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Cannes Parties: 12 Top Invites for 2015 Festival

A guide through the seaside safari, where missing ”tentpole“ events like Vanity Fair and ”Hunger Games“ bashes make the scene smaller

The planes are already landing at Nice airport and the slips in the port are full. So are the guestlists.

As the face of Ingrid Bergman (who would have turned 100 this year) adorns the Palais and 19 films hope that the Coen Brothers led jury will let them walk off with the Palme d’Or on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend, the shoulder economy of parties and events is taking shape.

Matthew McConaughey, Naomi Watts, Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Natalie Portman, the premiere of “Mad Max” and an Amy Winehouse documentary are expected to command the attention along the Croisette.

Here are TheWrap’s picks for top invites to pack along with your bow tie, yacht socks and passport.

Coolest: Three Six Zero Management’s Chopper Lunch
Helicopter Away to Luncheon Party
Sunday, May 17

Alana Haim and Taylor Swift fangirl over Calvin Harris at last Saturday's Wango-Tango concert. Harris will appear in next month's

Alana Haim and Taylor Swift fangirl over Calvin Harris at last Saturday’s Wango-Tango concert. Harris will appear in next month’s “Entourage” film. (Getty Images)

David Unger and Three Six Zero Management (Calvin Harris, Duke Dumont, Deadmau5) are underlining their move in to film.  The move is partly literal, giving the few invitees a 3-6-0 view of Cannes.

They are moving high level conversation off the Croisette. Influencers, executives, and movers (not filler) from various industries will lunch on the first Sunday in a getaway from what is already a getaway. The off-the-grid location is a secret, but I hear that if you overstay the lunch party, you will squat run in to another great party.

Unger, Mark Gillespie, and Dean Wilson run Three Six Zero as a separate part of Jay Z’s Roc Nation

A typical beachside cocktail party. (Mikey Glazer)

A typical beachside cocktail party, without helicopters. (Mikey Glazer)

Party with a Purpose Part 1: Celebration of “The Queen of Cannes,” Nadia Bronson
Grand Ballroom of the Carlton
Sunday, May 17, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

A celebration of the life of the woman dubbed “The Queen of Cannes” should take place in the Grand Ballroom of the Carlton.

Bronson passed away in November from cancer. She was at Universal for 25 years, bringing home international wins for films like”The Mummy,” “Notting Hill,” “Apollo 13,” “Casino”, “Jurassic Park”, “Schindler’s List”. She is credited with making “Waterworld” an international success, a feat considering it’s slug as a prototypical flop.

Bronson had also done awards campaigns for “The Artist”, “The Kings Speech”, “Django Unchained” and TV’s “Glee” and “New Girl”

This will be an informal celebration, heavy on industry, with a philanthropic component. Translation: Leave the newly acquired sequin-dressed ” 2’s” on the boat for this one.

Rooney Mara, Naomi Watts, Lupita Nyong'o and Julianne Moore at last year's Calvin Klein bash. (David Benett/Getty Images)

Rooney Mara, Naomi Watts, Lupita Nyong’o and Julianne Moore at last year’s Calvin Klein bash. (David Benett/Getty Images)

Hardest List: Calvin Klein
Calvin Klein Party
Monday, May 18
Private Villa

CK is moving to a new villa that has never been used before. The list is way down to just 200 people.

Hot Film Party: “Carol”
Monday, May 18
Baoli Beach

After last year's How to Train Your Dragon 2

After last year’s How to Train Your Dragon 2”, Blanchett will be back at the fest. (George Pimentel/WireImage))

Weinstein parties make people dizzy. It’s not just them.

The billing block on this one is stacked: Cate Blacnhett and Rooney Mara in a 1950’s lesbian love story, with Kyle Chandler, Sarah Paulson and “Portlandia’s” Carrie Brownstein on-screen. Off-screen, it’s Killer Films’ Pamela Koffler and Christine Vachon, who guided Julianne Moore to “Still Alice” Oscar gold. The Grey Goose will be flowing at Baoli Beach as this one will go late.

Honorable Mention: “A Perfect Day”
Saturday, May 16
Nikki Beach

Benicio del Toro, Tim Robbins, and Olga Kurylenko’s warzone comedy will celebrate after their Directors’ Fortnight screening.

The Palais looks much bigger on TV. The security will not tolerate stair selfies this year. (Mikey Glazer)

The Palais looks much bigger on TV. The security will not tolerate stair selfies this year. (Mikey Glazer)

Mega Yacht: Paul Allen
Monday, May 18
In the Sea

Paul Allen’s annual biggest boat/biggest bash is on the surprisingly overbooked Monday night.

Party with a Purpose Part 2: amfAR Cinema Against AIDS
Thursday, May 21
Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc

The annual fundraiser is one of the great global conclavettes of rich and/or famous.

