How to screen a short movie in CannesAlthough there are a number of events for short movies in Cannes, every year someoe decides they want to organise their own screening. Before talking about how you might do this, consider why. There is practically no real market for short movies as a separate product. So the monetary returns are negligible at best. If you want to go through the expense and work of organizing a screening, be sure you know what the benefits will be. The only one I am comfortable with is the goal of getting people interested in you and your next project. So make sure you have a great next project up your sleeve.
Concerning screening, first of all, not many people know that you can organize screenings at the Palais itself by renting a small theater from as little as EUR375 for about 20 seats. There are advantages to doing it there as people know it and it's a hands-off operation. You won't be fiddling with cables or DVDs yourself, leaving you more time to interact with the spectators (and grabbing their business cards).Depending on the scale of your project, you could also try booking one of the actual cinemas in Cannes. Advantage: people know where to find them. Disadvantage: the cinemas probably don't have many available time slots and will charge you considerably.Small screenings at CannesOne idea is to organise a number of smaller screenings instead of one big one, so people can choose when to check the movie. The hotels have meeting and reception rooms. But don't expect a bargain price from them. If you know any companies going to Cannes, ask if they would be willing to host your screenings or rent their facilities. I have on occasion “borrowed” time in the national pavilions. The ones in the Pantiero section tend to be less busy and might be open to someone bringing in people at off-peak times.Promoting your short movieIt's very - repeat: very - important to publicize your screenings. You are up against a lot of competition. Everyone in Cannes is overloaded with proposals and invitations. The right people have to get your invitations and a publicist is the best way to do that as they have dierct contacts. Ideally, you should connect with other filmmakers and ask who they would recommend for your sort of movie. Expect to pay several thousand euros. Going it alone is very, very difficult. But only you can determine if it is worth it, or if you can bring 15-30 people to come watch it yourself.
Whichever way you decide to go, stay positive and think long-term. Good luck!