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Deal Making On The High Seas

If the maxim "don't mix business with pleasure" rings hollow anywhere, it's Cannes.

With mobile phone in one hand and champagne glass in the other, every wheeler-dealer makes sure big bucks business and hard-core partying go hand-in-hand at the world's most famous film bonanza.

True deal spinners do business down at the yacht harbor, where super-slick boats compete for size.

"There's plenty of serious entertainment, but there's a lot of serious business going on, too," Guy Russell, a London-based executive with Matrix Film Finance, said as he stood on the deck of a luxury ocean-going cruiser.

"Every day, we'll have a lunch, some cocktails in the evening, and then a couple of parties at night, but all the while we're thinking business," he said in a hoarse voice, evidently still groggy from the night before.

All along the harbor side at Cannes are monster yachts chartered by producers, distributors, financiers and any others who want a tie-in to the movie industry.

Registered in the likes of Cape Town, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, the yacht is the business accessory par excellence at Cannes, not to mention a great place to have a party.

"There's no more beautiful place to do business than Cannes, and if you're here you might as well do it on a yacht," Cindy Rakowitz, head of RaknRoll entertainment, said as she lay on a 150-foot gin palace called "Perfect Persuasion."

"We'll hold 11 parties in as many days on here and it will cost us a fair amount, but it's an investment, like in any business."

While the biggest yachts -- complete with jacuzzis, multi-gyms, speedboats and a deck with space for hundreds -- can cost upwards of $300,000 for two weeks, others go for a more modest $50,000 a week.

Of course, some don't even have to think about renting.

Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen is in town with his hulking white floating palace "Charade." That's the setting for Giorgio Armani's star-studded party for Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz..

And it's not just Hollywood millions or technology billions that buy a place on the coveted harbor -- adult entertainment is a growing business with a big presence at Cannes.

High-class pornographic film company Private has at least one super-yacht - "El Harem" - moored along the dock.

Written By Luke Baker