The Cannes Festival was originally called the International Film Festival (Festival international du film) until 2002, known in English as the Cannes Film Festival. Its an annual film festival held in Cannes, which previews all genres of new films, these also include documentaries from all around the world.
The invite only festival was founded in 1946 and is generally a yearly event, held during May at the Palais des Festivals et des Congres. Alongside the Berlin International Film Festival and the Venice Film festival, it is one of the ‘Big Three’.
The Cannes Film Festival originally started in 1932 when the French Minister of National Education, Jean Zay, on the proposal of historian Philippe Erlanger and with the support of the Americans and British put together an international cinematographic festival. People believe that its origins may be attribute in part to the French competitive desire with the Venice Film Festival, who were at the time shocking the democratic world by its fascist bias.
In 1939 the first festival was planned. Cannes was the location selected, however the funding and organsisation were not quick enough and eventually the beginning of World War II put a stop to it.
Twenty-one countries presented their films on the 20th September 1946 at the first Cannes International Film Festival. This took place at the former casino of Cannes.
In 1947 the festival was held as the ‘festival du film de Cannes’, amid serious efficiency problems. Sixteen countries presented films here.
In 1948 and 1950 on the account of the budgetary problems the festival was not held. However in 1949 the Palais des Festivals was quickly constructed for the occasion on the beautiful seafront promenade of La Croisette although the inaugural roof still unfinished, blew off in a storm. In 1951 the festival was moved to Spring which avoided direct competition with the impressive Venice Festival which was held in Autumn
The Festival attracted a lot of tourism and also press attention during the early 1950s, with high profile personalities love affairs and showbiz scandals. However, at the same time the festivals artistic aspect started developing. As there were controversies regarding the selection of films, the critics prize was created for the recognition of original films and daring film makers.
Over the years there were many changes that took place at the festival. In 2007 Thierry Fremaux became general delegate and remains in this position to this day. He is known to have banned selfies on the red carpet back in 2015 at the world’s largest film festival. The 70th anniversary of the festival in 2017, there were some controversies when the issue of changing the rules on theatrical screening came about . Last year in 2018 the enforcement of theatrical screening resulted in Netflix being banned.
The 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival is due to take place on Tuesday 14 May until Saturday 25th May.
Today it is one of the world’s most widely publicised events and by far the most important film festivals in terms of worldwide impact. We are all looking forward to another brilliant year.
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