How Hustlers Try to Scheme Their Way into the Cannes Film Festival


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How Hustlers Try to Scheme Their Way into the Cannes Film Festival

Turns out that dressing up in a costume and begging for spare tickets occasionally works.
May 21, 2015, 3:00pm

This article originally appeared on VICE UK.

Walk around Cannes during the film festival and you'll encounter a strange mix of creatures. The legitimately super wealthy, those who bathe in Moët and holiday in big game hunting reserves; the wannabe wealthy, who split their rented Ferraris over two credit cards and minesweep leftover martinis; and the chancers, who stand outside screenings with handmade cardboard signs, constantly on the prowl for premiere tickets, slamming into the free bar any opportunity. These are our people.


We had a chat with a few of them to pick up some tricks of the trade. For example, here's how—on the off-chance you have two spare weeks to pack everything in and hustle your way into Cannes—you get into an after party where you can stand near Salma Hayek for a bit: lock a chair to some railings near some high-traffic red carpet events, wear a suit or ball gown in the warm Cannes heat, and write on an envelope in French that you'd take any spare invites. Surprisingly, this occasionally works.

Here's what else we learned from some of Cannes's chancers.

VICE: Hi. Where are you from?
Guy in horse's head: I'm originally from Peru, but I grew up in San Francisco.

How long have you been here trying to get a ticket for?
I just got here ten minutes ago.

Have you been out most nights doing this?
No, I'm here for Sicario, and this is the only movie I really, really want to watch, and I'm wiling to wear this for it.

Who are you wearing tonight?
JC Penny.

Where have you traveled from?
Marilyn: The States. I'm out here with a student project that brings student filmmakers to Cannes.

How are you enjoying the festival?
It's really great—I just watch movies all day and then go to the parties, sleep two hours and then go to more movies the next day. It's a totally unsustainable lifestyle but it's really fun for two weeks.

What good parties have you been to?
I went to the after-party for Tale of Tales [Italian fantasy film by Matteo Garrone starring Vincent Cassell, Salma Hayek, and John C. Reilly] and everyone was about 15 years older than me, but it was an open bar, so it was still fun.


Did you bump into anyone interesting?
I was right next to Salma Hayek for a while, and we got a photo taken with the ogre [Guillaume Delaunay] from the film, but that was about it.

Have you been out here every night hunting for premiere tickets and holding up your sign?
Yeah. Sometimes you get tickets through a lottery, but not very often. And even if I don't do this then I would still have to wait in line for other movies, so I've found that this is better and quicker than waiting in line. When I first started doing it I felt too proud and I was uncomfortable, but I just do it every day now so it's fine.

Where you from?
Both: Cannes.

How long have you been here?
We first put our things here over a week ago, a day before the festival began, and we've been here today since midday.

You've been coming down every day since last week?

What attracts you to this whole event?
It's everything. For sure the celebrities because we are fan girls and we have a blog and we share everything we see and we feel for our friends who can't be here.

OK. Do you have to take time off work to come and sit here all day long for nearly two weeks?
We are students and we're on vacation, so it's our way of taking a vacation.

Cool. What's the most interesting thing you've seen so far?
We saw our favorite French actor, which was great, and also Colin Farrell—he was such a cutie.

How early do some of the other guys who chain their chairs to the railings get here?
The people right in the centre will start putting their things there two weeks before the festival—they sleep here. We just came the day before because we didn't have the time or energy.


Any other celebrities you're very keen to see?
Oh yeah, Michael Fassbender and James Franco!

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