Clare Binns, Picturehouse

Based in London, Binns is managing director of exhibitor Picturehouse Cinemas and distributor Picturehouse Entertainment, and has been a regular on the Croisette from more than 30 years.

Best coffee in Cannes
It’s very hard to get a good cup of coffee in Cannes anymore. However, since the Nespresso bar has been in the Palais, I quickly hurtle there as soon as a screening is over for an espresso. Please God let them still be sponsoring.

Typical Cannes breakfast
It’s very bad for me but it’s croissants, bread, cheese, apricot jam and gallons of coffee. Occasionally I’ll have a bit of fruit just to make me feel like I’m not completely giving myself over to a heart attack.

Most memorable film you’ve seen in Cannes
It’s almost impossible to say but one was Lars Von Trier’s Breaking The Waves. I hadn’t seen anything like it before and it knocked me sideways. Also, seeing Shallow Grave and recognising there was a huge talent there. Pulp Fiction, Dancer In The Dark – every year, there’s one that just takes your breath away.

Top Cannes survival tip
Pace yourself, take a hat and take an umbrella. In my case, take some proper tea and also a swimming costume, as 10 minutes in the sea at the end of the festival is very nice.

First year in Cannes
I’ve been going since about 1990, when I was a cinema programmer for The Ritzy, The Cameo, The Gate and The Phoenix.

Average amount of sleep per night
When I first started, it was three hours a night, because I’d stand at the Petit Majestic and talk bullshit till five in the morning. Now I hope to get around five hours, but it’s sometimes a bit less.

How have things have got better or worse at Cannes over the years? 
The ticket collection is so much better, when the system doesn’t crash. The fact the dress code is a little more relaxed is good, although I do rather like the fact that there are rules and regulations. But the standard of film is as good as it ever was, which is amazing.