Cannes Film Festival: How to see films with a Cinephile Badge

Cannes Film Festival: How to see films with a Cinephile Badge | What films and at which cinemas can Cannes Cinephile Badge holders watch films at Cannes Film Festival? All the information you need to watch films at Cannes Film Festival as a Cinephile Badge holder! | almostginger.com

So, you’ve just found out you have a Cinephile Badge/Accreditation for the upcoming Cannes Film Festival. That’s amazing! You’re going to have such a great time.

But then you start doing some research – wait, so what films in which cinemas am I allowed to see? Do I need tickets for these screenings? Am I not allowed to see any films screening in competition because of my lowly cinephile badge status?

Argh! This is so confusing.

Heck yeah, it’s confusing. My lightbulb moment only hit me once I’d already spent a day at the festival and could finally answer these questions. And believe me, I did HOURS of research.

I want to make sure you have more than a vague idea of how Cannes Film Festival works before you’ve wasted half of your time scratching your head.

How to Watch Films at Cannes Film Festival with a Cinephile Badge

Cannes Film Festival: How to see films with a Cinephile Badge | What films and at which cinemas can Cannes Cinephile Badge holders watch films at Cannes Film Festival? All the information you need to watch films at Cannes Film Festival as a Cinephile Badge holder! | almostginger.com

How this guide works

I’m writing a number of guides to help you wrap your brain around the veil of mystery that is the Cannes Film Festival. So, if this guide doesn’t answer all of your questions then DON’T PANIC. The information will be coming soon.

Firstly in this guide, I’ve set out all of the different programmes at Cannes Film Festival within their individual selections. For a while, I thought the terms ‘in competition’ and ‘official selection’ were interchangeable terms, but they definitely aren’t! So, this guide will firstly help you understand what the different programmes are.

Secondly, I’ve outlined which cinemas screen which programmes. Annoyingly, some official guides refer to the Palais des Festivals like it’s one cinema with one programme and one set of rules… oh no, sweetie. It’s not like that at all.

For official information straight from the source, you can always head to the Cannes Cinephile website.

And finally, I will outline which cinemas and screenings require tickets/invitations and which don’t. Again, all this information is for Cinephile badge holders only. Are you scared? Good, then I’ll begin.

Cannes Film Festival: How to see films with a Cinephile Badge | What films and at which cinemas can Cannes Cinephile Badge holders watch films at Cannes Film Festival? All the information you need to watch films at Cannes Film Festival as a Cinephile Badge holder! | almostginger.com

The tails, the ‘deets’, the 411…

Tickets/Invitations: You will need an invitation to every screening you wish to attend with only a mere handful of exceptions.

Where to get tickets: Never pay for a ticket. Tickets are free. Sorry, Invitations are free. Urgh, yes those words actually are interchangeable. Except one sounds douchebag and one doesn’t.

Brochures and timetables: The Palais des Festivals schedule is sent to every badge holder via email. It is definitely subject to change before the film festival begins so be aware of one or two surprises. The Cannes Cinephile brochure is €3 from the Cannes Cinephile office and is written entirely in French but it’s worth getting. It comes with an easy-to-read timetable which you’ll definitely require. You’ll just have to suffer through Google Translate.

There are two places where Cinephile badge holders can obtain tickets: from the Cannes Cinephile office or from a kind stranger with tickets to spare. 

This isn’t a fairytale where people just give valuable stuff away for free, it’s legit a thing that happens. If a person has scored an invitation through the powers that be, they must use that invitation or get penalised so they always give it away.

Cannes Film Festival: How to see films with a Cinephile Badge | What films and at which cinemas can Cannes Cinephile Badge holders watch films at Cannes Film Festival? All the information you need to watch films at Cannes Film Festival as a Cinephile Badge holder! | almostginger.com

Cannes Film Festival: How to see films with a Cinephile Badge | What films and at which cinemas can Cannes Cinephile Badge holders watch films at Cannes Film Festival? All the information you need to watch films at Cannes Film Festival as a Cinephile Badge holder! | almostginger.com
The Cannes Cinephile Office/Tent/Place

The Programmes at the Cannes Film Festival

This is literally just a list of every programme at Cannes Film Festival and how they are split up into selections. The cinemas might not screen every programme in a selection.

