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The Cannes Film Festival is too expensive for me

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The runaway success of the Cannes Film Festival has taken it’s toll on the wallets of filmmakers, and after a two year break, I’ve realised that it, it’s just become very over-priced to be here.

Now before critics and Cannes patriots start attacking me, let me just say this is not a vengeful post about “a beef I have with the Cannes Film Festival.” I personally believe what the Cannes Film Festival stands for is quite special, and a lot of people benefit from what it has done over the years. Filmmakers have been recognised, talent has been discovered, and we’ve all shared incredible moments. From the screenings to the cocktails by the beach, there are so many great things about this festival, BUT, the price to come to Cannes has become too high. To me, it’s shocking, and it’s painful for a lot of us, who can’t really afford to be here.

When restaurants start charging 20 euros for a single dish, or when a bottle of Evian is 6.50 just because it’s the Cannes Film Festival, I think the town lowers itself to selling out. All this of course is during a painful recession when people visiting France are actually on a budget, so it’s even less enjoyable for them. That kind of exploitation I feel is not what Cannes as a town should be doing, but there is no regulation, no oversight, and it’s just such a shame that people have been treated in such a way.

I first went to the Cannes Film Festival in 2003 and I can tell you, the change has been radical. When I see the thousands of people screaming at the mention of Steven Spielberg as he walks up the red carpet, I’m just saddened that a majority of them have spent their last few euros in savings just to catch a glimpse of the stars after spending a fortune to be in the town itself. It costs thousands for people to fly in and stay in accommodation. Then with a lot of local vendors pushing up their prices, sometimes by double to get the max out of them I just think, “What kind of mentality is that?” Why are people being punished to enjoy a cultural event?

It’s a shame that the places I used to go to these past few years have completely gone overboard, and lost their charm. From cafes to bars, hotels and restaurants, I really feel that the town of Cannes needs to do some soul searching. The festival to me is very important, but if everything around it is unaffordable, its future will be in jeopardy.

And just to give you guys some context, If I go out where I live in Hampstead (London) to have dinner, I’ll pay half of what I’m paying in Cannes right now and Hampstead isn’t cheap. All I can do is wish those of you who are down here a good time, and that you don’t get ripped off. Head to the supermarkets, not the restaurants for your dinner.

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