Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Festival
Photo: © Festival de Cannes
The Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes), formerly known as the International Film Festival (Festival international du film), is one of the most famous and respected film festivals accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations. It is held each may in the French Riviera city of Cannes.

The Cannes Festival was conceived in 1939 by French author Philippe Erlanger and Jean Zay, the Minister of National Education and Fine Arts. They wanted France to have an international film festival able to compete with the Venice Film Festival founded in 1932 as part of the famous Venice Biennale.

The inaugural Cannes Film Festival was scheduled to take place in 1939 with Louis Lumière – one of the Lumière brothers who patented and improved cinematograph – as its honorary chairman. However, the event had to be canceled due to the outbreak of the Second World War. The first Cannes Festival opened on September 20, 1946, a year after the war was over. It was a success so it was decided to hold it annually. Since 1952, it has been held in May.

The Cannes Film Festival is an A-list film festival that has been given competitive status by FIAPF. Its official competition is open to films that have been produced during the 12 months preceding the festival and that have not yet been presented at any international film event. Both feature-length and short films are eligible to participate. Films for the festival’s Official Selection are chosen by the Selection Committee and winners are chosen by the juries. Jurors are chosen from international film artists and presided over by an intentionally recognized film industry professional.

The main award given out at the Cannes Film Festival is the Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) for the best film. Other awards presented at the festival include the Grand Prix, the Jury Prize, the Short Film Palme d’Or, the Best Actress Award, the Best Actor Award, the Best Director Award, the Best Screenplay Award, several prizes for young filmmakers, and a number of awards given by independent entities.

Alongside the Official Selection consisting of several sections (In Competition, Un Certain Regard, Out of Competition, Special Screenings, Cinéfondation, Short Films), the program of the Cannes Festival features parallel sections, sections produced by outside organizations such as the International Critics’ Week, and special events. Some of the main highlights of the festival include the film market Marché du Film, masterclasses, tributes, networking events for film producers, exhibitions, and more.

The Cannes Film Festival is one of the world’s most significant film events. It features a lot of A-list celebrities and gets massive media exposure. The festival is invitation-only and takes place at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès (Palace of Festivals and Conferences).

Cannes Film Festival

Photo: Paul Smith / Featureflash




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