It’s easy to get a reputation as a social drinker or a low-class flirt. It’s time to leave… unless you prefer to end up fully clothed in the pool. A bit of spontaneity doesn’t hurt, as long as the circumstances allow it. A “Kiss you goodbye” will deliciously end the evening with your new friends.




Featured photo: ©Vito Ansaldi

Corine Moriou a été Grand Reporter pour le groupe L’Express pendant 15 ans. Aujourd’hui, elle exerce son métier en tant que journaliste indépendante. Ses domaines de prédilection sont les sujets de société, la culture, les voyages, le bien-être. Jamais blasée, toujours prête !


Luxus Magazine recommends

Luxus Magazine N°8

Now available