March 13, 2014

How to Survive the Cannes Short Film Corner Part 2: Preparing for Your Stay

Preparing yourself for any film festival can be a stressful situation, and for those of you getting ready to go to the Cannes Short Film Corner, the clock is ticking! If you're finding yourself lost trying to figure out how to start preparing for your stay, filmmaker Lit Kilpatrick is here to share a few lessons he learned from his trip last year. This is Part 2 of his 3-part series on how to survive the Cannes Short Film Corner.

This is a guest post by Lit Kilpatrick.

Find lodging in Cannes within walking distance of the Palais.

There are many overlapping reasons why it is important to stay in Cannes and not in one of the neighboring towns. All of the action during the day takes place at the enormous ocean-front complex known as the Palais, and all of the action at night takes place in the wider vicinity, including the cafes, hotels, and clubs along the Croisette, as well as on the luxury yachts floating just off shore.

People begin lining up for films at 7:30 am every morning, and parties frequently run until 4 or 5 am every night. In addition, a variety of dress codes are prudent (in many cases required) throughout the day and night, requiring costume changes. And the weather on any given day can vary from chilly, rainy, and windy, to sunny, hot, and humid -- all placing a premium on access to your wardrobe and shower -- in other words, your place of lodging.

Set up phone and internet access before arriving.

Cannes is huge, intense, and crazy; having constant and reliable access to evolving event information and your ever-growing number of Cannes contacts is important for staying in sync. At least one and probably two of the following are necessary: smart phone, iPad or iPad equivalent, and laptop. Setting up a calling, texting, and internet service plan for your devices before arrival is best, as you will not want to take a timeout to establish these once you’ve arrived and are swept up into the current.

Always be early, even before the festival and market begin.

You can very quickly begin missing out on the many opportunities that Cannes offers by showing up on time. Weeks before the festival begins, attendees begin snapping up hotels rooms and apartments, as well as registering for limited capacity SFC classes, panels, and networking events. During the festival, film screening reservations are often made and filled within minutes or even seconds of opening, and lines to attend non-registration-required events and screenings can form an hour or two beforehand. This is one of the major reasons why it is important to plan your approach ahead of time, and to continue to develop your plans while at the festival.

Enjoy yourself!

If you love film, the buzz you get from being at Cannes will alone make it an exciting experience -- at first. But there is so much happening that it can become exhausting and overwhelming if you don’t take some strategic time out to relax and enjoy it. As long as you come prepared, you will get a lot out of the experience!

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If you're interested in getting your film into the Cannes Short Film Corner this year, the deadline to register your short film is April 14, 2014. In case you missed it, check out Part 1 of Lit's 3-part SFC series, in which he shares all the basic information for the uninitiated.


Lit KilpatrickLit Kilpatrick is a Brooklyn-based writer, director, and producer. You can find his fledgling filmmaker website here. Check out the Facebook page for An Intimacy, the short film that he wrote and directed that appeared in the 2013 Cannes Short Film Corner.  An Intimacy was produced by, based on a story idea by, stars, and was submitted to Cannes by Sara Jewell.

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