It’s the most prestigious film festival on the planet, and luminaries from the universe of film – Hollywood to Bollywood and all points in between are set to converge in a storied little town on the French Riviera called Cannes.

It is the seventy fifth edition of the legendary event. The 2020 edition was canceled because of Covid – and with masks covering everyone’s faces for 2021’s version, most participants are excited about “seeing and being seen” once again in 2022. 

Around the world,  industry folk are making plans for Cannes – fielding VIP party invites, competing for seats at screenings,  preparing pitches – and agonizing over what they’re going to wear on that iconic red carpet.

With all the events on the calendar of any given Hollywood celebrity – why does Cannes matter so much?  

Unlike most film festivals – Cannes is industry only –  and it’s often described as the pinnacle of the industry.    Winning – or even showing a film at Cannes is widely considered a mark of success and peer acceptance that can’t be duplicated.  Watch reels of Hollywood stars taking the stage at Cannes after a win and see real tears – it’s overwhelming to be recognized by your global peers at this level. 

  Hollywood Reporter even said in a pre-pandemic article that “a study found that winners at the Cannes Film Festival were 11 percent more admired than Oscar winners.” 

But Cannes is about far more than the glitz and glamor we see on the screen.    

“It’s about the business of film – and that’s what I’m most excited about,” says Lamourie Media’s Tracy Lamourie, an international award winning publicist accredited by the festival for the first time this year.   Tracy and her husband and business partner Dave Parkinson, who co-founded the globally renowned PR and media company together in 2015  and incorporated at the height of covid,  started making plans to be at Cannes just a week ago.   

“It’s been a bit of a crazy whirlwind already and we haven’t even got there yet,”  laughs Tracy.  “I’m very grateful to industry power woman Maggie Grimm of Maggie Media in Los Angeles for starting the conversation about me coming to Cannes just a week ago – she’s really been going the extra mile to make sure I know everything from where to go, to who to connect with –  what kind of shoes to wear and what parties not to miss – really vital information, and just helping me navigate the landscape!” 

There is a lot to navigate.   Even if you were trying to attend just a quarter of what Cannes has to offer – between the screenings, the interviews, the galas, the VIP parties, you would never have the time to do it all.  (Tip from regulars : don’t even try to do it all.) 

The French Riviera Film Festival happening  in conjunction with Cannes on May 20/21  is one part of it all that  Lamourie suggests attendees shouldn’t miss. “My flight isn’t hitting french soil til early afternoon on the 21st, so I’m going to be missing some of it – but it’s my first stop at Cannes the second I hit town.”  Dedicated to “celebrating and recognizing short form film content from around the world,” the FRFF is also presenting their Fifth Annual “Global Entertainment Showcase” at Cannes on May 21st. “We have curated a talented and diverse group of women filmmakers from around the globe for our annual showcase,” adds FRFF co-founder Nicole Goesseringer Muj. “We cannot wait to share their stories and insights with our audience, as part of the fourth annual French Riviera Film Festival.”

  Tracy says she’s also  excited about what goes on away from the (hundreds of) cameras at Cannes. 

 “I joke that I’m only going to Cannes because it has the biggest red carpet in the world – hashtag I like red things! – but the reality is it’s the access to the Marche Du Filme, the industry workshops,  meet and greets, and deal making aspect of Cannes that really matters most to me.  The people that talk about things at the Marche make them happen on your movie screens.” 

What is the Marche Du Filme at Cannes?  Wikipedia describes it as “the business counterpart of the Cannes Film Festival and one of the largest film markets in the world.” The official website describes it as “THE rendez-vous for professionals of the global film industry from producers to distributors, buyers, programmers & more.”  More than 12,500 industry professionals take part.   It’s been said that you can’t walk two yards at Cannes without seeing a major entertainment deal being made.

Lamourie says she’s ready for it.

 “ I’ll be there talking to people in all aspects of the industry about several different client projects. Regardless of all the excitement and competition of incredible things to do at Cannes, alongside the lunch meetings,  my calendar is increasingly getting filled with Marche Du Film workshops and presentations I don’t want to miss!”

It’s where the films we’ll all be watching in the years to come are born, discussed, developed, and signed off on.  

“It’s where the magic happens,” says Tracy Lamourie. 


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