The Cannes Festival
The Cannes Festival (French: Festival de Cannes), until 2002 called the International Film Festival (Festival international du film) and known in English as the Cannes 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. Founded in 1946, the invitation-only festival is held annually (usually in May) at the Festivals and Congresses Palace. It is one of the “Big Three” alongside the Venice Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival.
Location. Cannes, France
Founded. 20 September 1946; 72 years ago (as International Film Festival)
Awards. Palme d’Or, Grand Prix
The Cannes Film Festival has its origins in 1932 when Jean Zay, the French Minister of National Education, on the proposal of historian Philippe Erlanger and with the support of the British and Americans, set up an international cinematographic festival. Its origins may be attributed in part to the French desire to compete with the Venice Film Festival, which at the time was shocking the democratic world by its fascist bias. The first festival was planned for 1939, Cannes was selected as the location for it, but the funding and organization were too slow and finally the beginning of World War II put an end to this plan.
On 20 September 1946, twenty-one countries presented their films at the First Cannes International Film Festival, which took place at the former Casino of Cannes. In 1947, amid serious problems of efficiency, the festival was held as the “Festival du film de Cannes”, where films from sixteen countries were presented. The festival was not held in 1948 and 1950 on account of budgetary problems. In 1949, the Palais des Festivals was expressly constructed for the occasion on the seafront promenade of La Croisette, although its inaugural roof, while still unfinished, blew off during a storm. In 1951, the festival was moved to spring to avoid a direct competition with the Venice Festival which was held in autumn.