Where Justin Bieber can yell “I’m her to swag” while bearded bad boy Dan Bilzerian can stroll the carpet unnoticed, amongst a crowd alternatively focused on Jane Fonda, Rosario Dawson, Victoria’s Secret models, Bollywood megastar Aishwarya Rai or bidding on a trip to space with Leonardo DiCaprio, a regular.

This year, Imagine Dragons, Mary J. Blige, and Charli XCX will perform. Sharon Stone will most likely cry (again). Jake Gyllenhaal, Diane Kruger, Harvey Weinstein, Natalie Portman and Len Blavatnik are chairs, along with a cryptic Russian named Milutin Gatsby.

My party colleague Roger Friedman swears that “you can Google (Gatsby) til the cows come home. He only appears at amFAR events.” Add this to the intrigue of the $35 million fundraiser night that includes 40 top models (Karlie Kloss, Adriana Lima amongst others) walking as Mark Ronson spins.

If you’re going to break the bank on one event, this is it.

Celebrity Foreign Relations: Albane Cleret / “Le Club by Albane”
JW Marriott Rooftop
Latenight, throughout the festival

Rita Ora performed at Albane's club on the opening Friday last year, one of this party columnist's personal fest highlights.

Rita Ora (top left) performed at Albane’s club on the opening Friday last year, one of this party columnist’s personal fest highlights.

Meet Hollywood’s Parisian PR cousin, Albane Cleret. She is a cocktail part Graydon Carter (luring in luxury brands to co-party with), part Peggy Siegal (hosting film luminaries, and joining in the pictures) and part Jeffrey Best (producing new event spaces above and below film festival landmarks).

All the trappings and protocols of Hollywood etiquette are the same, just with different faces and without the English. “Pas sur la liste” (not on the list) translates easily though.

The US Nightclub Popups:

1Oak @ Gotha
Monday, May 18- Thursday, May 21
Gotha Nightclub

After upstaging the Met Gala with Rihanna’s after party that brought Bieber, Madonna, and Kendall Jenner in one booth next to Jessica Alba, Diddy, and Miley Cyrus in another, Richie Akiva again hosts amFar’s after party in a villa out by the du Cap. This will fall on the 4th night of his 1Oak pop up at nightlife analog “Gotha”. Jason Derulo, Ne-Yo, and Busta Rhymes are booked during the festival.

Bootsy Bellows and Nylon Magazine
Tuesday, May 19
Bagatelle at Casino Palm Beach

The h.wood group have been on the move. Now John Terzian (who has been out in Vegas every Friday and Saturday night opening “Heart of Omnia”) will be flexing his usual industry relationships, hosting the after party for “Mediterranea” at the festival.

The European Nightclub Popups

Blue Marlin

Blue Marlin from Ibiza is serious business: They open every night of the week, something that even Vegas does not do. They will pop up on the beach across from the Martinez for a series of parties with Grey Goose brining in resident DJ’s from the Spanish isle.

The Palazzo Las Vegas @ VIP Room
It’s appropriate that the high priced club with the “marquee” out front will partner with the hotel in business with the guys behind the actual “Marquee” brand in the states. The Palazzo Las Vegas will have a popup inside VIP room on Wednesday, May 20.

Baoli Beach is a popular party venue for top premiering films. (Mikey Glazer)

Baoli Beach is a popular party venue for top premiering films. (Mikey Glazer)

The Disappointments and AWOLs:

NO: “Mad Max: Fury Road”
With a glossy premiere on Thursday night coinciding with the nearly worldwide release this weekend, a bash to accompany George Miller’s highly visual action film would have been convenable. Instead, Warner Bros. is reportedly just doing an intimate dinner. Sorry, room filler people.

NO: Bungalow 8 / No. 8

The “No” in “No. 8” takes on a double meaning. Popular at Toronto and perennially in NYC, there will be no late night hideaway this year. Amy Sacco is instead focusing on building her business domestically.

NO Successor to the Lionsgate’s “Hunger Games” Bashes
These opening weekend mass events aimed at launching the franchise’s next fall installment have been a hot ticket in the past. With the final chapter coming this Thanksgiving, it appears that Lionsgate and the global distribution partners do not need to push a boulder that is already rolling downhill.

NO: The Agencies:
Unlike other festivals, heavyweights like WME and CAA are not gathering their clients and buyers together for big parties.

Netflix is also leaving the party shoes stateside. Vanity Fair is taking a year off. They have traditionally had an “every-other” year footprint at the black tie festival. The Art of Elysium may yet return with another intimate luncheon, but had not finalized details as of this publishing.

Not missing…Nathalie DuBois with the rare Cannes gifting suite. She’s slinging trips to Tahaa (next to Bora Bora), stays at the Nikki Beach in Dubai, $18,000 pendants (NY Arido) and $4000 leather (from Pascal Piveteau). She is very strict and very regimented, so don’t just saunter up to her suites at the Carlton.

Au revoir.

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