Sunday 22 May 2011 is the last day of the Cannes Film Festival! …I was going though the festival’s website ( www.festival-cannes.fr) and reading several article about it for quite a while only to realize I actually did not know a lot about this Festivals’ history! Now I do =) and here are the main points we should all know:
In 1939, It was originally created by individuals and ministers who wanted to launch a new final festival that could rival with the Venetian one. It was originally set to take place every September in Cannes but due to the political turmoil of that region it wasn’t until 1952 that the festival was taken more seriously. And from that date on the festival is held every may.
Before 1972, the films that participate in the competitions were selected by the country of origin. But from that date onward, it was the Festival’s decision to choose the films that would feature in the Official Selection. As time passed more and more relevant competitions were included and the Festival started to take a more serious and professional approach. But it always kept the same idea: That of spotting and promoting the promising new talents and uniting them with the big names of that sector.
To resume I would like to quote Jean Cocteau: “The Festival is an apolitical no-man’s-land, a microcosm of what the world would be like if people could make direct contact with one another and speak the same language.“