Babylon Nights Tidbit #18 ~ Cannes Film Festival

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Babylon Nights Tidbit #18 ~ Cannes Film Festival

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:08 pm


For 12 days in May the city of Cannes is transformed from a quiet seaside resort into the entire focus of the international film industry. Over 200,000 people - filmmakers, film fans, and star-gazers alike - descend on the Croisette to take part in the Cannes Film Festival (or more correctly, the Festival de Cannes). During these two weeks thousands of films are screened, careers are made (and ruined), and stars from all over the world gather to bask in the limelight.

On the surface, a city such as Cannes perhaps might not strike you as the place to host the world's most famous film festival. It's not a capital city, or even near one. Yes, cinema was invented in France - but that was in Paris, not Cannes. And sure, the weather in Cannes may be nice, but that certainly isn't a unique selling point. So just how did a reasonably small resort town end up hosting the most prestigious film festival there is?

Like much of the world as we know it today, the Cannes Film Festival exists as an indirect result of the rise of the fascist regimes in Europe during the 1930s. Its roots date back to 1932 when the first competitive international film festival was held in Venice. In those days, the Mostra di Venezia - and chiefly its awards - was as much about the national prestige of the participating countries as it was about the films. As the decade marched on, both the official selection and the prize-winners began to noticeably favour the countries of the fascist alliance, particularly Germany and Italy.

Matters came to a head in 1938 when Jean Renoir's "La Grande Illusion" was overlooked for the festival's top prize - known back then as the Coppa Mussolini ("Mussolini Cup") - despite being the clear favourite amongst both festivalgoers and jury members. Instead, the Coppa was jointly-awarded to a two-part German film called "Olympia", commissioned by Joseph Goebbels to document Nazi successes at the 1938 Berlin Olympics; and "Luciano Serra, Pilota", made under the supervision of Il Duce's own son. When the results were announced, the French were of course outranged and withdrew from the festival. Both the British and American jury members also resigned in protest at the idea that politics and ideology were able to stamp all over artistic appreciation. "La Grande Illusion" - a largely anti-war film - was subsequently banned in Germany and Italy; Goebbels himself labelling it 'Cinematographic Enemy No.1'.

But Venice's folly turned out to be Cannes' triumph. Later that same year, a group of critics and filmmakers got together to petition the French Government to underwrite the cost of running an alternative international film festival in France - one where films could be shown and compete without bias or political censorship. Afraid of upsetting Mussolini, the French government was initially lukewarm to the idea, but the powerful lobby group wasn't going to be easily dissuaded. Headed by Philippe Erlanger (head of Action Artistique Française), Robert Favre Le Bret (who would become the festival's longest serving president), and Louis Lumière (the co-inventor of cinema), the group put intense pressure on the government, which eventually caved in and gave the event the green light.

Several locations were initially considered for the festival, but the final choice came down to either Biarritz on the Atlantic coast or Cannes on the Mediterranean. Officially, it was the city's "sunny and enchanting location" which clinched it for Cannes, however most people acknowledge that the real reason for its selection was the fact that the municipal authorities agreed to cough up the dough to build a dedicated venue for the event.
The inaugural Festival International du Film was slated to kick-off on 1 September 1939; that month chosen by shrewd city officials who realized that such an event could be used to extend the summer tourist season by an extra two weeks. But the fledgling festival only managed its opening night before being closed down following the outbreak of World War II the following day.

The festival remained in hiatus during the war, re-emerging for a second attempt on 20 September 1946 under the joint aegis of the French ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education. As the City of Cannes had yet to make good on its promise of a dedicated venue, the first festival-proper took place in the old winter casino with the 82-year-old Loius Lumière taking on the duties of inaugural jury president. Films presented for the first festival included Billy Wilder's "Lost Weekend", David Lean's "Brief Encounter", Roberto Rossellini's "Rome Open City", George Cukor's "Gaslight", Walt Disney's "Make Mine Music", Alfred Hitchcock's "Notorious", and Jean Cocteau's "Beauty and the Beast". Films from Charles Laughton, Howard Hawks, and Cecil B. De Mille were also screened out of competition.

The first festival was generally regarded as a success by all and sundry, so for its sophomore outing in 1947, it was moved under the wing of the newly-formed Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC), a government body charged with supporting and promoting the cinematic arts, and preserving France's screen history. Amongst its general organizational responsibilities, the CNC also took over the co-ordination of the submissions and selection process for the event. Indeed, in the early days, films were nominated by their respective countries rather than the festival itself, with the number of berths available to a given country being proportionate to the volume of its cinematic output. As a result, Cannes in the early days was more of a "film forum" than a competitive event - with the CNC trying very hard to ensure that every film screened went home with some kind of award.

