After celebrating a blow during the past two years of Covid-19, this year’s Cannes Film Festival promises a return to its traditional wild festivals and display of excessive wealth. “There is real euphoria … people want human contact,” Romain Benichou of the rental company Century 21 told AFP. But buying your way to the best parties does not come cheap, with the most luxurious villas at up to 400,000 euros ($ 421,000) for the two weeks of the event.
It’s a small price to pay for the film magnates and big brands who like to rub shoulders with the glamorous attendees of the world’s favorite movie-shindig.
This is especially true after the 2020 edition was canceled due to Covid, and last year was forced to continue under strict health protocols which meant the parties were much more subdued.
Largely back to normal this year, the French Riviera town hopes to enjoy the windfall.
The 2019 edition would have generated an estimated 196 million euros ($ 206 million) for Cannes, as it welcomed 125,000 festival-goers and 12,000 film professionals.
It created 90,000 overnight stays and 2,200 jobs during the event, according to local authorities.
They did not give the figures for 2021, but with U.S. and Asian delegations largely absent and participants subject to masks and daily Covid-19 tests, it is almost certain that they were much lower.
Things are looking up, though. “We are not necessarily back to the budgets of five or six years ago, but there is a recovery,” said Stephane Grosso, head of the Nice-based event firm Terre d’Evenements, adding that he had just returned from explore a villa. for an “important influencer”. “It changed a lot because last year was dark,” he added.
One sour note for those who facilitate the ultra-rich is the lack of Russians. The festival explicitly stated that Russians with ties to the government are not welcome at the festival or the operating market that runs alongside it.
A market spokesman said only “a few Russians with no links to government or public sector” would be present this year, compared to hundreds traditionally.
“There were always one or two Russians who organized a big party on the beach,” Grosso said. “But the return of the Americans will make up for it.” The Promise of Americans also has ice cream makers Magnum, one of the festival’s sponsors, in a chipper mood and they are hosting a private beach party on May 19 with singer Kylie Minogue to celebrate.
“All the major manufacturers are present in Cannes this year,” said Frederic Henry, press officer. “Not just Tom Cruise … but also Disney and Netflix.”
Liberty Yachts, a rental company, said the two ports in Cannes were “full to bursting”. “American customers prefer to rent large private boats during the festival – it’s more discreet than a large hotel,” said owner Fabrice Viard. Not that there is anywhere in hotels.
Such is the claim, Viard said, that even a former Miss France could not obtain a room and was forced to book a place in St Tropez, an hour away.
“There is not a single hotel room or Airbnb left in Cannes,” he said.
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