The Festival

its secrets and the best ways to enjoy it

Does the Festival make you dream? So do we, we have to admit it! Even though it was not born yesterday, the Festival continues to dazzle us. Anecdotes flourish and give birth to myths, stars meet and legends become part of history. Discover some of the Festival’s secrets and, above all, the best ways to get the most out of it – we tell you everything!

Save the date !

Cannes has been beating to the rhythm of the 7th art every year for over 75 years. The Festival is the most publicised event in the world after the Olympic Games.

In the world of cinema, the Cannes Festival Festival is the number one event and attracts no less than 30,000 passionate professionals and 5,000 journalists.

 78th edition from 13 to 24 may 2025.

The Festival

from yesterday to today

The Festival was born in 1938 from an idea by Philippe Erlanger. Aborted by the war, the project was taken up by Jean Zay and Albert Sarrault.

Thus, in a light post-war atmosphere, the first edition was held in September 1946.

The stars of the time came to discover the charms of Cannes and the French Riviera.

The ultimate award, symbolised by the famous Palme d’Or, was created in 1955. Chopard modernised it in 1997. Made of 24-carat gold and crystal, it is hand-cut, and each model is unique, but rest assured that the gold is mined in conditions that respect both people and the environment.

The Festival is intimately linked to Cannes and the Palais des Festivals, created and built especially for the event.

All the history of the Palais :

Backstage at the Festival

The little stories of the Festival are still our favourite. Here is a selection of anecdotes and unusual information that we find delightful:

The Festival creates legends

  • the Brigitte Bardot myth was born in 1956, immortalised by Roger Vadim in “Et Dieu créa la femme” screened that year at the Cannes Festival
  • Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier on the eve of the 1956 Festival opening. They had met the previous year during the Festival in 1955
  • Sophie Marceau became a myth in her turn in 2005 with her slip revealing her left breast in front of an audience of stunned photographers

Some star figures:

  • 24 steps… only, yes, but dressed in red carpet!
  • 7 000 m² of red carpet during the whole Festival, but don’t worry, it is recycled!
  • 145 kg is the weight of the official poster erected each year above the steps
  • 29 X 9 metres, the surface of the cinema screen inside the Théâtre Louis Lumière
  • 374 handprints of stars who came during the Festival make up the “Chemin des Étoiles” all around the Palais
  • 300 television channels present on site
Did you know

The Cannes Film Festival has only been called that since 2002. Before that date, it was called the International Film Festival.
The Festival has its own musical signature with the broadcasting, before each film screening, of an extract from Aquarium, one of the musical pieces from the Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns.

Our good plans

during the Festival

You don’t have your ticket to go up the steps? Don’t panic, we’ve come up with some good ideas to make the most of your stay during the Festival:

Watch out for the stars

Dreaming of a photo with Georges Clooney or an autograph from Jean Dujardin? Play paparazzi for a day by approaching the red carpet of the Palais des Festivals. Be patient and you never know, your dream will come true! If not, you will keep the memory of a very special experience, in the crazy atmosphere that precedes each step.

Stroll the Croisette

The Croisette is bustling with activity! It is not unusual to see models, influencers and other TV personalities. In evening gowns or extravagant outfits, posing in the middle of the crowd, these stars of a day make the show!

Make the wall with “Cannes fait le mur”

Every year at the time of the Festival, the stars are displayed in XXL size in the city. A spectacular exhibition scattered throughout the streets of Cannes. Take a walk and look up, it’s worth it.

Make yourself a canvas on the beach

Cult films and great classics are screened every evening during the Festival at nightfall on the Macé beach close to the Palais des Festivals, opposite the Majestic hotel. The setting is idyllic and the experience absolutely unforgettable.

Free access subject to availability.

Get your sesame!

We don’t promise anything, but we’ll give you a tip: every day in front of the Palais des Festivals, the most motivated people raise a sign in search of an invitation for the day’s screening… and often… it works!

It is important to know that professionals have a quota of tickets for each film. If they don’t use them, they risk having their invitations withdrawn for other screenings. So they prefer to give them away and make sure their seats are filled.

So try your luck!