It’s that time of year again. February is the month when accreditations open for the Cannes Film Festival! Including the Cinephile accreditation and 3 days in Cannes accreditation, for us lowly non-Film Professionals. When I last attended Cannes in 2017, there was only one choice of accreditation for me: Cinephile.
And it was an easy choice. I cannot recall ever producing a movie in my 26 (almost 27) years, nor have I successfully auditioned my way onto a feature film. But I do remember achieving a Drama and Screen Studies degree and I am quite an avid film buff (if I do say so myself). So the Cinephile pass was my only option!
But in 2018, Festival de Cannes released a new pass named ‘Three Days in Cannes’ which has continued every year since including this year, 2020. And on the surface, it seems like the requirements are similar (a demonstratable passion for cinema, etc.) but the perks and benefits are different. If you are struggling to decide between the Cinephile accreditation and 3 Days in Cannes accreditation, then hopefully this post will help! Let’s take a look at the pros and cons and which Cannes Film Festival pass is right for you…
Cinephile Pass vs 3 Days in Cannes Accreditation
1. Age Restrictions
Cinephile Accreditation: No specified age restrictions, simply ‘school-age’ and upwards.
Three Days in Cannes Accreditation: 18 to 28-year-olds only.
Let’s start off with a super easy difference between the two accreditations. Will you be over 28 years of age when the next Cannes Film Festival is scheduled? Then apologies to my over-the-hill, past-your-sell-by-date amigos, but you can stop reading right here. You’re only eligible for the Cinephile badge.
The Three Days in Cannes pass is also known as the ‘youth’ pass for this reason. So I will be known as ‘young’ by the powers that be at Festival de Cannes for another year, at least.
The Cinephile pass continues to be open for school groups, film students and film club/association members of all ages.
Read more of my Cinephile Badge guides here:
2. Date Restrictions
Cinephile Accreditation: No date restrictions, valid for the entire duration of the festival.
Three Days in Cannes Accreditation: First three days or last three days of the festival only.
It shouldn’t shock you that the ‘Three Days in Cannes’ pass is exactly what it says it is. Valid for three days of the festival. And when you apply, you select whether you want to apply for the first or last three days.
The Cinephile pass is valid for the whole duration of the film festival, just like any other film professional or press pass. So, if you’re not able to go to Cannes for the first or last three days, then obviously the Cinephile pass is the one to choose.
But why would someone choose 3 Days in Cannes accreditation over the Cinephile accreditation if the latter offers no date restrictions? Because of the perks, my fellow film fanatics, the perks…
3. Access Restrictions
Cinephile Accreditation: Cannes Cinéphiles Programme, limited access to other programmes only.
Three Days in Cannes Accreditation: Official Selection Programme and access to Palais des Festivals.
This is the main difference between both passes: the films you’re allowed to see and where you’re physically able to go.
There are lots of cinemas and films to watch outside of the Palais des Festivals (the main venue where big premieres happen and where the film professionals hang out between films). Most film professionals won’t look twice at those other cinemas and programmes in Cannes, as they’re more for Cinephile pass holders. Cinephile pass holders can only go inside the Palais des Festivals when they have an invitation for a film, which they pick up at the Cinephile tent. If you want to know more about what films are open to Cinephile pass holders, read my post on it here.
But the 3 Days in Cannes accreditation works more like a film professional pass. You are allowed inside the Palais des Festivals and can drink as much free Nespresso as you want. You can also request films in the Official Selection prior to the film festival (like a member of the press would), rather than just turning up on the day and seeing what’s left. Which is what the Cinephiles have to do!
4. Application Requirements
Cinephile Accreditation: School groups, film students, film or cinema club.
Three Days in Cannes Accreditation: Passion for cinema.
It might seem like Three Days in Cannes is the simplest one to apply for. And it is, but with a bit of out of the box thinking, it’s super easy to get a membership of an association related to film/culture. Read more about how to meet the requirements and apply for the Cinephile pass here.
For both accreditations, you’ll need to upload a photo of your passport and a letter of motivation. So you’ll need to actually have examples and be able to express evidence of this ‘passion for cinema’ that you have. It’s quite easy for me because I have this blog and I’m a member of the Large Association of Movie Blogs and a Film degree. But maybe you have an obscure favourite filmmaker or a nice story about how you got into film?
So, is Cinephile or 3 Days in Cannes Accreditation best for you?
I can’t personally say either way which one is better as I’ve only attended on the Cinephile pass. Though I’m applying for the 3 Days in Cannes accreditation this year. But if you’re happy with the dates and you’re 28 or under, I’d choose the Three Days in Cannes pass, just so you don’t miss the opportunity. Plus, if you’re not a professional, Cannes is expensive and you probably wouldn’t stay in Cannes for much longer than three days anyway.
If you really could not care less about getting into the Palais des Festivals and just want to see as many films as you can over a few days, then the Cinephile pass is probably better. But if you’re young and you want to get into the film industry or film press but haven’t quite made it there yet, then Three Days in Cannes is better professionally as you’re more likely to meet other industry people. And you still have plenty of opportunities to watch lots of films!
If I have 3 Days in Cannes Accreditation, is the first 3 or last 3 days better?
The main reason, I think, the first and last 3 days are the dates on offer is because they’re the quietest times of the festival. And it might not seem like there is any discernible difference between either of the dates, so which ones should you choose on your application?!
The first three days of the festival are much more likely to be attended by industry people. They’re fresh, energized, and they haven’t yet entered a zombified state of too many sleepless nights partying in the American Pavillion, kept lucid on a concoction of Berocca and Nescafe. And many f*ck off after one week anyway and don’t stay until the end. So if you have industry aspirations, choose the first three days in Cannes.
The last three days of the festival are quieter, but there is a special programme at the Les Arcades Cinemas just for Three Days in Cannes pass holders. And just for the last three days. So, if watching films is more important to you, then these are the dates to choose!
Which 3 days would I choose?
Personally, I think the last three days appeal to me more. Firstly, I’ve already been to the festival during the first three days, coincidentally, when I attended on the Cinephile pass. I like the idea of being able to wander around the Palais des Festivals and meet interesting people. But I’m not fussed about making any connections. Also, I think it’ll be easier to see the films I want to see if there are fewer people at the festival.
But we’ll see, eh?
And that’s my guide to whether the cinephile pass or 3 days in Cannes accreditation is right for you! Are you planning on visiting Cannes this year? Let me know in the comments below!
Read more of my Cannes Film Festival guides: