Sponsored: Surviving Cannes - the first day

Total Film's insider guide to the Cannes Film Festival, in association with Microsoft, powered by the HP Spectre x360

The only way to hit at the ground at the Cannes Film Festival is running.

Upon touching down at Nice airport, it’s straight into a scrummage for the shuttle to Cannes, drop bags at flat, down to the Accreditation Office to pick up press pass – it works of a colour-coded tier system, causing much envy between journalists as everyone’s place in the pecking order is hung around their necks like an advertising boards – and then off to visit the various PR companies looking after ‘talent’.

Day One, then (or rather Day 0 because all of this is done the day before the festival begins) is largely spent schlepping around town, securing access for interviews. At each PR house it’s a case of joining the out-the-door queue and shuffling forward an inch at the time until it’s your turn in the hot seat.

Once there, you’re informed who the studios and distributors have signed off on for you to interview and you’re given a screening schedule with times and locations, which means much juggling of already re-jigged (50x) schedules to accommodate. There is a lot going on at Cannes, all of the time, so whichever film/interview/announcement/PR stunt (Jerry Seinfeld sailed down a zip wire from a hotel roof onto the beach, dressed as a bumblebee, to promote Bee Movie a few years back) /party/photo call you’re currently at, you’re missing five other things.

Of course, being on the hoof all day means taking your equipment with you, from the humble notepad and pen to take notes during press screenings to your digital recorder for interviews to your HP Spectre x360 laptop to file reviews, breaking news and interviews. Returning to the flat is a luxury; usually it’s a case of a dash to the press room in the famous Palais on the Croisette, or writing and/or researching while queuing for your next film.

Such is the rush to get to your interview on time, it’s vital to have high-performance equipment with you ready to do some rapid surfing online as you wait for the interview before yours to finish. It’s seat-of-the pants stuff, and you can’t afford to be let down.

In partnership with Microsoft, powered by the HP Spectre 360

The Total Film team are made up of the finest minds in all of film journalism. They are: Editor Jane Crowther, Deputy Editor Matt Maytum, Reviews Ed Matthew Leyland, News Editor Jordan Farley, and Online Editor Emily Murray. Expect exclusive news, reviews, features, and more from the team behind the smarter movie magazine.