Although the 1947 festival had also been successful by most measures, budget problems in 1948 saw the event go dark for a second time. Financial woes also prevented the 1950 festival from going ahead, but in between the 1949 festival managed to secure an impressive line-up of international cinema, including Fred Zinnemann's "Act of Violence", Michelangelo Antonioni's "L'Amorosa Menzogna", Joseoph L. Mankiewicz's "House of Strangers", David Lean's "The Passionate Friends", and Carol Reed's "The Third Man" (the top prize-winner for that year). 1949 also saw the City of Cannes finally make good on its promise of a dedicated venue for the event. Built on the present site of Hotel Palais Stéphanie, and completed in 1952, the brand new Palais Croisette was to be the festival's home for the next 30-odd years.


By the early 1950s, the festival had experienced significant growth in scope and renown so it was decided to change the dates from September to April. The reason for the move was two-fold: firstly, many observers noted that competing festivals, such as Berlin and Venice, took place earlier in the year and consequently Cannes was missing out on a good deal of world premieres. Secondly, many in the local tourist industry questioned the value of holding such a large event at the end of the season when things were naturally winding down.

With the move to spring, Cannes was able to lay the foundations for its 'King of Festivals' crown. After the 1950 wobble the next few festivals burst out of the gate with a range of films from the cream of international cinema. Between 1951 and 1953 over 105 feature films were presented in competition, including George Stevens' "A Place in the Sun", Alfred Hitchcock's "I Confess", Orson Welles' screen adaptation of "Othello", John Ford's "The Sun Shines Bright", Raj Kapoor's "Awara", and a back-to-back triple play from Luis Buñel ("Subida al Cielo", "Los Olividados", and "El").
In 1954 two things happened which would change the image of Cannes forever. The first involved an idea, put forward by Parisian jeweller Suzanne Lazon, that the festival award trophies should incorporate a palm leaf motif (as the trees had long since become an icon of the city). The initial concept was sketched out by legendary director Jean Cocteau - a friend of Lazon - and went down so well with the festival brass that the top prize, the Grand Prix, was renamed the Palme d'Or the following year.

The second change experienced in 1954 was the introduction of 'sex' to the festival's image. During a photo call for Robert Mitchum, French starlet Simone Sylva started the now infamous tradition of 'getting one's boobs out' on the beach for the cameras. A bemused Mitchum stood by as Miss Sylva's assets hit the international news wires, and with them, a lasting image of Cannes was cast in the world's mind. (Sorry Noodlemantras, you'll have to google that one yourselves!) And as the decade progressed this image was only boosted by the presence of a bikini-clad Bridgette Bardot, who, by the end of 1950s, had become almost a permanent fixture on the beach during the festival.


Despite the attention generated by the off-screen antics of its attendees, the festival continued to present a range of films from top international directors. Indeed, the 1950s saw the selection of films starting to read like a list of usual suspects (albeit talented ones) as Cannes alumni were invited back with their next films - a practice which continues to this day. Highlights from the remainder of the decade included Fred Zinnemann's "From Here to Eternity", Walt Disney's "The Living Desert", Satyajit Ray's "Pather Pantchali" and "Parash Pathar", Federico Fellini's "Nights of Cabiria", Louis Malle's "Le Monde du Silence", Stanley Donen's "Funny Face", and a trio from Ingmar Bergman, "Smiles of a Summer Night", "The Seventh Seal", and "So Close to Life".

In the early days Cannes had largely been an event for tourists and socialites who were often more interested in attending the many parties in the expensive hotels and luxury villas than they were in watching the films. However, as the festival's popularity increased, it gradually became a place for the international film industry to gather, do business, and discuss future projects. In 1959, ten participants and a canvas screen on the roof of the Palais Croisette kicked of the first Marché du Film, with the event becoming an official part of the festival in 1961.

Whist the arrival of the 1960s found many western countries in the midst of large scale social and economic change, the festival was building on the success of the previous decade and had begun to hit its stride. In 1965, the festival appointed its first female jury president, Olivia de Havilland (followed the next year by Sophia Loren), and the decade saw a wide variety of films presented including Fellini's "La Dolce Vita", Buñuel's "Viridiana", John Fankenheimer's "All Fall Down", Sidney Lumet's "Long Day's Journey into Night", Robert Mulligan's "To Kill a Mockingbird", François Truffaut's "Le Peau Douce", Masaki Kobayashi's "Kwaidan", David Lean's "Doctor Zhivago", Orson Welles' "Chimes at Midnight", Michelangelo Antonioni's "Blow Up", Costa-Gavras' "Z", and Dennis Hopper's "Easy Rider".

