Photo Credit: Carrie CoolidgeThe Cannes Film Festival, currently underway in the south of France, is one of the most glamorous, star-studded events of the year. Considered to be Europe's equivalent to the Academy Awards, the Festival de Cannes, now in its 64th year, kicked off at the Palais des Festivals on May 11.
Film stars ranging from Robert De Niro and Uma Thurman to Salma Hayek, Jude Law and Antonio Banderas walked the red carpet as thousands of fans cheered with photographers and reporters from around the world vying for their attention. Chivas Regal, the official partner of the prestigious festival, gave JustLuxe the opportunity to experience the Cannes Film Festival from the inside - behind the velvet rope.
JustLuxe stayed at the beautiful Hotel Martinez, a luxurious five-star hotel located on the Boulevard de la Croisette, which was bursting at the seams with countless film stars and directors. Soon after checking in, we were whisked away to the Chivas Salon where guests of Chivas Regal are treated to hair dressing, makeup and wet shaves, in addition to a whole wardrobe of couture clothing and accessories in case a guest is in need of a loaner outfit for the night.
Poolside, Chivas Regal hosts a dedicated bar that is tended by its global brand ambassador, Max Warner, and its California-based brand ambassador, Rich Varga, who treated guests to delicious concoctions that featured Chivas Regal's 12-, 18- and 25-year-old blends with various fresh fruit juices, including pomegranate.
Chivas guests were driven by limo to the Palais des Festivals for the walk up the incredibly long red carpet. My host, James Slack, who is the International Brand Director for Chivas Regal and I were sandwiched between various celebrities, including the beautiful Minissha Lamba, a Bollywood starlet who was also a guest of Chivas Regal for the festivities. With thousands of photographers snapping away, the experience was both surreal and incredible.
The program for the evening featured the introduction of the official jury for the film competition. The nine-person jury, which includes, among others, Uma Thurman, Jude Law and Robert De Niro serving as its president were introduced. Next, a Palme d'Or of Honor was awarded to Bernardo Bertolucci. The highlight of the evening, however, was the filming of Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, which stars Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen, Kathy Bates, Marion Cotillard and Carla Bruni.
Chivas Regal hosted a sumptuous dinner on the exquisite outdoor terrace of La Palme d'Or, the gourmet restaurant at the Hotel Martinez which has been awarded an impressive two stars from the Michelin Guide. After tasting Chivas Regal's much acclaimed 25-year-old whisky with dessert, we attended an after-party into the wee hours of the night at the nearby Majestic Hotel's nightclub set up on the beach. Also in attendance were many stars including Michael Sheen, who is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Prime Minister Tony Blair in The Queen.
Lunch the following day was hosted by Chivas Regal at "Chivas House," a pop-up restaurant and lounge on the beach along the Boulevard de la Croisette. There, we were treated to a magnificent meal along with spectacular views of the Mediterranean and of Paul Allen's remarkable and enormous yacht, the Octopus, which was moored nearby.
Experiencing the event much like a star would, JustLuxe was flown by helicopter to the Nice Airport to catch the flight back to the states. The views of the Mediterranean and the coast of France were breathtaking and an appropriate finale to experience the glamour and prestige that is the Cannes Film Festival with Chivas Regal as our extraordinary guide.