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Friday, 10 May, 2002, 19:21 GMT 20:21 UK
Festival's star haunts
Cannes: attracting the famous and powerful in film
For the hot-shots of the movie industry, be they stars or studio executives, Cannes in festival time is a land of plenty.

All the high-profile film screenings, best hotels and restaurants are fully accessible and industry hangers-on beat a path to their doors.

But for the ordinary Joes of this world - members of the general public - Cannes at festival time can seem hostile.

This is an industry event, which means virtually everywhere remotely connected to its activities is out of bounds.

Cannes Film Festival poster
The festival: You have to be official to get in

Central to the festival fortnight is the Palais des Festivals, between the harbour and the beach.

Its grey concrete exterior may not look glamorous but all the films in the official selection will be shown at the Palais.

And, as the red carpet leading up to its entrance suggests, many of the featured actors and actresses will attend.


This year, you can expect to catch a glimpse of Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, stars of Moulin Rouge.

Antonio Banderas and wife Melanie Griffith will come to a screening of her 1988 movie Working Girl, being shown as a tribute to the actress's career.

There will also be numerous French celebrities supporting their nation's biggest annual media event, including Gerard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve.
Catherine Deneuve
Catherine Deneuve is one of the French stars in town

Luckily for them, the Palais is at one end of La Croisette - the beach-side promenade where the plushest hotels are found.

During the festival, only people holding official passes will get past the doormen of many of these exclusive establishments.

As well as offering refuge to the stars, these hotels double-up as offices for movie industry executives and representatives in town to do business.

La Croisette is also home to the most chic restaurants and bars.

Though not physically out of bounds to non-festival goers, these watering holes are restrictive in terms of price.

Even many celebrities head for the hills outside Cannes in search of authentic French cuisine at sane prices.

Out of town are also found the secluded villas and chateaux which play host to many of the parties that are famously held in festival time.


Still, back in Cannes, there are some things normal mortals can enjoy without feeling like second class citizens.

Soaking up the Mediterranean atmosphere on the beach is open to all.

Phots shhot
Photo shoots often take place on or near the beach

Just be careful not to fall asleep, as you could find yourself being hosed down in the early hours of the morning.

The beach is in fact a good place to "stumble" across celebrity activity. Many photo shoots and headline grabbing stunts are carried out on the sand.

When the sun gets too much, a good resting place is Le Petit Majestic Bar.

This is where the earthy industry types - and even some stars - choose to congregate.

Some smaller film companies also hold open screenings here and, though generally packed, they let you feel just that little bit involved.

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