Cover Image: Filmo Maniac
The Cannes Film Festival takes place annually, starting in May and running through the beginning of June, every year in Cannes, France. In attendance are more than 3,000 media representatives and more than 60,000 film buffs from all over the world. The festival was founded in 1946 and has grown to be one of the most famous festivals in the world today.
Introducing the Festival
With any international event, it’s important to understand its history. Cannes originated in 1946 as a way to jumpstart and rejuvenate what was at that time an almost nonexistent French film industry. The first festival didn’t attract much attention from either critics or filmmakers, but that all changed in 1947 with Le Silence de la Mer (The Silence of the Sea), a film by Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet. Now referred to as a cinematic milestone, Silence won top honors at that year’s festival and helped spark a movement known as La Nouvelle Vague (or New Wave), which emphasized realism and immediacy in filmmaking.
The Awards Ceremony
The ceremony always starts with a speech from an honored guest and all contestants in attendance. The award winners then stand up, one by one, to accept their prize before it’s passed down to them on stage. The lucky winner will walk away with $20 million in cash, a lifetime supply of Red Bull, and a red carpet trophy; a gift package valued at over $30 million. The next runner-up wins $10 million while 3rd place receives $5 million. Everyone else goes home empty-handed but still proud of their hard work and dedication.
The film festival is one of Europe’s most prominent and popular events. With stars from around the world in attendance, it draws in huge crowds to France and has more than a little influence on who wins an Oscar or two every year. It all takes place in Cannes, a seaside resort town located along France’s famed Riviera, not far from Nice and Monte Carlo. In 2017, almost three million people attended its 64th edition!
With 50 years in business, Chateau Marmont is one of France’s oldest and most exclusive hotels. Guests are transported to a bygone era where they can indulge in glamour without compromising privacy. The hotel has three exceptional restaurants and a bar that are always frequented by celebrities. Some of its more famous guests include The Beatles, Marilyn Monroe, Ernest Hemingway, and Cary Grant who once described it as the loneliest place in town. Today some of France’s most elite enjoy staying at Chateau Marmont which is fitting since it was originally built for 19th-century railroad tycoon Edward Doheny, who had started out as a prospector for gold back during California’s Gold Rush period.
The Directors and Actors Attending
The Cannes Film Festival is a big deal. It’s been running since 1939 and has an international reputation for showcasing independent and experimental cinema, including hit TV shows like The Sopranos and Breaking Bad. This year’s attendees have included names like Steven Spielberg, Robert De Niro, Paul Rudd, Liam Neeson, Jodie Foster, Michael Fassbender, and James Franco. Over 200 movies are screened every year at both official public events (most of which take place at Le Palais des Festivals et des Congrès) as well as non-public events that happen all over town in smaller venues.
Indian artists who visited the Cannes film festival
Raj Kapoor and Bhanu Athaiya, Soumitra Chatterjee, Shabana Azmi, Aparna Sen, Santosh Sivan, Zoya Akhtar, and Anurag Kashyap, and many more.
History of Cannes Festival
Every year, Cannes is home to one of the film’s most coveted events—the Cannes Film Festival. From May 14-25, more than two dozen films will compete for prizes that have included Golden Palm statuettes and Palme d’Or trophies. The festival began in 1946 thanks to a handful of French producers who wanted a way to drum up support for their industry. Today, nearly 200 films are shown at numerous theaters throughout Cannes and other parts of France.
There are now more than 500 Cannes titles in the official selection. That’s up from 340 just a few years ago, and nearly double what it was 10 years ago (239). The quality of films at Cannes has never been higher. Many of them are not even released theatrically and may never be seen again on big screens outside of competition. As much as we love seeing those red-carpet premieres at glamorous venues all over town, how many times do you really want to watch The Social Network or Mad Max? Why not see something else instead?