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The Cannes Film Festival - My personal experience

Updated: Aug 18, 2023


The Cannes Film Festival - My personal experience
Virginie In Provence in Cannes

For those who don't know me yet, my name is Virginie. When I was a child, I dreamed of becoming an actress or a singer. I could see myself walking up the steps of the Cannes Film Festival. In fact, I became a French immersion teacher, my passionate career after working 10 years in tourism. So, today I'm taking you to the Cannes Film Festival with me.


I. The Cannes Film Festival - More details


1. What is the Cannes Film Festival?


The Cannes Film Festival is one of the most prestigious film Festivals in the world. It was founded in 1946. The history of the Cannes Film Festival dates back to the end of World War II, when organizers of film Festivals in Europe began to think about creating an international event to promote European cinema. Since then, every year, hundreds of films are submitted for the official selection, but only around twenty are selected for the competition.


2. Where is the Cannes Film Festival taking place?


It always takes place in the city of the same name: Cannes. Cannes is a city located on the French Riviera. It is a city of over 70,000 inhabitants. It is famous for its Festival but also for its Croisette (seafront promenade) and its rich history.




3. What is the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival?


The Cannes Film Festival - My personal experience
Virginie In Provence with an Oscar

The Palme d'Or is the award given to the best film in the competition each year at the Cannes Film Festival. This high distinction was created in 1955. It is made by over 40 artisans in Switzerland.


4. What are the famous Red Steps at the Cannes Film Festival?


Do you know the expression "roll out the red carpet"?

This expression means that the person receives all honors upon their arrival. The color red refers to the importance of the event. It was the journalist Yves Mourousi who imported this concept to the Cannes Festival in 1961.

The Cannes Film Festival - My personal experience
Virginie In Provence and her daughter on the Red Steps of the Festival de Cannes

The climb up the Red Steps is iconic. It is the dream of all artists in the film industry to climb the steps in Cannes and be photographed there. Fashion designers and jewelers are also delighted to lend their outfits to the guests who parade there. There is no better advertising.


The Cannes Film Festival is a real accelerator of fame for all those who have the chance to walk these famous Red Steps.


5.When does the Cannes Film Festival take place?


The Cannes Film Festival takes place every year in May.


II. The Cannes Film Festival - My experience


We go to Cannes once a year as a family or as a couple, but never for the Cannes Film Festival. I'm interested in the films that are being shown. But I don't need to see the actors, actresses, or directors up close. Moreover, hotel prices are exorbitant during the Cannes Film Festival. It is also very difficult to park. I prefer the intimate Cannes during quieter periods. If you want to go there during the Cannes Film Festival, I really invite you to book your hotel and tickets in advance. Now, if this excursion interests you during your immersion, I would be happy to accompany you.


The Cannes Film Festival - My personal experience
Cannes beach

III. What happens at the Cannes Film Festival?


1. What are the most significant events of the Cannes Film Festival?


The Cannes Film Festival is also a moment of strong emotions. It can be the scene of scandal, as in 1988 with the screening of Martin Scorsese's "The Last Temptation of Christ", or of moving moments, as in 2015 with the ovation for Agnès Varda for her career.


2. What's happening at the Cannes Film Festival in 2023?


In 2023, it's:


  • the 76th edition of the Cannes Film Festival

  • the director Ruben Oslünd who will chair the jury of feature films this year.

  • the film "Jeanne du Barry" by director Maïwenn, which will be screened at the opening of the Cannes Film Festival: a director that I discovered with the film "Polisse" in 2011 (a French drama that I enjoyed a lot).

The Cannes Film Festival - My personal experience
Walk of fame - Cannes

3. What is the selection of films for the Cannes Film Festival in 2023?


The selection of films for the Cannes Film Festival was unveiled on April 13th. Here it is:


This is the official selection in competition for the Palme d'Or. There are other selections such as the Un Certain Regard selection, the Cannes Premières selection, or the out-of- competition films. There are others as well.


If you are interested, I invite you to discover the film selection in more detail in this video. If you need to, feel free to turn on the subtitles. Expect to see films that will take you on a journey and make you experience great emotions.


The Cannes Film Festival - My personal experience
Walk of fame - Cannes

IV. The vocabulary around the Cannes Film Festival

  • Cannes Film Festival: This is a world-renowned annual event that takes place in Cannes, France. Founded in 1946, it is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world, with a selection of renowned films and the presentation of the Palme d'Or, one of the highest honors in cinema.

  • Palme d'Or (Golden Palm): This is the ultimate award presented each year to the best film in the official competition of the Cannes Film Festival. This high distinction was created in 1955 and is considered one of the most prestigious awards in world cinema.

  • Red Steps (Marches Rouges): These are the famous stairs of the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, which are covered with a red carpet during the Cannes Film Festival. The Red Steps are an iconic symbol of the festival and represent a key moment for actors, directors, and other film professionals who climb them to present their films and participate in photo sessions.

  • Roll out the red carpet (Dérouler le tapis rouge): This expression is used to refer to the honor given to a particular person or event. When applied to the Cannes Film Festival, it refers to the opening ceremony and the climb up the Red Steps, where actors, directors, and other cinema personalities are welcomed with all the honors.

  • Official Competition (Compétition officielle): This is the selection of films competing for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Every year, a limited number of films are selected to participate in the Official Competition, which is considered one of the most important events in the film industry.

  • Official Selection (Sélection officielle): This refers to all the films chosen to be presented at the Cannes Film Festival, whether they are in competition or not. The Official Selection includes several categories, including films in competition, midnight screenings, special screenings, and out-of-competition screenings.

  • Croisette: This is a famous seaside promenade in Cannes, which runs along the beach and many luxury hotels, restaurants, and shops. The Croisette is one of the most famous places in the city and is considered one of the symbols of the glamour and prestige associated with the Cannes Film Festival.


If you come to my place for an immersion stay in Provence, I will make you discover the different aspects of Provence: the landscapes and the scents, but also the culture, the gastronomy... while helping you to improve your French. See you soon in Provence!

Virginie In Provence





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