(Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)For first-timers and newcomers to Cannes, the festival can be overwhelming – so many screenings, so many people, so many parties! To help critics and journalists navigate the wild world of the French Riviera in May, we asked IndieWire Executive Editor – a longtime Cannes attendee – to give us his top tips for those heading to the festival this year. Be patient, and roll with the chaos. Cannes is the most exciting film festival in the world — a dense, hectic convergence of the global film industry along a small stretch of land by the French Riviera — but that chaos can be overwhelming, tiring, and often lead to frustrating scenarios. Ushers can be rude to you. Lines get long. It’s hot. Any attempt to see several movies in one day and squeeze in other activities, whether it’s writing on deadline or attending a few parties, will result in an insane 12-hours–plus schedule that can lead to levels of exhaustion you never knew existed. But that’s Cannes! The history of this place, the deep love for cinema as an art form, and the sheer range of countries and cultures stuffed into a fairly palatable lineup is unparalleled. This festival is in love with its legacy, and if you give yourself over to the rough ride and do the best you can, you’ll fall in love with it, too. Get ready to wait in line. The color-coded Cannes accreditation system tends to relegate newcomers to lower tiers; don’t take it personally. For most of films in the “Official Selection” at Cannes — generally speaking, Competition, Un Certain Regard, Cannes Classics, and Special Screenings — you will have to wait in a line that corresponds to your badge color. That usually means yellow and blue badges in one line, pink badges in another line, and “rose pastille” (pink with a yellow dot) and white badges in another line. If you aren’t in that last tier, you should always plan to line up at least an hour early.Make your schedule carefully, and then leave room from improvisation. Even if you’re really judicious about lining up early, chances are pretty strong you still might not get into a movie you want to see. Sometimes, one screening starts so soon after another that you won’t be able to line up early, anyway; in other situations, your accreditation may force to wait far back in line and by the time it’s your turn, the theater has filled up. In the amount of time you waste throwing a tantrum (and trust me, you’ll see some tantrums), you could be finding a much more productive use of your time. Check the schedule, see if there’s anything else screening in the near future, and take a chance on it. You’ll have plenty of options. Which leads me to the next item on this list…Explore Directors’ Fortnight, Critics’ Week, and ACID. This is very important: The range of non-English–language cinema at Cannes is staggering, especially if you’re a journalist from North America, where so few non-English–language movies open throughout the year. Take this as a responsibility: Yes, you want to see the high-profile, buzzy titles in Competition, but if you have any flexibility, look for unknown variables in the other sections. By covering them, you are playing a role in pushing them to more audiences (and potentially distributors as well). Fortnight (otherwise known as “Quinzaine”) and Critics’ Week (“Semaine de la Critique”) are as essential to the Cannes experience as the main selection. They’re both located a little further down the Croisette (in the opposite direction of the Palais) at the JW Marriot and the Palais Stephanie, respectively. Fortnight tends to be filled with a handful of notable directors who, for one reason or another, didn’t make the cut in the Official Selection; it’s also a neat opportunity to discover new directors from around the world, and edgier films that may or may not find their way to the U.S. (although, if you choose to write about them, that could play a role in the outcome). Critics’ Week only screens first and second features, so it’s one of the best places in Cannes to discover newcomers. And ACID, a younger section that has gained traction in recent years, is a smaller lineup that tends to showcase low-budget films with very different sensibilities than you’ll find at the rest of the festival.