15 Marvelous Facts About Cannes

Cannes is a unique and wonderful city – chock full of surprises and twists and turns. In light of the Cannes Film Festival starting within the next couple of months, we decided to celebrate some of Canne’s wonderful history with you.

  • In 1947 the unfinished roof of the Palais des Festivals, built for use in the Cannes Film Festival, blew off during a storm.
  • Jane Campion is the only female director to have been awarded the Palme D’Or for her work on The Piano in 1993.
  • The 1968 festival was stopped in May of 1993 after directors, including Carlos Saura and Milos Forman, withdrew their films from the festival. Filmmaker Louis Malle also interrupted screenings at the Palais in solidarity with striking students and workers.
  • In 2001, there was a comedy introduced in Cannes, starring Greta Scacchi and Macimillian Schnell, that made fun of filmmakers trying to make deals during the festival.
Greta Scacchi

Greta Scacchi

  • The festival itself runs for 12 days, during which time it attracts 200,000 plus people and 4,000 journalists who track their every move.
  • The famed Brigitte Bardot got her start at Cannes when she appeared as an unknown star in a film’s debut there.
  • Starlet Simone Sylva lost her Miss Festival title in 1954 when she took off her top at the beach.
Symone Sylva

Symone Sylva

  • The Palme d’Or is a coveted award that is competed for by directors and producers. It’s an award presented for 20 of the best pictures.
  • $123,000 a week can get you a house to stay in during the festival with a pool and a gust house in the resort of Antibes.
  • Grace Kelly’s ascent into become Princess of Monaco started at Cannes when she was introduced to her future husband, Prince Rainer of Monaco, by a journalist.
  • The actor who plays Borat once turned up at the festival in a skimpy piece of clothing he called a “mankini”.
  • “Up” was the first animated 3D cartoon to have the privilege of opening the festival with its viewing.


  • In 2007, Chinese director Lou Ye caused quite a stir when he submitted his film for viewing without prior permission of Peking’s government censors.
  • Roger Ebert once branded Vincent Gallo’s drama “The Brown Bunny” the worst movie in the history of the Cannes Film Festival.
  • Lady Di and Prince Charles’ estranged relationship was first noticed by onlookers at the festival in 1987.

Cannes: Luxury and Film

cannesLocated in the French Riviera, Cannes is always filled with tourists and is the spot for the annual Cannes Film Festival. It’s not only famous for the film festival though, it’s also well known for its luxury shops, hotels, and gourmet restaurants. Cannes is considered a prominent social hub of Europe.

The attractive Mediterranean climate of Cannes features a full 12 hours of daylight during the summer months of May through September, allowing for tourists and locals to enjoy the beautiful water’s, beaches, shopping and scenery of the commune. Cannes is famous for its beaches, although a good bit of them are private. They cost around  €30 a day for use, but many tourists enjoy this option as they don’t have to deal with crowds and can relax and enjoy the beach life and scenery. There are public beaches as well, and while they are crowded, they have a vibrant social scene and fireworks are often set off at night.

Cannes also features 2 islands in the bay that are worth a visit: St.Honorat and Ste Marguerite. St.Honorat is the smaller of the two islands and has a beautiful monastery and ruined castle for visiting. You can also grab a bite to eat from the monks who sell monastery-made food and drinks.  Ste Marguerite also has a castle, and features bars and restaurants and shopping.

Off the islands, there’s always plenty to do. Visiting the Notre-Dame d’Esperance is a must, with its gothic church architecture and 14th century wood paneling, Fresco’s, and beautiful hilltop views. The Musee d’Art et d’Histoire de Provence is also located here, in which the everyday life of Provence is retraced from prehistoric times to present day in furniture, paintings, costumes, and more. Another popular attraction is the Tour du Masque, which is supposedly haunted by the mysterious figure that was once known as the ‘Man in the Mask’.

You’re never far off from a great dining place in Cannes, and can enjoy a fresh meal almost anywhere. Cannes doesn’t know the meaning of ‘bad food’. Robertos is a popular eatery, selling freshly made thin pizzas and pasta for remarkably cheap prices. Le Palme d’Or is another fantastic location, stylishly decorated and overlooking the Bay of Cannes, and featuring 2 Michelin stars. You can even grab some fabulous Mexican food at Sombraro X-Press.

There’s always a festival going on in Cannes, besides from the famous Cannes Film Festival. Here’s a list of festivals to keep an eye out for:

Cannes Film Festival – Usually held in May

Midem – Music trade show

MIPIM – World’s largest property trade show

Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival

Carnival on the Riviera – Street parade

The International Festival of Games – A celebration of bridge, belote, chess, draughts, tarot, and backgammon

The International Actors’ Performance Festival – Comedy sketches and more

Festival de la Plaisance – Boating enthusiast event

The International Luxury Travel Market – Luxury travel trade show

Le Festival d’Art Pyrotechnique – Fireworks competition held during the summer

Pan-African Film Festival – African films