Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Festival
The Cannes Film Festival, founded in 1946 under the aegis of Jean Zay, Minister of Fine Arts of the Popular Front, and until 2002 called the International Film Festival is a festival of international cinema taking place in Cannes (Alpes-Maritimes, France).

It became, over the years, the most publicized in the world, and its influence has grown steadily through the media and sponsors present on this occasion, especially during the opening ceremony and the traditional climb Steps: the famous red carpet and twenty-four steps of glory ". Despite this prestige, the Festival has often been criticized, and he was the source of several scandals and controversies that took turns magazines and newspapers, French and foreign.

Every year during the second half of May, the city of Cannes is invaded by filmmakers and stormed by thousands of photographers. It is at the Palais des Festivals Congress, located on Boulevard de la Croisette, the main screenings take place.

Alongside the festival, several sections have been created over the years. Among them we find the Fortnight, Cinefondation, the Critics' Week, Un certain regard, and especially the Cannes Film Market, the first in world importance. During these festivities, the opportunity is given to many producers and distributors present on site to find partners to fund their film projects, and sell their works already turned to distributors and broadcasters worldwide.

While being initially figure tourist and social event, the Festival was created to reward the best film, best director and best actor and best actress in an international competition of films. Yet over the years, other prizes awarded by a jury of professionals, artists and intellectuals, have emerged and came to add to the prestige of Cannes, as the Jury Prize, the Grand Prix and especially the Palme gold.

Genesis and the first edition (1939)
The Specialized Exhibition of 1937 had updated the national need to organize an international competition of films but a parallel event will precipitate the decision of the French state. In the late 1930s, shocked by the interference of the fascist German and Italian governments in the selection of films from the Venice Film Festival - inaugurated in August by Dr. Joseph Goebbels - Émile René Jeanne Vuillermoz and submit to Jean Zay, Minister of Public Instruction and Fine Arts, the idea of an international film festival in France. Jean Zay is strongly interested in the proposal, the Americans and the British encouraged in this direction. Several towns are then candidates, including Vichy, Biarritz and Algiers, but it's Cannes winning votes. Philippe Erlanger, associated with the company will be the first delegate of the Festival.

In June 1939, Louis Lumière agrees to be the president of the first Festival to be held from 1st to 20th September. He then declared to "encourage the development of film art in all its forms and create partnerships between film-producing countries a spirit of collaboration." The French selection is adopted and includes Hell Angels Christian-Jaque, La Charrette ghost Julien Duvivier, La Piste northern Jacques Feyder and The Man from Niger: Jacques de Baroncelli.

Among the foreign films are The Wizard of Oz Victor Fleming, Goodbye Mr. Chips (Goodbye Mr Chips) by Sam Wood and The Four Feathers (The Four Feathers) by Zoltan Korda.

The painter Jean-Gabriel Domergue, Cannes adoption, creates the first festival poster, which is also becoming famous for.

In the month of August, the stars start to arrive, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer chartered a transatlantic liner to bring Hollywood stars Tyrone Power, Gary Cooper, Annabella, Norma Shearer and George Raft. It includes memorable parties, inspired by the film Quasimodo, the Americans even in the idea of building a replica of Notre Dame de Paris on the beach at Cannes. On 1 September, the day before the official opening, German troops entered Poland, at the same time putting an end to this first edition of a festival stillborn, and September 3, the declaration of war by France and the United Kingdom and Germany.

The beginnings of the Festival
The first real edition of the Festival is held after the war, from September 20 to October 5, 1946 in the former Casino de Cannes through, inter alia, to the will of the General Confederation of Labour, whose director Louis Daquin then a member. The first edition of the Festival is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the city of Cannes. Originally the festival was to compete with the Venice Film Festival but Italy and France being reverted to friendly nations, there was a time sensed that the Cannes Festival and the Venice Film Festival to take place annually, alternating.

This contract was not announced at the outset. France and the film industry were not aware of the exchanges between the Venice Film Festival and the Festival. In 1946, the Festival had been a considerable success and filmmakers eagerly awaiting the next edition of 1947 ... However, when that agreement is announced, it will be very critical, some even speak of "a capitulation of France, and the magazine will announce the French technique.

The next edition in 1947, will narrowly, the Palais des Festivals is built by the union in the precipitation, the then government refused to fund an annual festival. That is why the CGT trade union federation of the show is on the Board of Directors of the Festival today. Moreover, this year, will be established the principle of equality. That is to say that the festival organizers had decided that the jury should be composed of only one representative per country.

