The 65th Cannes Film Festival will be a landmark for the city of Cannes, linked to its reputation and its identity.
Cannes has become an exceptional place, blend of history, glamour and pleasures like its Film Festival.
From May 16 to 27, 2012 take the opportunity to discover all aspects of this cosmopolitan city rich in history and monuments.
The Cannes Film Festival has its origins in the late 1930s when the French Minister of National Education, on the proposal of Philippe Erlanger and with the support of the British and Americans, set up an international cinematographic festival.
Due to the WW2, the Festival was cancelled. In 1947, 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 1951, owing to better relations between France and Italy, the Cannes Festival was moved to Spring, while the Mostra remained in Autumn.
In 1955 the Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) was created, replacing the Grand Prix du Festival which had been given until that year. In 1959 the Marché du Film (Film Market) was founded, giving the festival a commercial character and facilitating exchanges between sellers and buyers in the film industry.
In 1962 the International Critics’ Week was born, created by the French Union of Film Critics as the first parallel section of the Cannes Film Festival. Its goal was to showcase first and second works by directors from all over the world, not succumbing to commercial tendencies.
The 1968 festival was halted on 19 May 1968. Some directors, such as Carlos Saura and Milos Forman, had withdrawn their films from the competition. On 18 May, filmmaker Louis Malle along with a group of directors took over the large room of the Palais and interrupted the projections in solidarity with students and labour on strike throughout France, and in protest to the eviction of the then President of the Cinémathèque Française. The filmmakers achieved the reinstatement of the President, and they founded the Film Directors’ Society (SRF) that same year. In 1969 the SRF, led by Pierre-Henri Deleau created the Directors’ Fortnight, a new non-competitive section that programs a selection of films from around the world, distinguished by the independent judgment displayed in the choice of films.
During the 1970s, important changes occurred in the Festival. Until 1972, the different countries chose which films would represent them in the festival. In 1978 Gilles Jacob assumed the President position, introducing the Caméra d’Or award and the Un Certain Regard section. Other changes were the decrease of length of the festival down to thirteen days, reducing the number of selected films thus; also, until that point the Jury was composed by Film Academics, and Jacob started to introduce celebrities and professionals from the film industry.
In 1983 a new, much bigger Palais des Festivals et des Congrès was built to host the Festival.
In 1995, Gilles Jacob created the last section of the Official Selection: la Cinéfondation. Its aim was to support the creation of works of cinema in the world and to contribute to the entry of the new scenario writers in the circle of the celebrities. The Cinéfondation was completed in 2000 with La Résidence and in 2005 L’Atelier.
In 2002 the Festival officially adopted the name Festival de Cannes.