When the average person thinks about films and movies, they automatically think about the big-budget films that make to the big screen accompanied by tons of fanfare. However, a significant amount of the films that end up garnering a great deal of acclaim originated as independent films. Indie films have a unique influence, and they are often the way that aspiring writers, directors, and actors break into the big leagues.
The way that most of these Indie films gain traction is by being featured during some of the world’s largest film festivals. Once such film festival is the Cannes Film Festival, which is held in Cannes, France. In an effort to support aspiring cinephiles, the organizers of the Cannes Film Festival announced that they are issuing 1,000 free badges to the film festival. These badges are reserved for the most intensely inspired cinephiles on the planet.
In order to qualify for a free badge, applicants are required to submit an essay that demonstrates their passion for film. The organizers will choose the 1,000 finalists from the pool of letters that they receive. While the badge will provide free admission to all of the festival events and screenings, it does not cover travel expenses. Although the beneficiaries of these free badges will have to cover their airfare and lodging, the free badges are still quite a powerful incentive.
This announcement by the festival comes at a time when they are in the midst of a showdown with streaming giant, Netflix. Netflix has threatened to pull the five films that they have entered into the festival if the films are purposefully omitted from the competition lineup. It is not uncommon for festival organizers to omit film projects that are produced or funded by heavy hitters. The consensus is that the massive funding available through these media giants create an unfair advantage for the filmmakers they fund.
It is not yet clear whether the Cannes Film Festival will fold to the demands of Netflix, but it is clear that they are remaining proactive in the promotion of the purity of Indie films by giving out these free badges.
According to sources with access to the details of the promotion, recipients of the badges will be able to attend the last three days of the event — gaining access to the Official Selection, one of the most esteemed presentations associated with the festival. The Official Selection will have a combination of both, in-competition and non-competing films. The badge-holders will also have access to Special Screenings, Cannes Classics, Un Certain Regard, and Cinema de la Plage sections.
As of yet, there are no established deadlines for these applicant letters to be submitted, but obviously, the letters will need to be submitted before the start of the festival. Those who are fortunate enough to receive a free badge will be notified via email confirmation, and they will be able to pick their badges up at Will-Call when they arrive at the festival. The Cannes Film Festival is a huge attraction for the city and surrounding areas. The population of 74,000 normally triples during the festival.