You can’t go around saying, ‘oh yeah, the Palais des Festivals screens all the films in the Official Selection’ because this is HIGHLY INCORRECT and NOT HELPFUL. I’m looking at you, Cannes Film Festival Office *glare*.

The “Official Selection”

  • In Competition
  • Hors Compétition/Out of Competition
  • Un Certain Regard
  • Séance de Minuit/Midnight Session
  • Séance Spéciale/Special Session
  • Courts Métrages/Short Films
  • Cannes Classics

The “Parallel Selections”

  • Quinzaine des Réalisateurs/Director’s Fortnight
  • Semaine de la Critique/Critic’s Week
  • ACID (Association for Independent Cinema for its Diffusion)
  • CCAS: Vision Sociales/Social Visions

The “International Selections”

  • Ecrans Juniors/Junior Screenings
  • Cinéma des Antipodes

EVERY film screened at the festival falls is a part of one of the programmes.

Every Cinema at the Cannes Film Festival

You are allowed to exist in every single one of these theatres under certain conditions. Don’t think you can’t enter the Grand Théâtre Lumière because you are unworthy, you are worthy. You just need to have an invitation and be dressed up to the nines to be worthy.

Palais des Festivals

Accessible from outside the Palais des Festivals

  • Grand Théâtre Lumière – Screens films in the “Official Selection” which are in competition, out of competition and special sessions.

You will need either a blue or yellow ticket for films screening at this theatre. Invitations might be available at the Cannes Cinephile office first thing in the morning for films screening at the Grand Théâtre Lumière… assuming hell has frozen over.

Alternatively, between 5:30pm and 6:30pm every evening, eager beavers line up outside the Cannes Cinephile office in the hopes of obtaining a ticket for whichever In Competition film is screening late that evening at the Grand Théâtre Lumière. 

Another way to get in the Grand Théâtre Lumière is to try your luck every evening at the ‘last minute access’ line for the films screened around 5pm, 10:30pm and midnight.

Cannes Film Festival: How to see films with a Cinephile Badge | What films and at which cinemas can Cannes Cinephile Badge holders watch films at Cannes Film Festival? All the information you need to watch films at Cannes Film Festival as a Cinephile Badge holder! | almostginger.com

  • Salle/Théâtre Debussy – Screens films in the “Official Selection” which are out of competition, special sessions, Cannes Classics, Un Certain Regard and short films.

You can get tickets for films screened at this theatre at the Cannes Cinephile office, just like every other theatre.

Alternatively, most screenings at the Debussy have three different lines: one if you have an invitation, one for press badges without invitations and one for cinephiles without invitations. So if there is any availability left, you can try your luck there. For some screenings, like ones early in the morning, the lines are just split into ‘with invitations’ and ‘without invitations.’

Cannes Film Festival: How to see films with a Cinephile Badge | What films and at which cinemas can Cannes Cinephile Badge holders watch films at Cannes Film Festival? All the information you need to watch films at Cannes Film Festival as a Cinephile Badge holder! | almostginger.com

Accessible from inside the Palais des Festivals

  • Salle/Théâtre Buñuel – Screens films in the “Official Selection” which are in competition (the next day), Cannes Classics, out of competition, special sessions and short films. Also screens films in the “Parallel Selection” which are Critic’s Week selections.

You will need an invitation for all screenings at this theatre which are available from (yup, you guessed it!) the Cannes Cinephile office subject to availability.

  • Salle Du Soixantième – Screens films in the “Official Selection” which are in competition (the next day), out of competition and special sessions.

You will need an invitation for all screenings at this theatre which are available from the Cannes Cinephile office subject to availability.

  • Salle Bazin – Screens films in the “Official Selection” which are in competition (the next day), out of competition, Cannes Classics and special sessions.

You will need an invitation for all screenings at this theatre which are available from the Cannes Cinephile office subject to availability.

Cannes Film Festival: How to see films with a Cinephile Badge | What films and at which cinemas can Cannes Cinephile Badge holders watch films at Cannes Film Festival? All the information you need to watch films at Cannes Film Festival as a Cinephile Badge holder! | almostginger.com
Outside the Palais des Festivals
Cannes Film Festival: How to see films with a Cinephile Badge | What films and at which cinemas can Cannes Cinephile Badge holders watch films at Cannes Film Festival? All the information you need to watch films at Cannes Film Festival as a Cinephile Badge holder! | almostginger.com
Inside the Palais des Festivals

Separate cinemas

  • Théâtre Croisette/JW Marriott – Screens films in the “Parallel Selection” which are in the Director’s Fortnight programme.

