Page last updated at 10:00 GMT, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 11:00 UK

Cannes - what happens where

Palais des Festivals and RivieraThe beachLa CroisetteNoga Hilton HotelEspace MiramarLes ArcadesOlympiaThe Star CinemaOld port

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This is the central venue for the film festival and all the competition screenings take place here, at the Lumiere theatre. About 20 feature films compete each year for the coveted Palme d'Or. Winning the trophy can make a big difference at the box office, although past winners have frequently proved controversial. The new Palais opened in 1983, the festival having outgrown its original location on La Croisette, now the site of the Noga Hilton Hotel.

The red-carpeted entrance to the Lumiere is where the photographers gather to snap the celebrities as they arrive for official screenings, in the hope of getting that front page picture.

Brigitte Bardot turns heads in her debut on the beach in a bikini

The iconic image of Cannes is Brigitte Bardot pictured in a bikini on the beach in 1953. Her appearance is credited with making the two-piece an acceptable form of swimwear, as well as sparking a wave of copycat photo opportunities. In 1954, little-known actress Simone Silva tried to outdo Bardot by whipping off her top during a Robert Mitchum photo call. Cinema de la Plage is where open-air screenings take place for the general public. It is also the site of the International Village - Riviera: a series of white pavilions built on the seaward side of the Palais des Festival/Riviera complex. Countries such as Canada, Germany, Switzerland and South Africa have their bases here, as does the UK Film Centre.

Diana Dors upstages her more famous co-star Ginger Rogers

This is where the actors and would-be stars like to be seen strolling in their designer outfits or driving in their open-top limousines. It is also where some of the most expensive hotels in Cannes are to be found - although these days any really big names are likely to be staying a few miles down the coast at the Hotel du Cap-Ferrat. It was here, in 1956, that British actress Diana Dors upstaged her Hollywood co-star Ginger Rogers, who apparently got out of their shared cadillac and disappeared into the hotel unnoticed by the paparazzi.

Advertising the 2004 festival

The Marche du Film, or Film Market, is held at a number of locations, including the Palais, the Star Cinema, Les Arcades and The Olympia. It is where the "wheelers and dealers" meet to buy and sell scripts and trade rights for all the films that are not in competition. Its continued growth is the reason that Cannes remains such a big name in the festival world. Since 1994, the number of films shown at the marche has more than doubled from 435 to 900 in 2006. It was officially inaugurated in 1959, before then it had been running unofficially in the cinemas of Rue d'Antibes.

Film-makers call for the festival to be cancelled in 1968

Critics' week and Director's Fortnight, showcases for films considered too offbeat for the main competition, are held at a number of locations including, respectively, the Espace Miramar and Noga Hilton Hotel. Critics' week, created in 1962 at the instigation of the Union of French Film Critics, is seen as a launch-pad for new film-makers, who compete for the Grand Prix. In May 1968 the festival coincided with mass student demonstrations against the government. After calls from film-makers Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Lelouch, Louise Malle and Milos Forman, the festival was shut down. The following year Director's Fortnight was added to the programme.

Re-creating the pool party scene from La Dolce Vita

The luxury yachts in the old port form the expensive backdrop for many festival parties. The Palme d'Or triumph of Italian director Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita in 1960 was the cue for a re-creation of one the film's most famous scenes - a poolside party. It ended with dozens of women in evening gowns jumping into the pool. The International Village - Pantiero is also located in the old port. It was set up to host the many professional bodies and institutions from the French film industry and related businesses.

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