Cannes Film Festival

Explore the world of film by attending screenings, as well as special presentations by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert.

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 The cameras flash in a frenzy when stars approach the Red Carpet  At the Grand Théâtre Lumière, Cannes Film Festival  Only stars and top industry professionals have access to the Red Carpet  Each country pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival has a seaside terrace  The Cinema de la Plage has showings every night at 8pm, open to the public  Private parties take place along the Croisette during the Festival  The International Pavilions behind the Palais des Festivals, Cannes  Waterfront in the Old City of Cannes  View of Cannes from Le Suquet Historic District

Tour Details


This was a "once in a lifetime" experience. I could not have participated in the festival without the Smithsonian's program and I am very grateful to have had this wonderful opportunity.

Lorraine M.

The Cannes International Film Festival would be a disaster to try to do on your own! Smithsonian made it most enjoyable.

Stanley and Sandra B.


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The Cannes Film Festival is an annual international event—the most prestigious in the world—that celebrates the best names in film today. Through a special accreditation granted by the Festival,* Smithsonian Journeys offers an in-depth program that takes you behind the scenes into this fascinating world of film.

Highlights Include:

  • Special Festival Pass: Join an audience with actors 
and industry professionals to watch Cannes Classics screenings, view films by young directors in the Un Certain Regard competition, watch directors introduce their Short Films, and attend your choice of myriad other films.
  • Restricted Access Areas: Visit the Film Market where the business of film is conducted and tour the International Village along the waterfront, possible only through your special pass.
  • Private Reception: Enjoy the experience of a private reception at the American Pavilion!
  • Morning Briefings: Attend morning briefings to discuss the previous day’s films and hear suggestions for screenings from your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. 


Days 1 & 2 – Depart U.S. for Cannes, France

After your overnight flight from the U.S. to Nice, transfer to Cannes, your home for the next eight nights. After a brief orientation walking tour, check into your hotel, the Montaigne. Later gather for a welcome reception and dinner to meet fellow film lovers this evening. Your accreditation badges, giving you access to the festival, will be distributed this evening. Those with plenty of energy may wish to attend a screening tonight. (R,D)

Day 3 – Introduction, Palais des Festivals, American Pavilion

This morning over breakfast, your Smithsonian Journeys Expert will give you an introduction to the history and organization of the Cannes Film Festival. Review the schedule and identify screening opportunities, before heading to the Palais des Festivals. From here, after an orientation to the various screening rooms by your expert, you are free to pursue films of your choice for the rest of the day. Early in the evening, gather at the American Pavilion in the International Village for a presentation by a film professional, followed by a private reception overlooking the Mediterranean. Later you may choose to continue to attend screenings, including those from the Cannes Classics series, Un Certain Regard, or the short films. (B,R)

Days 4–7 – Film Screenings

After a review of the screenings with your Smithsonian Journeys Expert over breakfast each day, you are free to select and attend screenings of your choice. (B)

Day 8 – Final Wrap-Up, Farewell Dinner

Gather for a final session with your Smithsonian Journeys Expert to share thoughts, experiences, film critiques, and more.  Spend the rest of the day enjoying Cannes as the city returns to its post-Festival life.  Celebrate your cinematic discoveries this evening at a farewell reception and dinner with fellow travelers on the Croisette by the sea. (B,R,D)

Day 9 – Depart Cannes for U.S.

Depart Cannes early this morning for Nice and individual return flights home. (B)