The Cannes Film Festival (French: le Festival de Cannes), founded in 1946, is one of the world’s oldest, most influential and prestigious film festivals alongside Venice and Berlin. The private festival is held annually (usually in the month of May) at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, in the resort town of Cannes, in the south of France.
The 61st Annual Cannes Film Festival was held May 14-25, 2008.
The 62nd edition will take place May 13-24, 2009. The President of the Jury will be French actress Isabelle Huppert.
The Cannes Film Festival is organized in various sections:
The Official Selection – The main event of the festival.
In Competition – The twenty films competing for the Palme d’Or. They are projected in the Théatre Lumière.
Un Certain Regard – Twenty films selected from cultures near and far; original and different works. They are projected at the Salle Debussy.
Out of Competition – These films are also projected in the Théatre Lumière but do not compete for the main prize.
Special Screenings – The selection committee chooses for these films an environment specially adapted to their particular identity.
Cinéfondation – About fifteen shorts and medium-length motion pictures from film schools the world over are presented at the Salle Bunuel.
Short Films – The shorts competing for the Short Film Palme d’Or are presented at the Bunuel and Debussy theatres.
Parallel Sections – These are non-competitive programmes dedicated to discovering other aspects of cinema.
Cannes Classics – It celebrates the heritage of film, aiming to highlight works of the past, presented with brand new or restored prints.
Tous les Cinemas du Monde – It showcases the vitality and diversity of cinema across the world.
Caméra d’Or – It rewards the best first film of the Festival, choosing among the debutants’ works among the Official Selection, the Directors’ Fortnight and the International Critics’ Week selections.
Cinéma de la Plage – Screening of Cannes Classics and Out of Competition films for the mass public on Macé beach, preceded by a programme dedicated to film music.
Other Sections – Produced by outside organizations during the Cannes Festival.
International Critics’ Week
Prior to the beginning of each event, the Festival’s board of directors appoints the juries who hold sole responsibility for choosing which films will receive the blessing of a Cannes award. Jurors are chosen from a wide range of international artists, based on their body of work and respect from their peers.
The most prestigious award given out at Cannes is the Palme d’Or (“Golden Palm”) for the best film.
Palme d’Or – Golden Palm
Grand Prix – Grand Prize of the Festival
Prix du Jury – Jury Prize
Palme d’Or du court métrage – Best Short Film
Prix d’interprétation féminine – Best Actress
Prix d’interprétation masculine – Best Actor
Prix de la mise en scène – Best Director
Prix du scénario – Best Screenplay
Prix Un Certain Regard – Young talent, innovative and audacious works
Cinéfondation prizes – Student films
Caméra d’Or – Best first feature film
Given by Independent Entities
Prix de la FIPRESCI – International Federation of Film Critics Prize
Vulcain Prize’ – Awarded to a technical artist by the C.S.T.
International Critics’ Week Prizes
Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
Chinese films & Cannes
Chinese director Chen Kaige’s film Farewell My Concubine(1993) won the Palme d’Or at the 46th Cannes Film Festival.
Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai won the Best Director for his film “Happy Together”(1997).
Taiwan-born Chinese-American filmmaker Dayyan Eng (Wu Shixian)’s Bus 44 was invited to 2002 Cannes Film Festival “Directors’ Fortnight” – becoming the first Chinese short film to be invited in all three festivals’ history.