Worried about your children when you were away from home for Cannes Film Festival all these years? Well, this will be a thing of the past from now on.
For the first time, the Festival de Cannes and the Marché du Film, in association with the newly-formed collective Parenting at Film Festivals, is launching a family-friendly festival journey, Le Ballon Rouge, where Children are the new VIPs.
Work-life balance is a constant challenge for parents in modern society. In the film industry it is a daily battle. A vast majority of film professionals must travel regularly to film festivals and markets, sometimes with their babies and young children, and may have have a tough time combining their family and professional priorities. So often, it is just easier to leave the children at home, or more drastically, they may feel forced to make a decision between their career and the prospect of starting a family.
Festival de Cannes General Delegate Thierry Frémaux and Marché du Film Executive Director Jérôme Paillard said of the initiative: “Although the ever-present issue of work-life balance affects everyone, regardless of gender, we know the impact on women is much greater. There is much work to be done by major festivals to make their infrastructure and services family-friendly, to more effectively enable participation of women in the industry, who will benefit from a better balance and thus more success. We are excited to lead the way among major festivals and hope other festivals will follow.”
The core team from Parenting at Film Festivals said: “We’re heartened and amazed that the Festival de Cannes and the Marché du Film have listened so intently to our concerns. They embraced the vast majority of our proposals and are seriously considering the rest for 2020 once the demands for these services have been evaluated. We believe this will pave the way for an unprecedented new children-friendly journey that other festivals can take inspiration from.”
Aurélie Godet from Parenting at Film Festivals added: “Even though my son was only one month old when I first took him to a film festival, it was as difficult – and expensive – as I was warned it would be. Parent-friendly services at festivals are rare and I went head-on into problems other mums stumbled over before me… until I made a few phone calls to work friends and asked for tips. Making things change was always going to be about joining forces, taking these calls for help to a larger scale than the individual conversations I had with Sarah, Michelle and others.”
Named after the popular children’s film by Albert Lamorisse, Le Ballon Rouge offers a concrete package of 5 key services for families:
- Family-Friendly Accreditation Process: Film professionals travelling with babies and young children will have a special accreditation in order to access the dedicated services the Marché is providing, including the Pantiero’s Kids Pavilion and the Palais’ Change & Feeding Corner, as well as two additional badges for nanny + baby (free of charge). Cinando will host on its site the newly-created group Parenting at Film Festivals to better identify the community and its needs.
- Le Ballon Rouge Kids Pavilion: located at the Village International Pantiero, this 25m2 tent with terrace will welcome families from 10 am-6 pm daily from the 14th until the 21st of May. There, parents can choose to either spend time with their children, have family-friendly meetings in dedicated areas, or leave their children for up to 6 hours in the care of professional nannies provided by a specialised company. This special service will be offered by a cluster of partners – full list of partners below in How was this set up?. A small compensation will be asked to parents wishing to benefit from this service.
- Le Ballon Rouge Express-Changing & Feeding Corner: a dedicated room for parents and carers for breastfeeding, feeding or nappy-changing, will be open from 9 am-6:30 pm daily from the 14th until the 25th of May in the Palais des Festivals.
- Easy Access: priority access to the Marché will be given to parents entering with children at the Palais’ main entrance, Riviera entrance and Pantiero entrance. As the stroller approaches with its dedicated Ballon Rouge flag, staff will help them through security.
- Le Ballon Rouge Baby VIP Kit: in collaboration with Parenting at Film Festivals and Cinando, a dedicated bag for children will be offered, with family-friendly map and services in Cannes, Marché access flag, list of certified nannies for after-hours care, and other helpful items.