However, while the official selection witnessed many of the Cannes alumni present some of their most seminal films, there was a feeling in some quarters that it was becoming increasingly difficult for newer filmmakers to get their films shown at the festival. It was this sentiment which led to the creation of the world's first festival "sidebar", the Semaine Internationale de la Critique ("International Critics' Week"), founded in 1962 as a parallel section focussed on presenting the work of first and second time directors.

Although by the time the 1960s had rolled around, the festival was pretty much over its shaky past, there was to be one more hiccup in 1968. Amidst an undercurrent of general discontent in France, the culture minister André Malraux tried to fire the co-founder and head of the Cinématèque Française, Henri Langois, over a long-running budget dispute. Langois was an extremely popular and respected figure, particularly with the French "new wave" directors, so when the news of the sacking hit Cannes towards the middle of the 1968 festival, all hell broke loose. Louis Malle and Roman Polanski both immediately resigned from the festival jury, joining the call from François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard and a host of other French filmmakers, for the festival to be closed down as a sign of protest. The feelings ran so hot that on 19 May 1968 the directors burst into the noon screening and literally hung from the curtains to prevent the festival from continuing. The festival was cancelled shortly after with many foreign filmmakers finding themselves trapped in France for several days in the face of the nationwide strikes that had brought the country to a standstill.


The French authorities eventually brokered a deal to end the strikes, and the filmmakers successfully forced Malraux to reinstate Henri Langois, but it was too late to resume the festival. However, the events of 1968 did leave an impression on another group of French filmmakers, amongst them Robert Enrico and Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, who were appalled that the festival had been used as a political platform by Truffaut, Godard et al. Together with a group of colleagues they formed the Société des Réalisateurs de Films and gave birth to the second festival sidebar, Quinzaine des Réalisateurs ("Directors' Fortnight"). The Quinzaine was intended to be a forum where films could be presented free from "... all forms of censorship and diplomatic considerations." Its spirit was immortalised by a mildly Orwellian quote from French director Pierre Kast: "All films are born free and equal: we must help them to remain so."

The 1970s brought with them profound change, both in the world of filmmaking and within the festival itself. In the early days festival films had been chosen and submitted by officially appointed representatives from their country of origin. But in 1972 the board of directors decided that from that point on the festival itself would look after the process of choosing films for inclusion in the official selection, thus setting the blueprint for the selection format which is used by most modern international film festivals today.

As far as the films went, the 1970s was largely dominated by the new "golden boys" of American cinema. With Hollywood in a transitional phase (the studio system was long dead, but the corporations had yet to become interested in movies), directors such as Martin Scorcese, Francis Ford Coppola, and Robert Altman, were at the forefront of cinema in the 1970s - in effect, America's answer to the French new wave of the 60s. And Cannes certainly approved. Over the course of the decade American new wave films screened included Robert Altman's "M.A.S.H" and "3 Women", Francis Ford Coppola's "The Conversation" and an unfinished "Apocalypse Now" (which still managed to clinch the Palme d'Or), Martin Scorsese's "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" and "Taxi Driver", and Steven Spielberg's "The Sugarland Express".

But the 1970s in Cannes wasn't only about American movies. Filmmakers from Europe and further a field were well represented by films including John Boorman's "Leo the Last", Louis Malle's "Murmur of the Heart", Milos Forman's "Taking Off", Andreï Tarkovski's "Solaris", Ken Russell's "Mahler", Rainer Werner Fassbinder's "Fear Eats the Soul" and "Despair", Wim Wenders' "Kings of the Road" and "The American Friend", Roman Polanski's "The Tenant", Ridley Scott's "The Duellists", Alan Parker's "Midnight Express", and Werner Herzog's "Woyzeck".

In 1975, festival boss Maurice Bessey decided to expand the scope of the event further by introducing three new out of competition sidebars to the official selection: Les Yeux Fertiles ("Fertile Eyes"), l'Air du Temps ("Spirit of the Time"), and Le Passé Compose ("The Perfect Past"). While this seemed like a good idea at the time, it became quick apparent that the addition of these sidebars overly complicated the official selection, so in 1978 new Delegate Générale Gilles Jacob (now festival president) rolled up these events into a single sidebar: Un Certain Regard. That same year Jacob also introduced the Camera d'Or, an award for the best first-time feature film in any section of the festival.

