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Of course, Cannes's claim-to-fame these days is the film festival that swarms the city every spring. One of the oldest (1946) and most esteemed festivals, 20 "official selection" films are picked and then deliberated on by a jury, who will award the Palme d'Or (the Golden Palm) award to the best one. But don't misunderstand: the International Film Festival is a private one, frequented by actors, directors and the like — not the casual tourist. Fodor's says: "Cannes becomes virtually insane with more than 30,000 actors, producers, directors, and other accredited professionals of the seventh art, 3,500 journalists, and 200,000 tourists." If you're traveling to the area in May, you can expect to see large crowds and tents propped up on the beaches.
Although you can't watch the festival's films, you can watch a cache of classics at the Cinéma de la Plage, in which a movie screen is set-up on Mace Beach. You can get tickets through Cannes' Tourism Office. You might also spot a celeb or two; you'll just need to find strategic place outside of the Palais des Festivals and the Carlton InterContinental hotel. Just be prepared for hordes of others doing the same thing.
For more information on the festival, visit the official website.
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