Two thousand euros for the world premiere of the last “Indiana Jones”, or how about 20,000 for an evening in the presence of Leonardo DiCaprio?
The black market for the best seats at the Cannes Film Festival is in full swing.
While industry professionals and accredited journalists enter for free, many general bettors show up hoping to bluff or buy entry to the hottest events on the Cannes Croisette.
Many hang around – ready to go, in full evening dress – outside the Palais des Festivals with placards, hoping for a freebie.
“I’ve already seen three films for free. Each time, nice people have offered me a ticket,” says Sienna, an Italian in her thirties who has come all the way from Berlin.
A 25-year-old Finn, who asked not to be identified, said he would be happy to cough up some cash for “an Almodovar or the new Scorsese”.
Spaniard Pedro Almodovar was in town with a high-profile short, “Strange Way of Life,” a “queer western” starring Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal, while Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” starring DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, was the hottest ticket in town last weekend.
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But if many take advantage of the generosity of festival-goers, others seek to cash in.
An AFP reporter has been offered a ticket to Sean Penn’s macabre paramedic drama ‘Black Flies’ for 50 euros ($54).
Not far from there, Jenny, a young American from Miami who did not wish to give her surname, said she was a member of a WhatsApp group of some 600 bettors and sellers of tickets and invitations.
Screenshots of the conversations show someone offering a ticket to the premiere of “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate” last week — featuring Harrison Ford and the other stars — for 2,000 euros.
“I have a ticket for the Campari party. I can give it to someone,” wrote another member of the group in broken English.
A certain Alex is enthusiastic, and the seller comes back with: “Hi, yes 300 euros. Do you have a crypto wallet?”
Another offers a ticket to a party attended by DiCaprio for “20,000 euros per person”, while others for “after parties” range from 9,500 to 16,500 euros.
Who can afford to pay such sums?
“Influencers who have millions of followers and just want to be seen,” says Jenny. “For them and the brands they promote, 2,000 euros is nothing.”
To have ended up on these groups, the QR codes had to be “sold by unscrupulous professionals to make a little money”, she added.
The festival said it “takes action, in consultation with police and judicial authorities” as soon as it becomes aware of black market ticket sales.
“Convictions have been handed down in the past,” organizers told AFP, although police said there had been no investigation so far this year.