Category Archives: Festival de Cannes

History of the Cannes Film Festival – Part IX the 2010s

Posted by Larry Gleeson

During the 2010s, the Awards continued to highlight the exacting artistry of international filmmakers at the Cannes Film Festival, from Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives) to Bong Joon-ho (Parasite).



In 2013, a personal favorite, Blue is the Warmest Color, took home the Palm D’Or.




In 2015, another personal favorite took home the Palm D’Or, Dheepan.


Kalieaswari Srinivasan, Jacques Audiard, Jesuthasan Antonythasa – Palme d’Or – Dheepan (Image Credit : AFP / Valery Hache)


In 2017 industry leaders and businesses, the public, and around 100 artists, all gathered for an extraordinary festival, and to celebrate the 70th Cannes Film Festival.

In 2018 the festival had its first all-female presentation team led by Kate Blanchett and Agnes Varda.


Cate Blanchett – President of the Feature Films Jury (Image Credit : François Silvestre De Sacy /FDC)


By 2020, a “Special Session” was in order as the coronavirus was rampaging the global community. A unique selection of 56 feature films and 28 short films were distributed around the planet under the banner: Cannes 2020. The solidarity achieved over the years between the Cannes Film Festival and major film events allowed for a continuance.

Stay tuned as the countdown to the 75th Festival de Cannes is on!




History of the Cannes Film Festival – Part VI the 1980s

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The Cannes Film Festival, until 2003 called the International Film Festival, is an annual film festival held in Cannes, France, which previews new films of all genres, including documentaries, from all around the world and is widely considered the most important festival in the world in terms of impact as it draws attention to and raises profiles of films contributing to the development of cinema, globally boosts the industry and celebrates film at an international level, As such, a ten-part series on the Cannes Film Festival is underway with the publishing of the History of the Cannes Film Festival – Parts I,   II,   III, IV, and V.



As the scandals of the 1960s subsided and the advent and sprouting of the Directors Fortnight during the 1970s, the decade of the 1980s promised hope and witnessed the emergence of foreign cinemas that theretofore had been forbidden to be exported, were now being screened. While the diplomatic barriers were being shaken, the festival’s reputation as a filmmakers’ forum emerged. Cannes had proven its commitment to defending the filmmaker’s freedom of expression.



In 1983, the choice of winners was sharply criticized, with the jury giving out additional Jury’s Grand Prix and a Grand Prix for art films at the last minute. The choice of films presented largely stressed committed cinema that never gives in to government pressure. This was also the decade that gave rise to socially aware young directors.


The Tin Dum


Françoise Sagan, the president of the jury of the Cannes Film Festival in 1979, sparked off a major scandal in Cannes by declaring: “It is true that I tried to put pressure on the jury. I did so simply because the day before, Mr. Favre le Bret completely stepped out of his role by trying to do the exact same thing.” Françoise Sagan was in favor of awarding the Palme d’Or to Volker Schlöndorff’s film The Tin Drum, while a number of jury members preferred Apocalypse Now. At the last minute, both films were awarded the Palme d’Or, the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival.


Apocalypse Now



In 1983, Robert Favre le Bret, after witnessing the birth and evolution of the festival, stepped down as President of the Cannes Film Festival passing the torch to Pierre Viot. Viot teamed up with the 1978 appointed Delegate General (Director of the Festival), Gilles Jacob. Jacob had created the Caméra d’Or prize for the best first film which could be awarded to a film from any one of the three parallel events (the Official Cannes Selection, the Directors’ Fortnight, and Critics’ Week). He also grouped together the non-competitive categories in a selection called Un Certain Regard.

In addition, the town decided the Palais de la Croisette had become too small for the event and ordered the construction of the Palais des Congrès. The municipality’s initial idea for expanding the Palais Croisette was not viable and, given the Festival’s growing success, there was a need to go big and build a new one.


Palais des Festivals et des Congrès 1983


Its time had come and in 1983 the new Palais des Festivals et des Congrès was ready. The stakes were high as the structure would host numerous events throughout the year. Upon opening, many complained the architecture was too boxy and many described it as “a hideous concrete blockhouse.” Yet, the bunker style was accepted though it wasn’t a perfect fit for the festival. Nevertheless,  the famous twenty-four steps decorated with the red carpet has welcomed tens of thousands of festival-goers, and hundreds of screenings, and helped maintain the ongoing popularity of the Film Market.


Palais des Festivals et des Congrès


In 1986 the 39th Cannes Festival was declared open by 14-year-old Charlotte Gainsbourg and 94-year-old Charles Vanel, hand in hand symbolizing the tradition of the past and the emerging talent of the present day.


Charlotte Gainsbourg and Charles Vanel (Image cr. AFP)


The duo of Viot and Jacob formed a well-balanced team, between boldness and tradition. The Festival continued its efforts to protect freedom of expression and promote cinema as a whole, but it also became committed to defending thematically the  Rights of Man and of the Citizen.


Say tuned for the barrier-breaking 1990s!



Statement from the Festival de Cannes on the situation in Ukraine

Posted by Larry Gleeson

As the world has been hit by a heavy crisis in which a part of Europe finds itself in a state of war, the Festival de Cannes wishes to extend all its support to the people of Ukraine and all those who are in its territory.

However modest as it is, we join our voices with those who oppose this unacceptable situation and denounce the attitude of Russia and its leaders.

Our thoughts go out in particular to the Ukrainian artists and film industry professionals, as well as their families whose lives are now in danger. There are those whom we’ve never met, and those whom we’ve come to know and welcomed to Cannes, who came with works that say much about Ukraine’s history and the present.

During this winter of 2022, the Festival de Cannes and the Marché du Film have entered their preparation phase. Unless the war of assault ends in conditions that will satisfy the Ukrainian people, it has been decided that we will not welcome official Russian delegations nor accept the presence of anyone linked to the Russian government.

However, we would like to salute the courage of all those in Russia who have taken risks to protest against the assault and invasion of Ukraine. Among them are artists and film professionals who have never ceased to fight against the contemporary regime, who cannot be associated with these unbearable actions, and those who are bombing Ukraine.

Loyal to its history that started in 1939 in resistance to the fascist and Nazi dictatorship, the Festival de Cannes will always serve artists and industry professionals that raise their voices to denounce violence, repression, and injustices, for the main purpose to defend peace and liberty.


The Festival de Cannes Team