The Palais is on the Croisette. It is located at one end of the sidewalk. It is worth spending some time walking down toward the other end. There are lots of private beaches, coffee shops, high end stores, restaurants, ... The entire Croisette is long but you don't have to walk all the way to enjoy the scenery, and people and expensive yacht watching experience.
It really depends what you are looking for. Towards the middle (away from the Palais) there are quite a few shopping opportunities and private beaches. At the very end there is a public garden with a Children place and ice creams booths. There is also a nice public beach.
If you want to enjoy the view and the buzz you can stay close to the Palais though.
The film festival is held at the Palais de Congress which is on the Croisette near the centre of town. You could either walk along the Croisette and 'promenade' along with all the residents and tourists, something everyone does every day, or head towards the town for the everyday shops, bars and restaurants. From the Palais you could also walk up to the old town of Le Suchet. The designer shops are all along the Croisette.
Walk straight ahead from the front door of the Palais into the city for 3 blocks and you will find a street running alongside of the railroad station. This street has some of the best bargains in Cannes, specialty stores and intimate restaurants.
Get quick answers from La Croisette staff and past visitors.