Last year, while having a beautiful, relaxing lunch on the outside terrace of the Monaco Yacht Club complete with Miraval Rosè, I imagined the upcoming days being filled with the exhilarating sound of the Formula One race cars. The thunder and roar of the engines can be felt under your feet and in your heart as they zoom past the harbor and past the many passionate devotee fans who travel from all over the world to the South of France in May. Despite the construction of roadside gates and scaffolding, the Principality seemed especially quiet during race preparations, an almost respectful nod to the nearby buzz in Cannes.
The Cannes Film Festival is simply an experience that should not be missed. Thousands descend on the streets of Cannes, making their way to the waterfront hotel lobbies, restaurants, awards, conferences, and private parties. It is said that the festival lures more accredited press than celebrities and fashionistas to one of the most famous and elegant Red Carpet venues of the year. This magical location, connected by a must-see coastal drive between the two cities through Antibes and the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, evokes a feeling of belonging on a very sophisticated worldly stage, regardless of where you originate.
The Power of the Camera and Yachting
Among the many yacht charters and floating venues used for staging and events during the Cannes Film Festival, there is a definitive undercurrent of increased awareness and the power of celebrity to effect change. This year Livia and Colin Firth hosted a yacht party to toast the Geneva-based jewelry brand Chopard’s support for Livia’s Eco Age Green Carpet Challenge. Chopard is an official partner of Cannes, and actor Julianne Moore debuted special pieces from the latest collection that were made from responsibly sourced gems and certified Fairmined gold. The Firth couple also hosted a private lunch aboard a yacht to celebrate “The Journey to Sustainable Luxury” and several well-known actors were in attendance.
Taking full advantage of the press coverage at Cannes and on the first day of this year’s festival, the Sam Simon, an anti poaching vessel owned by the Sea Shepard Conservation Society and named after an American television producer, was seen anchored in the waters directly in front of the Grand Hotel. The purpose was to call attention to the Sea Shepard’s legal campaign against Antibes’ Marine Park. Built as a marine meteorological and oceanographic observation ship, the Sam Simon’s camouflage exterior and distinctive shark-teeth painted bow give the yacht its unique look among the other vessels.
Several of the Sea Shepard’s nine ships are named after entertainment industry benefactors, including the Bob Barker and the Brigitte Bardot. The organization’s founder, Paul Watson, who lives in St Tropez, indicated that the group repeatedly comes to the Cannes Film Festival at various times because he believes the camera is incredibly powerful.
Formula E Racing
With the excitement of COP21 in Paris, will the Formula E drive the future of racing? Just before the Grand Prix last May, I toured Venturi Automobiles, a French-founded Monegasque-based multinational automotive manufacturer that designs, manufactures, and sells luxury electric vehicles. The Formula E Championship, a new class of auto racing that uses only electric-powered cars, took place in Miami only a few months prior to the Grand Prix in Monaco. There, the race cars went flying by with only a whirling, screeching robotic sound.
Even more exciting, for each race fans could directly vote for their favorite driver via various social media channels to give them a little extra power boost. Voting starts two weeks prior to an event and the three winning “Fanboost” drivers each receive an extra 100 kJ of energy to be used in a power window between 180 kW and 200 kW. In this manner, the audience is now directly engaged with the driver of the race.
Given the constant technologic advancements and the sharing of information globally, Cannes and Prix go hand in hand. Both venues can be enjoyed to the fullest if timed correctly!