Cannes Film Festival

Natasha HARMER                  22 April 2013

Cannes is an annual film festival held in France, which screens films of all genres from around the world. The festival is invitation only and is considered to be the most prestigious and publicized film festival in the world.

  Cannes was founded in 1946, and in 1947 it was held as ‘the festival du film de Cannes’ and films from sixteen countries were presented. It is seen as an important festival for European films, which get the chance to sell based on artistic quality.

   Many awards are given out at Cannes for various different cinematic achievements, the most prestigious being the Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) for the best film. There are also categories for best actor and actress, best director and even student films among others.

  According to the Cannes website ‘the aim of the festival is to encourage the development of the art of filmmaking in all its forms while fostering and maintaining a spirit of collaboration among all filmmaking countries’  (extract from the festival policy, 1948).

   Before the festival each year the board of directors appoints a jury. The jury is responsible for choosing the films that will receive an award. The jury is chosen from a wide range of international artists. There are two juries, one for feature films and one for shorts. Voting for all awards is done by secret ballot.

   Cannes is a unique and prestigious awards ceremony lasting for twelve days. It has been known to have launched the careers of directors like Quentin Tarantino, and it has an anything goes attitude, with an interest in the art of filmmaking. There is an emphasis on finance, deals are signed there every year and first time filmmakers are encouraged to begin their careers, although it deals predominantly with the art of filmmaking there’s a large emphasis on the business side as well.

  Cannes not only showcases new films and gives awards but it launches people into their film career. It provides a platform to showcase work and get people on board to help make your dream a reality, and multi million deals are signed there regularly. The national boundaries are erased and people from all over the world can communicate and enjoy the experience. It’s a unique festival, and it’s emphasis on the art of filmmaking and launching the careers of new film practitioners makes it much less pompous than awards ceremonies like The Academy Awards.

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