10 key dates in the history of the Cannes Film Festival
the 76thth The Cannes Film Festival edition begins this Tuesday, May 16th. Today it is considered one of the largest film festivals in the world and has seen a series of ups and downs and changes over the past almost a century. Here are 10 important dates of the Cannes Film Festival.
1Is September 1939: the 1Time… cancelled
The idea of the Cannes Film Festival has occupied people’s minds since the World’s Fair in France in 1937. With the rise of fascists in Italy, several film personalities are planning to hold an international film festival in the site of the Mostra of Venice. Jean Zay, Minister of National Education and Fine Arts, gives the go-ahead on December 26, 1938. Among the candidate cities, Cannes is chosen for its sunshine. Hollywood stars cross the Atlantic, Louis Lumière was ready to direct this first edition… But the 1Is September 1939, not everything goes as planned. On the opening day, Germany invaded Poland and the festival was eventually cancelled.
September 20, 1946: 1Time (finally) successful!
The war is over and life in France is back to normal. The Cannes Film Festival was then postponed to September 1946. The first edition, held at the Casino Municipal, was a success so that a festival was requested each year to alternate with the Venice Film Festival.
1947: Accident at the Palais des Festivals
The success of the Cannes festival prompted the city’s mayor to hastily construct the Palais des Festivals to replace the Casino Municipal as the festival’s venue. The building was inaugurated on September 11, 1947, one day before the event began. But at the end of the festival, the roof flies off and is destroyed by a violent storm. The prizes are therefore awarded at the Casino Municipal.
editing from 1955: on 1Time Palm tree
In the first editions, the best won the “Grand Prix of the International Film Festival”. The iconic palm tree only appeared in Cannes in 1955. The board had the idea of meeting jewelers from all over Europe and making suggestions. It is that of the French Lucienne Lazon who is retained. The palm will give way in 1964 before fully catching on in 1974. Delbert Mann for Marty is also the first to receive it.
1966 edition: 1Time Woman to preside over the jury
The year 1966 marked a step forward for equality between men and women in the world of cinema. For this edition, Olivia de Havilland is elected Chair of the Jury. The English, American and French actress is the 1Time Woman takes over the presidency of the jury of the Cannes festival. Since then, ten other women have held the helm. The newest : Cate Blanchettduring the 2018 edition.
May 19, 1968: Politics intervenes in the cinema
On May 13, the Spring 1968 student movement marched into the Palais des Festivals in Cannes. Five days later, actors and directors joined the movement and forced the then Minister for Culture, André Malraux, to dismiss Henri Langlois as director of the Cinémathèque française. Major international directors also provide support by withdrawing their films from the festival. The edition is finally canceled on May 19.
1978: the year of change
This year, Gilles Jacob officially became the festival’s general delegate. He is the one leading the major changes to the event. First he created the Caméra d’Or, which is awarded to the best first film in all categories. He also set up the “Unsafe Consideration” section. And most importantly, it reduces the number of films selected and the duration of the festival from 15 to 13 days. Thanks to its values, the festival positions itself against censorship and international pressure by defending freedom of expression.
2002: new identity
Since its inception, the festival has been called The International Film Festival. This year it became the “Festival of Cannes”. The Croisette, the red carpet, the identity of the festival; The city on the Côte d’Azur writes its name in black and white in the history of the 7th centuryth Art.
2007: the big celebration of the 60thth anniversary
For his 60thth th edition, the Festival invites Bernard Thibault, Secretary General of the CGT. 35 directors are preparing short films in a sketch film “To each his own cinema”. Ken Burns’ film The War broke the record for longest film this edition, running for 14 hours.
2014: Beginning of a new era
Farewell, Gilles Jacob! After 38 years of good and loyal service, he left the management of the festival and became honorary president. Pierre Lescure then takes his place from 2014 until today. He will direct his last festival of the year before passing the torch to Iris Knobloch on the 1stIs In July 2022, she will be the first woman to lead the flagship event.