You don’t need an invitation to attend screenings at this theatre, but the Cinephile badge is non-priority, so your admission is subject to availability.

  • Espace/Salle Miramar – Screens films in the “Parallel Selection” which are in the Critic’s Week programme.

Again, similar to the theatre above. However, Cannes Film Festival recommends that Cinephile Badge holders arrive at the theatre no later than one hour before the screening’s start time.

  • Les Arcades – Screens films in the “Parallel Selection” which are in the ACID programme.

You will need an invitation for all screenings at this theatre which are available from the Cannes Cinephile office subject to availability.

  • Olympia
  • Gray D’Albion
  • Cinéma de la Plage/Cinema on the Beach – Screens films in the “Offical Selection” which are in the Cannes Classics programme.

This final programme is an anomaly to the rest of the film festival. One film is screened on the beach every night and anyone is welcome! You just have to turn up early to snag a deckchair. Read about my experience attending the Cannes Film Festival in 2017 here.

Cannes Film Festival: How to see films with a Cinephile Badge | What films and at which cinemas can Cannes Cinephile Badge holders watch films at Cannes Film Festival? All the information you need to watch films at Cannes Film Festival as a Cinephile Badge holder! | almostginger.com

Cannes Film Festival: How to see films with a Cinephile Badge | What films and at which cinemas can Cannes Cinephile Badge holders watch films at Cannes Film Festival? All the information you need to watch films at Cannes Film Festival as a Cinephile Badge holder! | almostginger.com

Cannes Cinephile Cinemas

These are the cinemas which will give Cinephile badge holders priority. Woohoo, rejoice! Not that Festival Badge holders would be caught dead outside of the Palais des Festivals anyway.

You do not need invitations to any of the screenings at any of these theatres (there might be the odd one). Your admittance to any of the theatres is purely dependent on how many Cinephile badge holders are in front of you in the queue. Of course, some screenings will be much more popular than others.

  • La Licorne – Screens selected films in the “Official Selection” which are in competition, out of competition, special sessions and Un Certain Regard. Also screens films in the “Parallel Selection” which are Director’s Fortnight, Critic’s Week and Social Visions. Also screens films in the “International Selection” which are in the Cinéma des Antipodes programme.
  • Le Raimu – Screens films in the “Parallel Selection” which are Director’s Fortnight, Critic’s Week, ACID and Social Visions. Also screens films in the “International Selections” which are Junior Screens and Cinéma des Antipodes.
  • Studio 13 – Screens films in the “Parallel Selection” which are Director’s Fortnight, Critic’s Week, ACID and Social Visions. Also screens films in the “International Selections” which are Junior Screens and Cinéma des Antipodes.
  • Alexandre III – Screens films in the “Parallel Selection” which are Director’s Fortnight, Critic’s Week and ACID. Also screens films in the “International Selections” which are Junior Screens and Cinéma des Antipodes.

Cannes Film Festival: How to see films with a Cinephile Badge | What films and at which cinemas can Cannes Cinephile Badge holders watch films at Cannes Film Festival? All the information you need to watch films at Cannes Film Festival as a Cinephile Badge holder! | almostginger.com

That’s all the information a Cinephile Badge holder could want to know about what programme of films you can watch in which cinema at the Cannes Film Festival. 


Read next:

The Ultimate Guide to Cannes Film Festival: EVERYTHING First Timer’s need to know

How to apply for Cannes Film Festival Accreditation if you’re a regular cinephile

Cannes Film Festival: How to see films without a Badge/Accreditation


Cannes Film Festival: How to see films with a Cinephile Badge | What films and at which cinemas can Cannes Cinephile Badge holders watch films at Cannes Film Festival? All the information you need to watch films at Cannes Film Festival as a Cinephile Badge holder! | almostginger.com

21 thoughts on “Cannes Film Festival: How to see films with a Cinephile Badge

  1. Joseph says:

    Hi, my name is Joseph and my wife and I just received our cinephile admissions. Thank you for writing this.