The arrival of the 1980s saw the festival facing the reasonably serious problem of having outgrown its home in the Palais Croisette. Not wanting to lose the lucrative event, the City of Cannes commissioned a new Palais des Festivals et des Congrès on the site of the old winter casino. Completed in December 1982 as a dual festival and conference venue (and quickly dubbed "The Bunker" by Cannes regulars), the new Palais hosted its first festival in 1983. To celebrate the opening, the City of Cannes invited many stars of past and present to leave their hand prints in clay outside the building on Esplanade Georges Pompidou.




In this file photo above from May 10, 1986, American film director Sydney Pollack, center, makes a hand print in the block of clay that will be sealed in the Croisette after the 39th film festival in Cannes, France. Anne Marie Dupuy, mayor of Cannes, third right, and Mr. Spadaro, mayor of Beverly Hills, Calif. , pose alongside Pollack.

Moviewise the 1980s were heralded by the comeback film from legendary Japanese director, Akira Kurosawa. Financed by George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola, Kurosawa's "Kagemusha" shared the 1980 Palme d'Or with Bob Fosse's "All That Jazz". Other key films screened at Cannes during the 80s included, Bruce Beresford's "Breaker Morant", Bernardo Bertolucci's "Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man", Michael Mann's "Violent Streets", Costa-Gavras' "Missing", Jean-Luc Godard's "Passion", Terry Jones' "Monty Python - The Meaning of Life", Peter Weir's "The Year of Living Dangerously", Win Wenders' "Paris, Texas" and "Wings of Desire", Alan Parker's "Birdy", Peter Bogdanovich's "Mask", Roland Joffe's "The Mission", Peter Greenaway's "Drowning By Numbers", Krzysztof Kieslowski's "A Short Film About Killing", Jane Campion's "Sweetie", and Steven Soderbergh's "Sex, Lies, and Videotape" (the surprise Palme d'Or winner in 1989).

The 1990s kicked off with a continuation of the independent theme set by Soderbergh the year before. During the early part of the decade films such as David Lynch's "Wild at Heart", Ken Loach's "Hidden Agenda", the Coen Brothers' "Barton Fink", Lars von Trier's "Europa", and Spike Lee's "Jungle Fever" all grabbing attention on the Croisette. Other notable films included James Ivory's "Howard's End", Robert Altman's "The Player", Joel Schumacher's "Falling Down", Mike Leigh's "Naked", and of course Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction". In 1993, New Zealander Jane Campion also made festival history, becoming the first female director to win the Palme d'Or (for "The Piano").

Although most of the action during the 90s took place on screen, the festival did pause in 1997 to celebrate its 50th anniversary. To mark the occasion a host of previous Palme d'Or winners were invited back to the festival for photo opportunities and to pay tribute to 50 years of film in Cannes. The festival also presented legendary Swedish director Ingmar Bergman with a special award - the Palme des Palmes ("alm of Palms") - in recognition of his status as a true master of the cinematic medium. The following year, the festival also finally acknowledged the importance of the role played by film schools in developing new talent with the creation of Cinéfondation, a new sidebar dedicated to showcasing the best work from training institutions around the world.

The remainder of the decade continued to be focussed on an eclectic mix of films from across the globe. Highlights included Emir Kusturica's "Underground", Larry Clark's "Kids", Lars von Trier's "Breaking the Waves", the Coen Brothers' "Fargo", Ang Lee's "Ice Storm", Curtis Hanson's "LA Confidential", Thomas Vinterberg's Dogme 95 offering, "Festen", Terry Gilliam's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", Pedro Almodovar's "All About My Mother", and Takeshi Kitano's "Kikukiro".

As the clocks ticked over to the year 2000, Cannes was busy putting together an official selection which would highlight the importance of digital technology to the future of filmmaking. The first palm of the new millennium went to Lars von Trier's DV-shot "Dancer in the Dark", and since then a whole host of digitally-shot films have appeared in every part of the official selection. But aside from the revolution seen in the way festival films were being made, several other key changes occurred at Cannes during the first half of the decade. In 2002, the festival got an image make-over, losing its somewhat lengthy title to simply becoming known as the "Festival de Cannes". Two years later the Cannes Classics sidebar was inaugurated to present films of archival importance from previous festivals and further a field. And in 2005, a new world cinema section - Tous les Cinémas du Monde - was added to help showcase films from countries with a historically-low cinematic output.

