Cannes is one of the best examples of Hollywood glamour meeting the chic Riviera lifestyle. Movie moguls and actors have long flocked to the shores of the Mediterranean, both on luxurious yacht vacations and for work. The Cannes International Film Festival manages to seamlessly combine the best of both worlds and bring an injection of silver screen style to France’s art scene. The most exciting event on the film calendar certainly more than lived up to expectations at its 69th edition on 11-22nd May, 2016.
The invitation-only festival is held annually at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrèss and films shown at the prestigious event are almost guaranteed global recognition. Each year juries assembled from the industry elite award a handful of coveted prizes to the very best films entered into their array of categories. This year’s big winner was I, Daniel Blake, which won the the Palme d’Or and established 79-year-old director Ken Loach as one of the most honoured directors in British history. Meanwhile, more critically acclaimed films like the universally loved German comedy Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade) and Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson failed to collect a single award.
Paul Verhoeven’s gripping but controversial thriller Elle was also completely overlooked despite actress Isabelle Huppert’s award-worthy performance. Woody Allen’s new movie Cafe Society generated a lot of press, but mainly due to the buzz of recent controversial allegations made against him by his children. Blake Lively was the most popular performer with paparazzi on the red carpet despite her pregnancy — or maybe because of it. Other belles of the ball included Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart and Kirsten Dunst who dazzled in a beautifully soft Gucci gown. Julia Roberts also made an appearance with George Clooney, after starring in Jodie Foster’s thriller Money Monster which opened the festival to lackluster reviews despite receiving a nearly four-minute standing ovation. Elsewhere, Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis were honoured at the “Women in Motion” series of talks that explore the position of women in the film industry, 25 years after the release of Thelma & Louise.
It was a good event for 27-year-old Canadian Xavier Dolan who won the Grand Prix and Ecumenical Jury Prize for It’s Only the End of the World, although critics were also angered and disappointed, citing it as his worst film. Sean Penn’s disaster drama The Last Face was also badly received by critics and heavily booed by audiences.
Outside the film screenings, the usual power deals were being made and networking opportunities were as abundant as the designer couture and jewellery on display. The atmosphere at the festival is electric and one of the best ways to enjoy it is on board a yacht moored close to the action. Yachts have become a vital component of the film festival experience with vessels stationed in prime berths along Albert Edouard, next to Palais de Festival. They are often chartered by international bankers, private financiers and film companies who pitch to these businessmen, so they provide the ideal venue to see and be seen. Microsoft’s billionaire co-founder is a regular at the Cannes Film Festival and threw a magnificent party attended by Mick Jagger, Mischa Barton, and Chloe Sevigny among other high profile guests.
However, the Cannes Film Festival is not just limited to business moguls and Hollywood’s elite. Anyone in the area can enjoy the bon vivant atmosphere and partake in the celebrations, particularly if they plan in advance and have a yacht. Yacht financing can be expensive, but investing in fractional boat ownership makes living this dream lifestyle a possibility for the discerning yachter. At SmartYacht, we offer luxury yacht ownership at a fraction of the cost by practising co-ownership. Fractional boat ownership can save buyers up to 75% on purchase and maintenance costs, while delivering all of the benefits of independent ownership. Best of all, it makes participating in the Cannes Film Festival atmosphere in VIP style a possibility for those who had never dreamed they could.