  2. Ceren says:

    Hey Rebecca! I was just accepted for Cinephile Accreditation so I’m trying hard to make my plan and budget, because it is very difficult to afford I consider staying for 4-5 days but I really wonder if there any chance of us to get into Award Ceremony or not. Do you have any idea about that?

    • Rebecca says:

      Hey Ceren! Congratulations for being accepted 🙂 hmm I don’t have any information about getting into the Award Ceremony, I knew I was going to Cannes for the first weekend so I didn’t look into it. However, I would say you would have more luck getting into a Gala screening than you would the Award Ceremony on Cinephile accreditation. If you imagine all of the actors and crews going for all of the film’s at the festival, and all of the people on top level badges will be fighting for places for just one ceremony, so competition would already be tough for those people. Sorry to be a downer! But hey, no harm in looking into it 🙂

  3. Nicole says:

    hey Rebecca, so I am going to Cannes this year with Cinephile badge as well. I have a couple of questions!!!!please help!!! so you said that tickets (invitations) can also be recieved at Cinephiles office in the morning? if so, the webiste says that they open at 9 am, do I have to be there in advance to make sure I get my invitation to gala screening at the Grand Théâtre Lumière? I just came back from the Berlinale and I had to queue up starting from 6 am every day, but eventually got tickets to all Gala screenings. it’s just you know, if I am going to Cannes, I would really love to attend at least one Gala screening (already preparing dresses). and, do the Cinephile office gives invitation for the same day or like at the Berlinale for the next day?? Also, I will be staying in Antibes, which means I will need to carry lots of stuff with me. Is there a locker there where I can leave all my stuff and turn into Cinderella for the gala acreenings? Sorry for a lot of questions, it’s just I want to make the most out of my “very expensive” stay in Cannes.

    • Rebecca says:

      Hey Nicole! No worries at all, I like helping out fellow Cannes newbies!
      Okay, so first things first: It’s going to be about 100% harder to get tickets/invitations to Gala screenings for films both in and out of competition at Cannes than it is at Berlinale. But there are definitely ways, especially if you’re determined! Firstly, a lot of people hang outside the Palais Des Festivals all day with small signs saying things like ‘One Invitation to Okja gala please!” in the hopes of being offered a spare invitation from someone looking to give one away. Secondly, if there are ANY tickets available for the gala screenings in the Grand Lumière, there is a queue you can join outside of the Cannes Cinephile Office between 17:30-18:30 just after the Cannes Cinephile tent closes, but of course people start queueing before this time. Thirdly, there is a ‘last-minute access’ line outside the Grand Lumière theatre for the midnight and early evening gala screenings. I guess you could try heading to the Cannes Cinephile office just as soon as it opens to see if there are any gala tickets there but I think this is unlikely. And tickets are only available for the same day, they are not available one day in advance.
      There are other, easier, ways to see films in competition that aren’t gala screenings. For example, the films premiering that day in Cannes are usually screened super early (8:30am) which means you are much more likely to be given a ticket for these screenings. Also, La Licorne, one of the Cannes Cinephile cinemas always screens the in competition films the day after their premiere at the Grand Lumière.
      In terms of lockers, the only place I can think of that might have lockers is the train station, maybe? I’m sorry I can’t think of anywhere else that might have storage! Good luck Nicole 🙂

  4. Anna says:

    Yes, I went to VFF last year also with a student accreditation and it was amazing! I attended the premieres of Three Billboards and The Shape of Water that were rocking the Oscars. It was great–the atmosphere and everything. And I also liked that unike Berlin, there were not tooo many people and all the theatres were within 1 min walk. The student accreditation costs only 40 Eur — comparing to 80 in Berlin! and you could use transportation with it for free!! Anyway, You should def do it this year!!!! I might go back as well!!!

    • Rebecca says:

      Oh that does sound amazing! I did like Berlin and didn’t mind so much that the theatres were far away but it would be so nice to experience a different festival!

  5. Anna says:

    Dear Rebecca, I applied for the Cannes Cinephile and after reading that some people have been accepted alreadz, I am a little worried that I am not… How long did you have to wait??? The deadline was yesterday. Perhaps the problem why I am not yet accepted is bacause I am from Germany? I have heard they give priority to French cinephiles.