As far as the official selection has gone, key films presented at Cannes since 2000 have included Wong Kar-Wai's "In the Mood for Love", the Coen Brothers' "The Man Who Wasn't There", Baz Luhrmann's "Moulin Rouge", Michael Winterbottom's "24 Hour Party People", Roman Polanski's "The Pianist", Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine" (the first documentary film ever accepted in competition), Lars von Trier's "Dogville", Gus van Sant's "Elephant", Walter Salles "The Motorcycle Diaries", Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller's "Sin City", and Atom Egoyan's "Where the Truth Lies".

Today, Cannes is the most famous of all film festivals and one of the largest media events on the planet. The festival has an annual budget of around €20m, half of which comes from the French Ministry of Culture and Communications (through the Centre National du Cinéma), with the rest from the City of Cannes, various regional authorities, and a large group of corporate sponsors. Each year more than 1,500 films from over 100 countries are submitted to be considered for a very limited number of berths in the official selection. The stars still show up to bask in the limelight, the crowds still gather to watch, and Cannes' reputation as the king of film festivals just gets stronger each year.

The 63rd Cannes Film Festival will take place 11-22 May 2011.

The Jury

Prior to the beginning of each event, the Festival de Cannes board of directors appoints four juries who will hold sole responsibility for selecting films from the festival crop which will receive the blessing of a Cannes award. Jurors are chosen from all walks of the international film industry, based on their body of work and respect from their peers. In many cases, jury membership (especially the presidency) is bestowed on a kind of 'lifetime achievement award' basis.
• Competition Jury
• Cinéfondation/Short Film Jury
• Un Certain Regard Jury
• Caméra d'Or Jury

Films in Competition

This is the Festival's main event, and where you will find all the glamour and glory. Films in this section are referred to as being 'in competition' and compete for a variety of awards. The Holy Grail is of course the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) for best picture, one of the most prestigious awards a film can receive anywhere. Winning the Palme d'Or generally gives the film a massive lift: for art-house films, it can bring in millions of extra dollars at the international box-office, for foreign films it means worldwide distribution. Historically, the competition has only been open to narrative films, although occasionally a documentary is slipped in (such as Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" which won the top prize in 2004). The competition welcomes both features and shorts, and there are different awards in each category.

Films out of Competition

"Out of Competition". Not strictly an official section per se, the festival's practice of screening films out of the competition line-up has been around since the very beginning. Over the years, films screened have tended to be special events or films which did not necessarily meet the criteria for entering the competition. More recently, the festival has also found that this practice enables them to screen films which bolster the big-name presence in Cannes without compromising the artistic values of the main competition.
Films Un Certain Regard

Un Certain Regard

Created in 1978 to absorb several ambiguous sidebars, Un Certain Regard is now the main showcase section of the festival and is intended to be a "survey of current world cinema". Historically there were no awards attached to Un Certain Regard, but in recent years the festival has created the Prix Un Certain Regard to help the best film in the sidebar achieve distribution in France. Occasionally other awards are made in this section as well.

Quinzaine des Réalisateurs

"The Directors' Fortnight". Created in 1968 by a group of French filmmakers to present films in a forum which was free from politics, censorship and elitism, the first Directors' Fortnight kicked off along side the festival in 1969, and the two events have co-existed for nearly 40 years. Today the sidebar occupies a slightly-higher profile at the festival than the Critics' Week, due mainly to a larger selection of films.


Added in 1998, Cinéfondation is the festival's competition for short and medium-length films made at film schools around the world. The Cinéfondation sidebar has its own jury and there are three awards (which include a cash prize) for the best films in this section.

Cannes Classics

Inaugurated in 2004, the Cannes Classics sidebar is a showcase section which centres on screening a selection of new or restored prints of classic films, tributes to foreign cinema, documentaries on filmmaking, and occasionally rare or rediscovered footage of from days gone by.
Semaine Internationale de la Critique (SIC)

International Critics' Week

Founded in 1962 by the Syndicat Français de la Critique de Cinéma to focus on the work of new filmmakers, the Critics' Week is the oldest of the festival sidebars. The International Critic's Week comprises a competition for around 14 features and shorts from first and second-time filmmakers, and a programme of special screenings. Films are selected by a panel of international film critics, appointed by the SIC, and cash prizes are awarded for the best film in each category.

