For 2015 the Festival de Cannes has updated the ticketing process for the red carpet (that is, films screening in the Grand Auditorium Lumière).
Previously, accredited festivalgoers were given a code when they collected their badge. This code provided access to a terribly-designed website through which tickets could be requested, based on the number of points you'd accrued and had available. Tickets were supposed to be released about 24 hours before the screening time, but in practice the opaque system driving the website meant that you could watch the countdown to a ticket release time, only to find it switch from "Open in 1 minute" to "No More Invitations" in the blink of a browser refresh. Needless to say this system was a black mark on the festival organisers.
This year, the ticketing process has been changed slightly to allow you to pre-select films you'd like to see. Accredited festivalgoers are given a code and can use it login to the ticketing website. There you can specify which days you're attending the festival and thereafter select the films and screening time you'd like to attend.
A welcome addition is the ability to request a second ticket for another accredited festivalgoer (duo demande). This goes a long way to address one of the other ticketing gripes - that you couldn't go to a screening with your partner or a friend unless you both got lucky in the ticket roulette.
While the changes are a welcome step in the right direction, ultimately whether you actually get a ticket for any given screening you select is still a lottery. It's not clear what mechanism the Festival uses behind the scenes to determine who gets tickets, but given the demand, it's obvious that not everyone will. The other issue is that you'll only find out whether you have indeed been given tickets by logging back on to the ticketing website about 24 hours before the screening.
Festival veterans will still reminisce fondly about the good old days when you were guaranteed a ticket using the tried and tested 'get there early and line up' method, but almost anything is better than the previous online system.
At present this process is confirmed for Market badge holders. As yet, it's not clear whether this will be available to those with Festival (free) accreditation.
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