We won’t get tired of saying that Cannes Film Festival is by far the largest and the most glamorous showbiz event in the world. Each year for the last 70 years, thousands of film industry professionals, financiers, media, press and party-goers book their tickets and flood the French Riviera for almost two weeks - all to attend the event.
Endless booze fuelled events, private luncheons, gala dinners and afterparties - all competing with each other in decadence and style - take place during the festival. Celebrities and party-goers have their busy diaries booked well in advance with events and sponsorships, while readers all around the world read all about it from print and online media.
As to the hardworking journalists, exhausted and sleep deprived, they spend days and nights in the press office at the Palais de Festival - reviewing films, reporting on the events, wiring photographs and editing long and ‘heavy’ videos by means of Orange WiFi. There are also numerous ‘satellite’ press calls -organised by sponsors-, showbiz events to be covered and hundreds of film icons and pros to be interviewed. To thank the hard working press - or whatever is left front them - the mayor of Cannes holds an annual media luncheon in the picturesque Place de la Castre - a medieval castle on the highest ‘mount' in Cannes overlooking the harbour.
The traditional lunch caters for one thousand people - out of over six thousand accredited media - thus an exclusive event even among the press.
Courtesy of mayor of Cannes, Ikon London Magazine team, were treated to the provencial L’Aioli, consisting of sumptuous cod dressed with olive oil, steamed vegetables, hard-boiled eggs and the famous Aioli sauce which is typically the region. The lunch begins with wine-based refreshing drinks at the top of the hill, shortly before being ushered through the gates of the castle, where in the open air not less than hundred tables are set with local wines, canapés, baguettes and shiny table ware. Accompanied by traditional music, endless trays of delicious freshly cooked grub were passed along by the chefs in white pleated toque hats.
This year, the 70th Cannes Film Festival jury - Pedro Almodovar, Jessica Chastain, Will Smith, Maren Ade, Fan Bingbing, Agnès Jaoui, Park Chan-wook, Paolo Sorrentino and Gabriel Yared - were also in attendance, enjoying the lunch seated at the jury table.
No lunch is possible in France without patisserie. Hundreds of kilos of traditional baked cakes - almond, apple pistachio bakes and lemon tarts decorated with berries - marked the beginning of the end of the lavish soiree. And as a takeaway gift, a bottle of local Cannes olive oil in exchange for the invitation.
Merci, et à l'année prochaine monsieur David Lisnard.