Marché du Film

"The Film Market" or simply, the "Cannes Market", is the largest event of its type in the world. As the name suggests, it's the nuts and bolts end of the festival in which the movie industry gets together to do business: primarily the buying and selling of films. The Market is not prestigious - it's a tradeshow open to anyone who is looking to buy or has something to sell - and it's attended by around 10,000 film industry professional each year. There are also special programmes for producers (Producers Network) and short filmmakers (Short Film Corner).


The most prestigious award given out at Cannes is the Palme d'Or ("Golden Palm") for the best film.
• Competition
o Palme d'Or - Golden Palm
o Grand Prix - Grand Prize of the Festival
o Prix du Jury - Jury Prize
o Palme d'Or du court métrage - Best Short Film
o Prix d'interprétation féminine - Best Actress
o Prix d'interprétation masculine - Best Actor
o Prix de la mise en scène - Best Director
o Prix du scénario - Best Screenplay

• Other Sections
o Prix Un Certain Regard - Young talent, innovative and audacious works
o Cinéfondation prizes - Student films
o Caméra d'Or - Best first feature film
• Given by Independent Entities
o Prix de la FIPRESCI - International Federation of Film Critics Prize
o Prix Vulcain - Awarded to a technical artist by the CST
o International Critics' Week Prizes
o Prize of the Ecumenical Jury

Attending the Festival

Unlike most festivals around the world, Cannes is an event reserved predominantly for film industry professionals and the press. Accreditation, entry to screenings, and admission to official venues is strictly controlled, with public access to the vast majority of the festival virtually non-existent. The International Critics' Week and Directors' Fortnight sidebars do offer some consolation via a small public ticket allocation, and educational groups and French film enthusiasts can gain limited access through the Cannes Cinéphiles programme. But in most cases, non-industry types just have to be happy star-gazing and enjoying what the south of France has to offer.
There are six different types of accreditation available for Cannes and each has different rules, fees, and eligibility criteria.

Festival Accreditation

Previously known as "professional accreditation", this is basically your bog-standard credentials for entry to the Cannes' screenings and official activities. Festival Accreditation is available to a range of film industry professions and provides access to all festival venues (the Palais, Riviera, Village International and the major hotels) and to screenings in the official selection and sidebars. Festival accreditation is free.

Market Accreditation

Each year nearly 10,000 industry professionals attend the Marché du Film. Market Accreditation is available to the board members and employees of companies which either operate in the film industry or service the film industry. Market accreditation costs around 299€ per person attending from a company.

Producers Network

Created in 2004, Le Réseau des Producteurs is a special type of accreditation within the Marché du Film aimed at producers. The intention of the Producers Network is to provide a collection of services and events to help producers develop their projects and to encourage international co-productions. The Producers' Network has its own registration fee structure.

Short Film Corner

Launched in 2004 alongside the Producers Network, the Short Film Corner is a programme within the Marché du Film dedicated to providing a marketplace for professionals interested in buying and selling short films. The Short Film Corner has its own registration fee structure, but the fees are reasonable and this type of accreditation represents the best option for new filmmakers who have a short film to show.

Press Accreditation

Cannes is one of the largest media events in the world and is attended by around 4,000 journalists, representing 1,500 media outlets in over 75 countries. Media access is managed directly by the Festival de Cannes via its "Press Accreditation Commission". Press credentials come in a range of flavours for different audience levels and media types- in other words, the higher the press outlet's profile, and the more people it reaches, the better the access that will be provided.

Cinéphiles Accreditation

Organised by the City of Cannes, in association with the Festival, Cinéphiles accreditation enables local residents to see films from the official selection and sidebars in several cinemas around Cannes, and some screenings in the Palais. Cinéphiles accreditation is also open to film enthusiast and education groups (both French and foreign).

A Brief History of the Palme d'OR

Until 1954, the Jury of the Festival de Cannes awarded a "Grand Prix of the International Film Festival" to Best Director. Winners of this Grand Prix would then be presented with a work by a contemporary artist in vogue.


At the end of 1954, upon the initiative of Robert Favre Le Bret, then Delegate General, the Festival's Board of Directors invited several jewelers to submit designs for a palme, in tribute to the coat of arms of the City of Cannes.

The original design which was finally selected was that of the renowned jewellery creator Lucienne Lazon. A trophy was then elaborated based on his design, with the beveled lower extremity of the stalk forming a heart, and the pedestal a sculpture in terracotta by the celebrated artist Sébastien.
In 1955, the first Palme d'Or in the history of the Festival was awarded to Delbert Mann for his film Marty.


