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7 facts about Cannes Film Festival and its ultra glam destination you need to know

7 facts about Cannes Film Festival and its ultra glam destination you need to know

Cannes: the sparkling jewel of the South of France

Forget Hollywood: as we speak, movie stars from The Hills and beyond are descending on a tiny French city on the French Riviera for one of the biggest dates in the film calendar.

Festival de Cannes – also known as the Cannes Film Festival – returns for its 69th edition this week, officially kicking off on 11 May and running until 22.

Here, we count down seven facts about the festival, and the playground of the rich and famous it calls home…

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1 The city has a surprisingly tiny population of 73,903 – around the size of Hove in the UK. The population swells to 200,000 during the festival.

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2 The town started life as a quiet fishing village; quite a departure from the cosmopolitan hub it is today. The inception of the festival by the city council in 1946 immediately put it on the map.

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3 The city boasts 8,000 hotel rooms, 3,200 shops, 580 restaurants, 33 private beaches and three casinos.

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4 Cannes now attracts 2 million visitors a year; the top five visitors by nationality are France, Great Britain, Italy, the US and Germany.

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5 The top award at the film festival is the Palme d’Or: it was won by lesbian drama Blue Is the Warmest Colour in 2013.

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6 Two of the most anticipated of this year’s films are by queer directors – Money Monster by Jodie Foster [above] and Xavier Dolan’s It’s Just the End of the World.

7 Other important films screening this year include Pedro Almodovar’s Julieta and Steven Spielberg’s BFG [trailer above]; opening the festival is Woody Allen’s Cafe Society.

For more information about Cannes, visit the official site of the Cannes Tourist Office. Photos: YouTube, Wikipedia, beach shots ©SEMEC-FABRE, Cannes Tourist Office.