Inside the Cannes temple of film-making, moguls meet movie stars and buyers and sellers wrangle over what we will be watching on the big screen a few months from now.
But almost as compelling is the scene outside the Palais des Festivals.
During the day, movie wannabes draw attention to their career aspirations and red-carpet junkies wait for a glimpse of Leonardo, Justin, Nicole and the other superstars.
At night, luxury sports cars line the nearby streets like crouching greyhounds.
And the Croisette seafront becomes transformed into a slow-moving river of gowns and tuxedos, where overheard snatches of Arabic, Chinese and Russian point to where the new money is today.
Music pounds from invitation-only beach parties guarded by tough-looking men who mutter the occasional word into their shirt cuff.
"I've been coming here every year for 12 years," said a woman named France, among the camera-clutching crowd outside the grand entrance to the Palais.
"Last year, I had my glasses on the top of my head, and they fell off. You want to know who picked them up? It was Brad Pitt! He was so adorable and charming.
"I kissed the glasses all over -- I'm wearing them today!"
Laura Bartoli, a 23-year-old Italian from Ancona, Italy, came just in the hope of seeing Leonardo Di Caprio, starring in "The Great Gatsby."
"We arrived here yesterday afternoon. We have never met him personally before," Bartoli said. "I am not sure it will work, but I will try."
Cannes first-timer Zhou Shi-shum, 31, from China, said the goal was "Chinese movie stars like Fan Bingbing, but also French stars like Marion Cotillard."
Some of the watchers bring aluminium stepladders, with their names painted on them, to get a better view.
A few even dress up as the characters from their favourite movies. Frenchman Alain Robie came as an astonishingly accurate copy of Mrs. Doubtfire, the gender-bending nanny portrayed by Robin Williams.
Also prowling the daytime streets are the folks seeking to maximise attention for movies that, to put it diplomatically, are unlikely to be Oscar contenders.
In a typically low-budget but colourful promotion, Lithuanian actors promenaded with two piglets on leashes -- "Violet, the star of the film, and Pink, her gigolo," they helpfully explained.
Spray-painted on the porkers' backs was "REDIRECTED."
"It's an action movie about British people who fly to Malaysia but get redirected to Lithuania because of the volcano," said actor Mindaugas Papinigis.
The film's website bears no sign of any sponsorship by the Lithuanian Tourism Board.
"It tells a story of four friends turned first-time robbers John, Ben, Tim and Michael who accidentally get stranded in a middle-of-nowhere Eastern European country and have to fight their way back home through the land of whores, smugglers, dirty cops, cheap beer and sick fantasies," it says.
"Return to Nuke 'em High" -- where members of a high-school glee club are mutated into zombies -- is another movie that you may never have heard of.
But that won't be the fault of US mini-producers Troma Entertainment, who each day work the Cannes streets with megaphones and monster masks.
"If you want to express yourself there is a way to do it," said Troma's Doug Sakmann. "You won't be shut down by the fact that you don't have enough money to do it."