Thus, in 1947, the inauguration of the Palais des Festivals Congress (also known as Palais Croisette) to be replaced by a new palace in 1983. The inauguration of the Palais Croisette will be the evening of September 11, 1947 (and the Festival from 12 to 25). It is thanks to Dr. Picaud, Mayor of Cannes, this palace is born again. Only the roof is not finished and it will fly during a violent thunderstorm at the end of Festival. Casino City is to serve as a relay for the ball and closing the awards.

Also in 1947 Robert Favre Le Bret joins the leadership of the Cannes Film Festival. He then introduce the Selection Committee. The principle was simple: the National Centre for Cinematography was to give the selection committee dates and regulations of other international festivals, specifying the time of sending the films. Producers were then informed and could well send their (s) film (s) to the Commission. It then established the selection. These films had to conform to the rules of censorship of the time. Despite this free choice, the list must still be validated by the Department that was responsible for Cinematography, the Foreign Ministry, at least during the Cold War. Thus, during the year 1947, the Festival was institutionalized, organized, and finds its brands in Europe, including film festivals are multiplying, even if it will not take place in 1948 and 1950 officially because of budget problems, or perhaps because of the unofficial agreement with the Venice Film Festival, which aimed to make them take place alternately every other year.

At the end of the agreement with the Venice Film Festival in 1951, the Festival will take place during the last spring, and will have to face competition from the Venice Film Festival and the Locarno Film Festival taking place at substantially the same date. Four years later, in 1955, created the Golden Palm at the initiative of Robert Favre Le Bret. Until then, it was the Grand Prize was awarded to the director's best film in competition. The Managing Director had met then the whole Board of Directors of the Festival and invited jewelers across Europe to present their representation of the Palme d'Or. This is the drawing of Lucienne Lazon wins Council approval. The same year that Delbert Mann was awarded the first prize for history, for Marty. But from 1964 to 1974, the Grand Prix takes place, only to disappear forever.

The hesitations of the early years are resolved then from the 1950s and Cannes itself as the high mass of world cinema. The desire of the critic André Bazin, who wanted the festival involved a little less mundane, patriotism or diplomacy and a little movie becomes reality. The greatest filmmakers have some of their major works: Roberto Rossellini, Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman, Elia Kazan, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Robert Wise, William Wyler, Michelangelo Antonioni, Vittorio De Sica, Andrzej Wajda, Satyajit Ray, Luis Bunuel or Kurosawa.

New ambitions
In 1959, the Prix de la mise en scene comes reward François Truffaut's Four Hundred Blows, he who as a critic lambasted a festival to promote and political theater, so doomed to disappear: the circle is complete all that 'at that time, Alain Resnais returns three years after a scandal with his documentary about concentration camps Night and Fog and Hiroshima mon amour that this is a shock. New Wave was launched. It was this same year is founded the Film Market. He will then give the festival a commercial dimension, it will also make easier exchanges between sellers and buyers of the film industry. For almost fifty years of activity, Film Market became the first global platform for international trade of the film. In 2007, he hosted over 10,000 participants from 91 different countries.

In the 1960s, the concept of "film festival" is being debated but we find new directors whose talent was immediately recognized and well rewarded work: Andrei Tarkovsky, Miklós Jancsó, István Szabó or Glauber Rocha.

It will be noted in 1962 the first International Week of criticism, then created in order to "to honor the first and second films by directors from around the world". For some time, we talk in the streets of Cannes, private screenings, about the International Critics' Week. Indeed, projections of Miramar, a cinema from Cannes, tend to be reserved for film stars, as with the entry of Alejandro González Iñárritu, Walter Salles, Guillermo del Toro, Javier Bardem, Carlos Reygadas and Harmony Korine, that they did not take the queue, unlike moviegoers who waited two hours to not get in, finally. On the other hand, the International Critics Week welcomes seven short and seven feature films in competition, but viewed many other films out of competition. And Francois Ozon, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Julie Bertuccelli or Eleonore Faucher were discovered. Two years later, in 1965, the Festival pays tribute to Jean Cocteau, who died Oct. 11, 1963, by naming him honorary president of the Festival to life. The following year, the foreman is a woman, Olivia de Havilland, was the first woman on the job.

