As you set course for Cannes, the following insights can help you prepare for what to expect.

Every year, thousands of film professionals descend on the quiet seaside resort of Cannes on the coast of France to attend the Cannes Film Festival. This year, the festival, scheduled for May 11–22, is shaping up to be a strong event.

Since its founding in 1946, the festival has honored many trailblazing filmmakers and actors while recognizing and nurturing new and exciting international talent.

Who’s Going? Industry Buzz

The official film selection for the festival’s competing categories won’t be released until mid-April, but there have been some speculations and confirmations.

Steven Spielberg, who served as the festival’s jury president in 2013, will be debuting his new Disney film The BFG, and Woody Allen’s Cafe Society is confirmed as the festival opener.

Jodie Foster’s Money Monster, starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts, will be screened. And it has been suggested that Sean Penn’s The Last Face and either Terrence Malick’s Weightless or his Voyage of Time will be in competition.

George Miller, whose film Mad Max: Fury Road garnered six Oscars this year after premiering at last year’s Cannes, will be jury president this year.

How to Navigate the Event

Each year there are tens of thousands of festival participants, almost a hundred competition films, hundreds more non-competitive movies, and some produced from outside organizations. With all this action, it’s important to stay on top of what’s happening.

You’ll need to have your Festival, Marché, or Press accreditation badge once you arrive at the Palais des Festivals convention center. Once there, you’ll receive various pieces of information and publications including the screening schedule, ticketing information, festival handbook, and producer’s guide, depending on your level of accreditation.

The festival’s mobile app and The Online Daily reports will help you navigate the event and keep on top of happenings. You’ll also find info booths located throughout the festival.

Travel and Accommodations

The hustle and bustle of the event can make commercial travel unattractive. Many festival attendees will charter private jets and plan pickup ahead of time for smooth, individualized travel. Many trains, buses, and commercial flights will have regular routes to Cannes, and taxis will be plentiful in the city.

There’s a long list of festival partner hotels, many just steps from the Palais and from the luxurious Le Grand Hotel to the chic Cézanne Hotel & Spa. Many hotels are already booked for the length of the festival and as the event approaches there will be less rooms available, so book ahead.

Other Things to Do in Cannes

It’s unlikely that you’ll want to venture too far from festival territory, but there’ll be many opportunities to get away from the excitement if even for a few moments.

Enjoy the beach and the glittering Côte d’Azur, browse through the shops for high-end fashion wear, or climb through the cobblestone streets of Le Suquet to see a stunning, panoramic view of the city.

The Cannes Film Festival can be overwhelming, but it’s a celebratory moment in the world of film and a potentially lucrative experience for industry businesspeople. The key is to take each experience in stride and plan ahead.

Image via Flickr by Cali4beach