Creators Showed Up in a Major Way at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival

With summer travel gaining major momentum, it should come as no surprise that celebrities and creators alike were ready to pack their Rimowa suitcases and set off for the South of France to attend the prestigious 2022 Cannes Film Festival.

The yearly invitation-only, multi-day film festival ushers in waves of those involved in global cinema. It’s the entertainment world’s quintessential summer moment, an opportunity to preview the buzziest films and hobnob with top talent and industry buffs. The backdrop of the glistening Côte d’Azur doesn’t hurt the event’s allure, either.

This year was significantly different in that, in addition to its usual focus on the film industry, the festival represented the media world’s growing intermixing with the creator economy. 

In March, the festival announced a partnership with TikTok—a first for Cannes—after which the platform revealed it would also be sending 20 top creators to attend the festival.

As part of the brand partnership, there was also a scripted vertical short category added to the festival—marking the first time that digitally native content is eligible at Cannes. For the #TikTokShortFilm competition, creators submitted scripted videos that they produced on the platform. Mabuta Motoki won for his film Is It Okay to Chop Down Trees? and Matej Rimanic won for his silent black-and-white submission Love In Plane Sight. Both Motoki and Rimanic have focused more on their art than their social numbers, and this award is poised to be the catalyst for the Internet to catch up.

Considering that Cannes has traditionally been perceived as ultra-exclusive and laser-focused on cinema in its most artistic form (it banned selfies on the red carpet a few years ago), this was a significant change in thinking. And lest we forget that in 2018, films distributed solely on streaming platforms like Netflix were declared ineligible for the prestigious Palme d’Or prize. 

But it appears that the festival may be evolving to meet the younger generations where they are. TikTok wasn’t the only platform with a presence at Cannes this year. Instagram showed up with its very own dedicated creator villa. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Instagram’s parent company Meta took over the Palais Bulles (a gorgeous home once owned by designer Pierre Cardin) and invited hundreds of creators like Riadh Belaïche, Khaby Lame, and Pamela Reif to listen to DJ sets, experience Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses, and of course, capture content.

So what did this shift mean for the festival’s red carpet? The usual suspects were there—Julia Roberts, Eva Longoria, and Tom Cruise, of course. But this time, some of the world’s largest creators were among them, too. 

So without further adieu….

Masoom Minawala Mehta

CANNES, FRANCE – MAY 17: Masoom Minawala Mehta is seen during the 75th annual Cannes film festival at on May 17, 2022 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Jacopo Raule/GC Images)

Fashion creator and entrepreneur Masoom Minawala Mehta was pretty in pink at Hotel Martinez wearing head-to-toe Valentino. She later attended L’Oréal Paris’s 25th anniversary dinner and was even awarded the most authentic fashion influencer award at the World Influencers and Bloggers Awards.

Khaby Lame

CANNES, FRANCE – MAY 17: Khaby Lame is seen during the 75th annual Cannes film festival at on May 17, 2022 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Jacopo Raule/GC Images)

TikTok star Khaby Lame was all smiles when cameras caught him out and about in town. There to document his experience at Cannes, the TikTok star walked the red carpet at Top Gun: Maverick, and was even crowned one of the best dressed guests by GQ France.

Jessica Wang

CANNES, FRANCE – MAY 18: Jessica Wang is seen during the 75th annual Cannes film festival at on May 18, 2022 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Jacopo Raule/GC Images)

Fashion and style creator Jessica Wang looked exquisite in her strapless Nicolas Jebran floral gown, which she wore on the red carpet at Top Gun: Maverick.

Pamela Reif

CANNES, FRANCE – MAY 20: Pamela Reif attends the screening of “Brother And Sister (Frere Et Soeur)” during the 75th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 20, 2022 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Daniele Venturelli/WireImage)

Fitness creator Pamela Reif wore a show-stopping petal pink gown to the screening of Brother And Sister. Marta Sierra looked like an icy goddess as she posed on the red carpet for the screening of Armageddon Time.

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