TikTok has become the official partner of the Cannes Film Festival — a new partnership that promises to connect the cultural event to the digital platform’s one billion users around the world.
While it banned selfies on the red carpet several years ago, Cannes is looking to draw global eyeballs and will provide TikTok users with exclusive content from backstage, glamorous red carpet scenes and interviews with talent.
Aiming to position itself as a top entertainment destination and content creator, the banner is also launching the #TikTokShortFilm, a global in-app competition of vertical short films that are between 30 seconds and 3 minutes in length. The jury of the first edition of #TikTokShortFilm will be presided over by a well-known director whose name will be announced at a later stage. Three awards will be handed out during the festival at an event attended by Cannes chief Thierry Fremaux.
Cannes and TikTok’s alliance may seem unlikely but makes sense as both strive to support creators and shine an international spotlight on emerging talent. Like the luxury brand Kering, one of Cannes’ main official partners, TikTok will also support the festival financially.
Rich Waterworth, the general manager of TikTok in Europe, described the Cannes Film Festival as an “iconic moment that has forever changed the landscape of global cinema.”
“We are truly honored to welcome them as an official partner. Entertainment fans from all over the world turn to TikTok to be entertained, express themselves or discover something new, but they share an authentic and rewarding sense of community unlike anywhere else,” said Waterworth.
The executive said TikTok will “look forward to opening up more creative possibilities for our community as they get ready to be inspired, moved and entertained, bound by a shared love of video and cinema.”
Commenting on the partnership, Fremaux said he was also curious and eager for TikTok to “share the magic of the festival with a wider, much more global and just as much [of a] cinephile audience than ever before.”
Fremaux pointed out that “Cannes has been connecting with the next generation of film enthusiasts by offering them the opportunity to experience the fest through its ‘3 Days in Cannes’ program” since 2018. The initiative selects nearly 2,000 people between the ages of 18 to 28 to travel from around the world and attend the festival.
“With this collaboration [with TikTok] — which is part of a desire to diversify the audience — we’re looking forward to sharing the most exciting and inspiring moments from the festival and seeing the festival reimagined through the lens of TikTok creators and its community,” added Fremaux.
Celebrating this year its 75th anniversary, the Cannes Film Festival has also enlisted a pair of new media sponsors, the French public broadcaster France Televisions and digital company Brut.