Planning Cannes Film Festival 2016: The Essentials


The Cannes Film Festival is arguably one of the most iconic arts festivals in the world. The event for film stars and aficionados is both a celebration of visual art, and the most glamorous party you’ll ever be lucky enough to go to. Attracting avid film lovers, directors, actors, agents, publicists, and all the trappings of the film industry to the event every year, there’s nothing quite like the 12-day glamour and clamour that engulfs Cannes in May.


Now in its 69th year, the 2016 Festival is certain to be as chaotic, glamorous, and downright surprising as ever. So, if you’re planning to visit the most enduring cinema festival in the world, here is our list of the essentials you shouldn’t forget, and the dos and don’ts of planning your trip.



It may sound like the last thing you’d forget to pack, but if you’re travelling from within the EU there are 26 countries, known as the Schengen Area, that you don’t need a passport to travel between – and this includes France. Even if you can get into France without your passport, you will need a valid ID for almost everything else, as security is incredibly tight during the event, and a passport is the most recognisable proof of age and identity that you can carry with you.


European Health Insurance Card (EHIC):

Maybe you have travel insurance, and maybe you don’t (for the record, you should), but if you’re a member of the EU then you can apply for a free EHIC card through the UKEHIC here. The card will allow you to take advantage of state-provided healthcare in France, sometimes free of charge and sometimes at a discounted rate. If the worst happens and you get ill or have an accident while you’re away, you’ll certainly be glad you have it.


Once these two practicalities are taken care of, you’ll mostly be free to explore. So, with that in mind, here are our two big dos and don’ts to remember in Cannes:



Take advantage of the public screenings of various films featured in the festival. There’s a nightly screening on the beach, numerous parties, and a range of VIP packages you can buy to get you into some of the most exclusive parties of the year. Make the most of it, take a souvenir programme, and soak up the art and the celebrity in equal measure.



Leave your accommodation plans to the last minute. It may be 12 days of living in the lap of luxury for the people who visit with the film industry, but as the festival approaches it’s not just the luxury hotels and yachts that get snapped up. The festival may be huge, but Cannes isn’t, so book well in advance to avoid missing out altogether.

Above all, stay safe with a valid passport and EHIC card, be certain that you’re secure in the place you’re staying, and make the most of the unique and extravagant experience that will be Cannes Film Festival, 2016.

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The Author

Jim Napier

Jim Napier

Lover of movies and The Big Lebowski.