From 1964 to 1974, the Festival temporarily resumed awarding a Grand Prix instead of a Palme.

In 1975, the Palme d’Or was reintroduced and became the enduring symbol of the Cannes Film Festival, awarded each and every year since to the director of the Best Feature Film of the Official Competition. It is presented in a case of pure red morocco leather, lined with white suede.


At the beginning of the 80s, the rounded shape of the pedestal, bearing the Palme, gradually transformed to become pyramidal in 1984.



In 1992, Thierry de Bourqueney redesigned the Palme and its pedestal in hand-cut crystal.

In 1997, the Palme was modernized by Caroline Scheufele, President of the celebrated Swiss firm Chopard Jewellers, which now supplies the trophy every year. The Palme, made of 24-carat gold, is hand cast into a wax mould, then attached to a cushion of a single piece of cut crystal. It is today presented in a case of blue morocco leather.


On the occasion of the Festival's 50th anniversary in 1997, a "Palme of Palmes" was awarded to Ingmar Bergman, presented in his absence to his daughter, Linn Ulmann, in the presence of twenty-eight other Palme d’Or winners.

As of today, only five directors belong to the much-envied circle of "double Palmes": Francis Coppola, Shoei Imamura, Bille August, Emir Kusturica and the Dardenne brothers.

A List of the 2011 Rules and Regulations for Films in Competition, Out of Competition, Un Certain Regard

Article 1
The spirit of the Festival de Cannes is one of friendship and universal cooperation. Its aim is to reveal and focus attention on works of quality in order to contribute to the evolution of motion picture arts and to encourage development of the film industry throughout the world.

Article 2
The 64th Festival de Cannes will be held from Wednesday 11th May to Sunday 22nd May 2011.

Article 3
The Board of Directors chooses and invites the films which will be presented in Competition, Out of Competition or for Un Certain Regard.

Each film invited to be part of the Official Selection by the Board of Directors will receive a Certificate of Participation.

Only films that meet the following conditions may be chosen for invitation in the Official Selection:
1. Films that have been produced during the twelve months preceding the Festival;
2. Films that have not been released anywhere other than their country of origin;
3. Films that have not been presented at any other international motion picture event;
4. Films that have not been exhibited on Internet;
5. Films that respect the aims of the Festival as defined in Article 1;
6. If participating in the "short film" category, films that do not exceed 15 minutes in length, including credits.

Article 4
Once a film has been selected it cannot be withdrawn from the Festival programme during the event.

Article 5
During the entire duration of the Festival de Cannes, none of the films invited may be shown outside the Festival's official theatres before its official screening.

Article 6
All films must be presented in their original language, with French subtitles. By "original language" is meant the one in which a film is or will be exhibited in its country of origin.

It is for the Board of Directors to decide whether or not a film that does not exactly meet this criterion may participate in the Festival.

French films must be subtitled in English on the print. All subtitling expenses are to be met by the film's producer. Moreover, all films with dialogues in a language different from English or French will be electronically subtitled in English. The screening of those subtitles will be operated by the Festival service provider.

Article 7
The Board of Directors designates the eight foreign and French members of the Jury for the feature films in competition as well as its President.

Each Jury member votes by secret ballot. Decisions will be reached by an absolute majority of votes in the first two ballots and by a relative majority vote in the following ballots. The President and the General Director of the Festival de Cannes will attend Jury deliberations but will take no part in the voting.

The Board of Directors also designates the four members and the President of the Jury for the Cinéfondation and the short films in competition.

No person having taken part in the production or exploitation of a film in competition may be on the Jury.

Article 8

The Jury for the feature films in competition is obliged to award:
• The Palme d'Or;
• The Grand Prix;
• The award for the Best Director;
• The Jury Prize;
• The award for the Best Screenplay;
• The award for the Best Actress;
• The award for the Best Actor.

The prize list must not contain more than one joint award. The Palme d'Or can never be awarded jointly. No film can receive more than one award. However, the award for the Best Screenplay and the Jury Prize can be combined with a Best Performance award, on special dispensation of the Festival's President.

Article 8 Bis

Besides the Cinéfondation prizes, the Cinéfondation and Short Film Jury is obliged to award:
• The Palme d'Or - Short Film.

Article 9
The producers of feature films participating in Competition at the Festival de Cannes agrees to refrain from entering their films in competition at other international motion picture events should their films be awarded the Palme d'Or or the Grand Prix.