    • Rebecca says:

      Hi Anna! 🙂 Have you checked the portal? They don’t email you or anything so I would keep checking your account, they should tell you there if you’ve been successful or unsuccessful. I applied as soon as the applications opened and was accepted in about two weeks, even though I’m not French. Sorry I can’t be more helpful! Don’t give up hope yet though, there could some adminstration delays that we don’t know about 🙂

      • Anna says:

        Thanks a lot for a quick reply, Rebecca. My portal is still showing nothing. I applied last week when I was at the Berlinale, so maybe it will take some time for them to reply, coz I really wanna go especially now after reading your blog)

        • Rebecca says:

          Oh if you only applied last week then I wouldn’t worry yet! I bet they’ve had lots of people trying to apply before the deadline so I think you still have a good chance 🙂 I loved Berlinale! I’ve been twice and I definitely want to go back again 🙂

          • Anna says:

            Dear Rebecca, thanks for comforting me. Today, i got the confirmation!!! I am super excited! Now time to make all the trip and accomodaton plans! Exciting!!!

            • Rebecca says:

              Thanks fantastic! Well done! I hope you have a great time 🙂 I have just one more guide left to write but if you have any questions at all or any ideas for posts you think I should write about Cannes that would be helpful then just get in touch 🙂 it would be great to write blog posts that people who have actually visited my blog would find helpful!

              • Anna says:

                Thanks Rebecca. your blogs are veeery useful. At this point I have no questions about the Festival itself, as my only issue is how to afford living 11 days In Cannes 🙂 In Berlin everything is sooo cheap including hostels nearby the Berlinale Palast (I paid only 15Euros a night!!!!), even in Venice, I could find sth more or less affordable, with Cannes it’s a different story…… I am considering of going perhaps for 6-7 days only.. If you could give some suggestions on the cheap housing–that would be great! coz I’m kind of desperate now.

                • Rebecca says:

                  Oh it’s crazy expensive! I stayed in an AirBnB about a 20 minute walk to the Croisette, I think I linked to it in my “24 hours in Cannes” blog post and I only stayed 4 days, it was the cheapest available accommodation I could find. Berlin is amazing for really nice, cheap hostels! Did you go to Venice film festival or just for a trip? 🙂 Venice is definitely on my wishlist.

  6. Andréa says:

    Thanks you so much for your quick answer, it is very nice to hear that all competition titles eventually get screened at La Licorne, we will probably try to catch most of them then 🙂

  7. Andréa says:

    Dear Rebecca, thanks you so much for this post – I just got accepted for a Cannes Cinephile accreditation with my friend and although we are both french, it is very hard to find out which movies we’ll be able to watch with our badges! Your blog and this post in particular are by far the most helpful I’ve ran into 🙂
    Event though the lineup is not known yet, a lot of big names are being rumored in competition and I was wondering how many of in competition movies end up being screened at La Licorne? Also, how hard is it to get invitations from the Cannes Cinephile office for movies screened at Théatre Bunuel? I was trying to find the booklets from the previous years online but it doesn’t seem to be anywhere. We are not necessarily interested in seeing movies at Le Palais des Festivals, we just hope we will be able to catch some of the in competition titles 🙂

    • Rebecca says:

      Oh that’s great! Congratulations 🙂 I’m glad my guide is useful – I tried not to be too confusing but it’s very difficult, there is so much information.

      So, I’ve just looked at my Cannes Cinephile programme from last year and 1-2 in competition films are screened at La Licorne every day, depending on how many premiered the day before. It seems that all the films that premiere at Cannes are screened at La Licorne the day after.

      For example, Okja and Jupiter’s Moon premiered at Cannes on Friday 19th, and then both were screened at La Licorne on Saturday 20th in the evening. One at 19h, the other at 21:30h. Looking through last year’s booklet, this is the case for every in competition film.

      I think for Théatre Bunuel, it completely depends on how popular the film is. For example, I saw a classic film at Théatre Bunuel last year and I got the ticket from the Cannes cinephile office at 14:00. But for more popular films, it depends if there are enough tickets for any to be available at the cinephile office. Though, who is to say what is going to be popular? So it’s definitely worth just heading to the office as soon as it opens in the morning :).

      • Andréa says:

        Thanks you so much for your answer, it does make it clearer! It is very nice to learn that all films in competition get screened at La Licorne the next day, we will probably try to catch most of them then 🙂

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