But, despite this significant development, the Cannes Film Festival 1968 will be discontinued on May 19 While universities are closed, the official screenings of the Festival are often canceled because of student protesters. From May 13, these students had begun to invade the Palais des Festivals. May 18, Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Lelouch, Claude Berri, Roman Polanski, Louis Malle and Jean-Pierre Léaud mingle with the student movement that stirred Cannes. They also will revolt against the culture minister Andre Malraux, who was then sacked Henri Langlois from his position as director of the French Cinematheque. To help these celebrities, Alain Resnais, Milos Forman and Carlos Saura withdraw their films in competition at the Cannes selection. The Festival is mobbed, and becomes a political place. Thus on May 19, organizers decided to cancel the festival, which constituted a first in film history.

Major changes
In 1969, Pierre-Henri Deleau created the Fortnight and will head for thirty years. This new event was then established to make foreign films made by filmmakers still little known to the public, and which were not part of the selection. The maxim of the Fortnight was then "Cinema release. For its first edition, the event is organized in just two months, which left no time for a selection of films: sixty-two feature films, and twenty six short films are screened free of charge: public is free to enter. The first film to the opening of the Fortnight is the Cuban Manuel Octavio Gómez: The first charge. This feature will directly after screening a Japanese distributor.
The Fortnight will, in 1977, a tribute to Henri Langlois, who died January 13, 1977, by keeping the foreground on the Festival poster. Then, from 1981 to 1983, the Directors' Fortnight section will Super 8, but had no great success.

In 1972, the Festival de Cannes change scenarios: Robert Favre Le Bret was named president and Maurice Bessy was elected managing director. This major change has been a revival in the ceremony. Before this date, Member States chose films that represent the Festival. Now, the new managing director introduced the two selection committees, one for France, and another for international cinema. This revival will bring some problems for the selection of the Cannes Festival 1972. The following year, a new section is opened, Outlook French movies (now defunct). In 1978 the biggest changes took place.

Gilles Jacob had just reached the post of managing director of the Festival and created the Camera d'Or awarded to the best first film of all sections through an independent jury and the Un Certain Regard. This section was created to help film margin distribution. A film 'win a selection of twenty films. Cinema genre is often honored in this section. In addition, Gilles Jacob will benefit in reducing the duration of the Festival to thirteen days (it was previously two weeks), which simultaneously decrease the number of selected films. Under his leadership, the festival seeks to best defend freedom of expression and against censorship and create international pressure. In fact, directors such as Carlos Saura, Luis García Berlanga and Juan Antonio Bardem seem better equipped to fight against the requirements of the Franco dictatorship and the Georgian Otar Iosseliani manages to avoid the wrath of Moscow by the positive reception of the festival. Filmmakers from developing countries such as Mali's Souleymane Cisse find more, thanks to the ways of selecting an international audience and a certain comfort in the funding and dissemination of their works.

The festival became more popular and becomes an autonomous expression. Other changes occur, especially in the constitution of juries. Indeed, since its inception while the jury is largely composed of members of the French Academy, is now mostly made up of celebrities from the film industry. This direction was already taken from the 1960's and Fritz Lang became the first major filmmaker to chair the board in 1964. Even if jurors are sometimes artists outside the art world's 7th or intellectuals (journalists, writers, critics ...), the foreman is now a mandatory character of the film internationally recognized. The last non-professional to chair the jury is the American author William Styron in 1983.

We also note the presence of the Festival on television screens via antenna 2 in the 1970 and 1980 and Canal + in 1990, 2000 and 2010. Since 1993, the opening and closing are broadcast live and clear. They are centered around a master or mistress of ceremonies who had called on stage the various panels and celebrities chosen to present the awards.

The Palais des Festivals Congress should be expanded. The old Mediterranean palace is transformed into a "bunker". This new palace is more comfortable and spacious. But it will not be accepted at the time. The work is supported too late and cause several problems during the screening of films. The awards ceremony of the 1983 edition is in the dust. These incidents have nearly caused the shutdown of the festival.

The architecture of the new palace is quite monumental and has 10 000 m2, the festival he became known as "The Bunker". Note also this year the red carpet rough Isabelle Adjani, whose attitude during the presentation of Summer murderer (refusal to pose for the photocall and come to the press conference) causes anger and strike Journalists. When the star arrives at the palace, photographers turn their backs, the devices on the floor.

The year 1984 saw the election of Pierre Viot as President of the Festival, replacing Robert Favre Le Bret.

See also Michael Jackson


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