History of International Cannes Film Festival

Every year in May, on the French Cote d’Azur in the resort town of Cannes, one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world, belonging to category A, is held – the International Cannes Film Festival . In 2002, the International Film Festival was officially named Cannes Film Festival.

The first festival was held in 1946 , although it was planned for the autumn of 1939. According to the organizers of the festival, it was supposed to represent an alternative to the Venice Film Festival. The program was ready, the inventor of cinema, Louis Lumiere, was appointed honorary chairman of the jury. The opening was supposed to take place on September 1, but it was on this day that the Second World War (1939-1945) began.

The first film festival, which became an international event in the cultural life of the post-war years, took place on September 20 – October 5, 1946.

More than 40 films were submitted for the competition . Of these, 11 received the “Grand Prix”. Among them is the film from the USSR ” The Great Break ” by Friedrich Ermler.

Since 1946, the film festival has been held annually in September, but since 1952, the organizers of the festival have changed the time of its holding – it began to be held in the spring, in May.

In 1948 and 1950 the film festival was not held due to lack of money.

At first, the Cannes Film Festival was a prestigious social event, but in the 1950s it became world famous.

In 1959, the Cannes Film Market received official status. In the 1960s, in addition to the official program of the festival, independent sections appeared – “International Film Critics’ Week” in 1962 and “Directors’ Fortnight” in 1969.

In May 1968, a social crisis broke out in France, resulting in demonstrations, riots and a general strike, in connection with which the Cannes Film Festival was canceled.

In 1972, the principle of selecting competitive tapes was changed – if earlier they were chosen by the participating countries themselves, then from that moment the tapes began to be selected directly by the festival management.

Three official out-of-competition programs emerged in the 1970s. The Inventive Eyes program presents films on other arts; “The Spirit of the Times” – paintings on contemporary topics; “The Complicated Past” – films about cinematography assembled from archival materials.

In 1978, on the initiative of Gilles Jacob, then the executive director of the festival, the Golden Camera Award was established for the best debut film presented in one of the three competitive programs. Gilles Jacob also came up with the idea of ​​creating the Un Certain Regard program, which is not related to the competition. Since then, Cannes has hosted three festival screenings: the main competition, Directors’ Fortnight and Un Certain Regard.

In 1998, Gilles Jacob created the Cinéfondation program, which shows short and medium-length films made by students of film schools around the world. The program is designed to identify and encourage young talents. The program was further developed in 2000 in the project “Residence” In 2005, the Atelier project was established to help filmmakers whose film projects were deemed particularly promising to find funding for their films.

In 2004, the Cannes Classics program was opened at the Cannes Film Festival, which shows restored copies of films, retrospectives dedicated to the cinema of different countries, and documentaries about cinema.

In 2004, the Producers Network project was born , which allows producers from all over the world to discuss their projects, as well as the Short Film Corner, a meeting place for short film authors. In 2012, Doc Corner was opened , dedicated to documentaries.

In 2010, the new Cannes Court Metrage program brought together the short film competition program and the Short Film Corner project, presenting a complete panorama of the achievements of short filmmakers around the world.

The main award of the Cannes Film Festival – “Golden Palm” has been awarded since 1955, and before that (between 1946 and 1954) the most prestigious award of the festival was called the “Grand Prix”. The first “Palme d’Or” made of gold was awarded in 1955 to the American film “Marty” by Delbert Mann.

From 1964 to 1974, due to problems with the copyright of the prize, the Grand Prix was temporarily resumed as the main award. Since 1975, the Palme d’Or has again become a symbol of the festival and is awarded annually to the director for the best film in the main competition. Since 1998, the branch has been placed in a blue morocco case along with a single piece of faceted crystal. The branch itself is made of 18 carat gold.

In 2017, for the 70th anniversary festival, the Palme d’Or was encrusted with 167 diamonds.

Among the other awards of the film festival are awards for the best performance of male and female roles, prizes for the best script, best director, best cinematography, etc. Over the years, the festival participants were awarded various international awards , awards for artistic contribution and individual filmmakers.

Until 1983, the festival was held in a building on the Croisette (now the Noga Hilton Hotel). In 1983, the grand opening of the new Palais des Festivals took place on Place Georges Pompidou.

President of the Cannes Film Festival – Pierre Lescure. Executive Director – Thierry Fremaux.

In 2020, against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cannes Film Festival was held for the first time in autumn in a mini format, with a truncated program. The main competition section included only four films out of 56 that passed the selection. In addition, within the framework of the festival, short films and films by young directors were shown in the Cinefondation program. The Palme d’Or was only awarded in the Short Film Section. The award went to I’m Afraid to Forget Your Face by Egyptian director Sameh Alaa.

In addition to the results of the short film program, the winners of the Cinefondation student film competition were also announced. This program consisted of 17 films selected by a jury from 1952 entries. The first place went to the Indian tape “Kotopes” (Catdog) Guha Neogi. Behind him is “Me and my fat ass” (Ja i Moja Gruba Dupa) by Pole Elizaveta Pysmak. The third place was shared between the Romanian “Contraindications” (Contraindication) by Lucia Chicos and the German film “I Want To Return Return Return” (I Want To Return Return Return) by Elsa Rosengren.

In 2021, amid the ongoing pandemic, the Cannes Film Festival, scheduled for May, has been rescheduled to July 6-17.

24 films participated in the main program of the Cannes Film Festival . The jury was headed by American director and actor Spike Lee.

Russia was represented at the competition by Kirill Serebrennikov’s “Petrovs in the Flu” and Juho Kuosmanen’s “Compartment Number Six” (co-production with Finland, Estonia and Germany).

Two more Russian films were selected for the Un Certain Regard section : Alexei German Jr.’s film Delo and Kira Kovalenko’s film Unclenching Fists.

The Grand Prix of the Cannes Film Festival received two films – “Compartment No. 6” (Compartment No. 6) by Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen and “Hero” (A Hero) by Iranian Asghar Farhadi.

French director Julia Ducorneau’s film “Titan” (Titane) received the main award of the Cannes Film Festival – “Palme d’Or”. The Festival Jury Prize was awarded to two films – Ahed’s Knee by Israeli director Nadav Lapid and Memoria by Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

The Best Screenplay Award went to Japanese director Ryusuke Hamaguchi for Drive My Car.

Frenchman Leos Carax was recognized as the best director for his musical Annette.

Caleb Landry Jones won the Best Actor Award for his performance in Justin Kurzel’s Nitram. Renate Reinswe won the Best Actress Award for her role in the intellectual melodrama Worst Person in the World directed by Joachim Trier.