Not many regular cinema-goers seek out Cannes Film Festival accreditation. For starters, I don’t think it’s common knowledge that regular folk like you and me can actually attend this Hollywood-elite film festival.
Let me say this loud and clear for the cheap seats in the back: YOU CAN!!! Regular, average Joe film fans CAN watch films at the Cannes Film Festival.
And if I can attend Cannes Film Festival, you probably can too.
In this post, I’m giving you the low down on a few key pieces of information you need to know in order to successfully apply and receive Cannes Film Festival Accreditation. This will cover:
- What kind of accreditation badges are available to people who want to attend the Film Festival
- What the Cinephile accreditation is (I’m going to talk in detail about this kind of accreditation in this post)
- A guide through the Cinephile accreditation application
The types of Cannes Film Festival Accreditation
- Festival Accreditation – for French and Foreign Film Professionals (filmmakers, designers, etc.)
- Press Accreditation – for Journalists, Photographers and Media Technicians
- Film Market Accreditation – for Producers, Distributors, Studio Professionals, Film hotshots and bigwigs
- Cinephile Accreditation – for Film Students, Film Buff Associations and Educational Groups
There are also some other types of accreditation that you don’t necessarily have to apply for. For example, if you have a short film nominated for a prize, you’ll be given Short Film Corner Accreditation. There is also a Buyer and Producer’s Network badge but you need to prove you’ve recently bought a film for distribution or prove your company has had a film recently picked up for distribution.
See! It’s no wonder no one applies for Cannes Film Festival accreditation. They make it so complicated.
I applied and received Cinephile accreditation. And unless you happen to be Cate Blanchett or head up a Studio (and if you are, hey Cate! Big fan) it’s the one you will apply for.
I did think about applying for Press Accreditation for about 2 seconds. Yes, it would be lovely to have more access but I don’t have any Journalist credentials and let’s face it, this blog is hardly Total Film Magazine, is it?
4,000 cinephile passes are issued every festival, but 3,000 of these go to students and film fans living in the local area. So, out of the rest of France and the rest of the world, only 1,000 passes are available.
Applications for Cannes Film Festival Accreditation open on February 1st for the 2018 festival. Last year, they opened late on February 13th and stayed open for a month. I was granted accreditation about two weeks after I applied when applications were still open, so it’s worth applying ASAP.
Cinephile Accreditation Application
Before you apply for Cinephile Accreditation, read this official Cannes guide detailing the requirements.
You apply for Cinephile Accreditation by opening an account and submitting the documents required here.
The documentation to prepare:
- A scanned copy of your passport
- A clear picture of your beautiful face to upload for the badge
- A photocopy of your film club/association’s membership card
- A Motivational letter
- If you are a student – An official document from your University confirming that you are studying Film
The Cannes Film Festival requires a motivational letter from everyone who wants to apply for Cinephile accreditation. They just want you to make the extra effort to prove that you really want to attend and why they should let you. It’s a faff, yes, but they are just weeding out the people who couldn’t care less about films and just want to celeb spot.
My Motivational Letter covered one sheet of paper and was pretty informal. I detailed that I had received a BA (Hons) degree in Drama and Screen Studies. Then, I put a link through to my blog to provide evidence that I love film festivals. Every film festival I’ve ever been to was listed and I wrote that I was a member of the Large Association of Movie Blogs.
I went on to describe why I wanted to attend the 2017 Cannes Film Festival specifically. I noted a couple of films I was excited to see and that Pedro Almodóvar is king.
Film Club/Association Membership Card
This is where most film fans applying for Cinephile Accreditation might give up. A film club?! Urgh! And you’ve got to have a freakin’ membership card? C’mon now.
But there are ways to get around it. As soon as I saw the word ‘association’ I thought, ‘well, I’m a part of a film association! The Large Association of Movie Blogs! Perfect.’ But not only did I have to photocopy a non-existent membership card, I had to provide details of that association. Where was I going to get a membership card? Would I just have to make one myself and pretend?!
Luckily, the LAMB dedicates one blog post to every new member. So, I took a screenshot of my introductory blog post and uploaded it as a jpg to my application. Clearly, they were relaxed on what constitutes a ‘membership card.’
Other ideas: If you’re not part of a cinema club, I’ve thought of a good alternative that might work. You know Cinema chains like Odeon and Cineworld have limitless passes where you can pay a set fee every month and receive unlimited cinema passes? Well, if they give you a card and it has your name on it, that might be a good way to get around the system. I’m not saying this will definitely work because I haven’t tried it myself, but it might work.
And that’s it! You’ve successfully applied for Cannes Film Festival Accreditation!
It’s really that simple. You don’t have to pay a processing fee and you don’t get penalised if you are accepted but don’t end up going – so why not give it a shot? If you do you’ll have to let me know how you got on.
You don’t get emailed when the Cannes Film Festival Accreditation office have made their decision. You just have to log back into your account and if you find lots of information about travelling to Cannes, a map of the cinemas and such, you’re in! I had to email the Cannes Film Festival office just to double check as I didn’t think it was that obvious.
Those are my pearls of wisdom on how to successfully apply for Cannes Film Festival Accreditation as a cinephile. If you’re going, you’ll have to let me know in the comments below!