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Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Festival: seven decades of stars

It’s probably the most prominent film festival in the world and its more than seventy years of history prove it. Since its beginnings, The Cannes International Film Festival has marked the history of seventh art for the creativity of its competitors, its glamour and scandals.

Despite being officially created in 1939, its origins can be tracked to the beginnings of that decade. Even more surprising, the first edition just happened in 1947.

But let’s start with the beginnings. In the first years of the 30s, politics were influencing the final jury’s decisions in the Venice festival, giving advantage to films in which viewers and politicians could see a wink to Benito Mussolini’s fascism politics.

Consequently, French and American filmmakers decided to promote the idea of creating a new festival in which art would be awarded, independent of any political influence. Thus, two cities were offered to host the event: Cannes and Biarritz. At the end, the elected was the first one.

Louis Lumiere

Louis Lumiere

Everything was running smoothly and the date for the first edition was chosen to be in September of 1939, but suddenly happened what everyone feared in Europe: Hitler finally invaded Poland and the World War II started, delaying the festival until 1947 when the conflict was over. In that first edition, Luis Lumiere, one of the fathers of the cinematography, was chosen as the president of the jury.

Throughout the years, The Cannes Film Festival has witnessed small but substantial changes, among them, the designation of the Golden Palms the highest prize given in the festival. The decision was keenly supported by the prominent French artist Suzaanne Lazon.

In the 60s, the festival was well established and recognized amongst the most important in the world, having awarded filmmakers such as Luis Buñuel and Federico Fellini. A decade later, the selection format for competing movies changed. Before, every country was autonomous to choose the film to represent the nation. After the change, the festival’s directives were the ones who selected the films taking part in the competition

With the new format, directors such as Martin Scorcese, Francis Ford Coppola and Ridley Scott, were awarded with Golden Palms.

In the 60s, the festival was well established and recognized amongst the most important in the world, having awarded filmmakers such as Luis Buñuel and Federico Fellini. A decade later, the selection format for competing movies changed. Before, every country was autonomous to choose the film to represent the nation. After the change, the festival’s directives were the ones who selected the films taking part in the competition

With the new format, directors such as Martin Scorcese, Francis Ford Coppola and Ridley Scott, were awarded with Golden Palms.

The Golden Palms

It’s the award every filmmaker would love to win, for what it represents within the industry and out of it. But many of us ask what does The Golden Palm represent? Why a golden palm? The answer isn’t as difficult as it appears to be.

The highest prize in The Cannes International Film Festival is The Golden Palm as a tribute to the city’s coat of arms, in which a palm is represented. The award design has changed throughout the years as well as its status as the highest award given in the festival.

Thus, created in 1955, The Golden Palm was the highest honour given until it had to be changed in 1964 due to legal restrictions. From that year and until 1975 the main award the jury gave to competitors was the Grand Prix. However, The Golden Palm returned to become the most important prize and the symbol of the festival.

Top 5 scandals in Cannes Film Festival

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The Golden Palm

The Golden Palm Award

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