Films chosen to be part of the Official Selection agree to use the "Official Selection" logotype of the Festival de Cannes on all publicity. What is more, when publicising awards, the award winners and distribution companies agree to use the exact wording of the awards as set out in the logo guidelines of the Festival de Cannes. The Festival de Cannes' logo guidelines are available on the official website:

Article 10
All films to be submitted for the Official Selection must be entered by March 11th, 2011.

An entry form must be filled out on our website prior to this date.

A print, videocassette or DVD of the films submitted for selection must reach the Festival by March 15th, 2011.

Article 11
Complete documentation for each selected film is to be made available to the Film Department when required.

The final print of each invited film must reach the sole receiving shipping agent accredited by the Festival de Cannes by May 9th, 2011.
In case the final print does not reach the Festival by May 9th, 2011, the film won’t be screened. This dead-line is imperative.

A stand-by print of each film with subtitles must be provided to the Festival de Cannes before the start of the Festival.

Article 12
Expenses for the shipping (for both import and export), screening and translation of films and/or cassettes presented to the Selection Committee with a view to their possible selection, are to be met by the film's producers or relevant body.

All expenses for the transportation (round trip) and insurance of prints are also the responsibility of their owner.

The Festival de Cannes covers storage and insurance costs for the prints of selected films while they are inside the official boundaries of the Festival, in Cannes.

Should a print be lost or damaged, the Festival's responsibility may only be engaged to the extent of the value indicated by the producer on the Technical Data Sheet.

Article 13
The President of the Association Française du Festival International du Film has the power to settle all cases not covered by the present rules and regulations.

Article 14
Participation in the Festival de Cannes implies acceptance of all the aforementioned regulations and respect of preselection conditions.

Should any dispute arise regarding the interpretation of an article in these regulations, their original French version is binding.

These rules apply to all sections of the Official Selection: Competition, Out of Competition, Un Certain Regard (except Cinéfondation - cf. Cinéfondation Rules and Regulations).

2010 Cannes Film Festival Award-Winners
Monday, 24 May 2010

The 63rd Cannes Film Festival drew to a close last night with the annual awards ceremony. Tim Burton's jury managed to navigate what many considered to be a pretty sub-standard crop of competition films to pick this year's winners.

Palme d'Or
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Grand Prix
Of Gods and Men

Best Director
Mathieu Amalric, On Tour

Jury Prize
A Screaming Man

Best Actor
Javier Bardem, Biutiful
Elio Germano, Our Life

Best Actress
Juliette Binoche, Certified Copy

Best Screenplay
Chang-Dong Lee, Poetry

Camera d'Or
Michael Rowe, Ano Bisiesto

Un Certain Regard
Hahaha, Sangsoo Hong

Un Certain Regards Jury Prize
October, Daniel and Diego Vega


Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!

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Re: Babylon Nights Tidbit #18 ~ Cannes Film Festival

Unread postby fireflydances » Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:02 am

Are you sure you guys aren't undercover history teachers? Man, I learn so much from these crazy tidbits. And in this case, I did in the past actually do some research on the Festival de Cannes. So I am greatly impressed by what is gathered here. Funny to be reading along and suddenly, hey -- I remember when that film came out, wow, really, that long ago? :perplexed:

Absolutely fascinating. Want more please. :-O
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

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Re: Babylon Nights Tidbit #18 ~ Cannes Film Festival

Unread postby nebraska » Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:51 pm

Most of the things I recognized were people somehow connected to Johnny. Emir Kusturica has an impressive record here.

All of this is very serious; Johnny's film Cannes Man is a hoot and probably a nose-thumb on his part for how the Brave was received.

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Re: Babylon Nights Tidbit #18 ~ Cannes Film Festival

Unread postby fansmom » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:58 pm

Nebraska, your seasonal avatar is :harhar:!

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Re: Babylon Nights Tidbit #18 ~ Cannes Film Festival

Unread postby nebraska » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:17 am

fansmom wrote:Nebraska, your seasonal avatar is :harhar:!

I am having an identity crisis, do not even recognize myself at all!

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Re: Babylon Nights Tidbit #18 ~ Cannes Film Festival

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:33 am

nebraska wrote:
fansmom wrote:Nebraska, your seasonal avatar is :harhar:!

I am having an identity crisis, do not even recognize myself at all!

:biglaugh: I would feel the same way!

firefly, I have always loved history. Being a history professor is probably my missed calling in life!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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