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Home   Riviera Life   “History of Cannes Film Festival”
History of Cannes Film Festival
Posted on Monday, 23 April 2007
The Cannes Film Festival began in 1939. It's widely considered to be the world's most important film festival

In 1938, in reaction controversial selections of films by the German and Italian fascist governments at the Venice Film Festival.

"La Grande Illusion", a film by Jean Renoir, was dismissed as being even eligible for the festival's top honour; Il Coppa Mussolini. It had been the clear favourite among cinema commentators and had been strongly tipped by the jury.

In a dramatic turn-about, the grand prize was awarded to a two-part German film called "Olympia", which was custom made for Goebbels to document Nazi successes at the 1938 Berlin Olympics in the stadium built by Albert Speer, and "Luciano Serra, Pilota", made by Mussolini's son. Needless to say it caused an uproar.

Then French Minister for Education; Jean Zay, decided to promote an International Cinema Festival in Cannes. Louis Lumi?re became the first president of the first festival, which was to be staged on September 1, 1939. The declaration of war against Germany by France and the United Kingdom on September 3 1939 ruined the festival's premiere but not for long. The festival was re-kindled in 1946 and was staged from September 20 1946 to October 5 1946 in the former Casino in Cannes.

In 1949 the original Palais des Festivals was opened. The original Palais was replaced by a new, less handsome one in 1983.

The most prestigious award given out at Cannes is the Palme d'Or ("Golden Palm") for best film. The Palm D'Or is the logo of the Festival committee. The Internationally selected jury of movie professionals, grants many awards, including the Grand Prix ("Grand Prize") ? the second most prestigious award.

The annual Awards include the following:

Palme d'Or - Golden Palm
Grand Prix du Festival International du Film - Grand Prize of the Festival (1946-1954)
Prix de la mise en scene - Best Director
Prix du Jury - Jury Prize
La Camera d'Or - Best first film
Prix du meilleur scenario - Best Screenplay
Prix d'interpretation f?minine du Festival de Cannes - Best Actress
Prix d'interpretation masculine du Festival de Cannes - Best Actor
Prix un certain regard - Un Certain Regard Award
Prix de la FIPRESCI - International Federation of Film Critics Prize

During May the entire movie industry descends on Cannes on the French Riviera. It's the perfect glamorous setting for such an illustrious event, one that attracts stars and starlets, famous directors, cinematographers, writers and of course the legions of fans.

Careers are made and broken during the Cannes Festival, winning a prize means certain success, and directors who fail to make the grade, or producers who fail to get the funding, may disappear without trace.

The imagery of the Cannes Film Festival is pure glamour, since Brigitte Bardot pouted her way into pin-up girl celebrity at Cannes, the festival has been synonymous with Red Carpets, glamour, bikinis and celebrity parties.

Films you can watch that depict the Cannes Film Festival

Evening in Byzantium (1978).
The film festival is overtaken by terrorists. Directed by Jerry London and starring Glenn Ford and Eddie Albert. From a novel by Irwin Shaw.

Almost Perfect Affair (1979).
A romantic comedy about an affair between a filmmaker and a producer's wife, set during the film festival. Starring Keith Carradine.

La Cite de la peur (1994).
Comedy. Directed by Alain Berberian. Starring Alain Chabat, Chantal Lauby, G?rard Darmon.
Grosse Fatigue (1994). Comedy.

Festival in Cannes (2001).
Entertainment industry farce about filmmakers trying to make deals during the Cannes Film Festival. Directed by Henry Jaglom and starring Greta Scacchi, Maximilian Schell and Ron Silver.

Femme Fatale (2002).
After pulling off a risky heist during the Cannes Film Festival, Laure double-crosses her partners and tries to disappear by assuming the identity of a dead woman. Directed by Brian De Palma and starring Rebecca Romijn and Antonio Banderas.

Mr. Bean's Holiday (2007).
Mr. Bean gets his video diary entered into this festival. Starring Rowan Atkinson.

Recent winners

The Wind That Shakes the Barley

L'Enfant aka The Child

Fahrenheit 9/11


The Pianist

The Son's Room

Dancer in the Dark

Riviera Rental Guide specialises in providing rental villa and apartment accommodation for the Cannes Film Festival. Many studios and production houses use Riviera Rental Guide to provide luxury places to stay for the duration of the Festival de Cannes. In addition we rent studios and 1 bed apartments for fans convenient to the Palais Des Festivals.
Recommended Link:   Cannes Film Festival

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