The Cannes Film Festival’s iconic Palme d’Or for best picture has helped place unknown directors on the global cinema stage, driven forward the movie careers of established film-makers and transformed films into classics.
10 things you didn’t know about the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or:
1. US director Delbert Mann won the first Palme d’Or in 1955 for his romantic drama “Marty.” The prize replaced the festival’s Grand Prix, which had been awarded each year between 1939 and 1954.
2. The Grand Prix was reintroduced for 10 years in 1964 before the Palme d’Or returned in 1975.
3. Since then, some of the world’s most famous films have been honoured with the Palme d’Or, among them Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver,” Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now,” Andrzej Wajda’s “Man of Iron,” Steven Soderbergh’s “Sex, Lies and Videotape” and Luchino Visconti’s “The Leopard”.
4. A Palme d’Or winner “contains everything,” said this year’s Cannes jury president, Australian actress Cate Blanchett.
5. You’re awarding the performances, the direction, the cinematography, the script, the entire crew that made the film possible, the mise-en-scene according to Blanchett.
6. As one of the most prestigious prizes in the world of cinema, the Palme d’Or in general tends to be awarded for a film-maker’s body of work, or for a movie opening up new vistas in cinema.
7. Winning a Palme d’Or might not be a guarantee of box office success. But it can represent a step towards a nomination for another great cinema honour: the Academy Awards in Hollywood, as directors such as Terrence Mallick, Michael Haneke and Jane Campion have found out.
8. New Zealand-born Campion occupies a unique place in Cannes history: She is the only female director to win the festival’s top prize for her film.
9. Only nine film-makers are members of another exclusive Cannes club: those who have been awarded the Palme d’Or twice.
10. In 2017, Ruben Ostlund became the first Swedish director to win the Palme d’Or since the prize was introduced in 1955.
This year 21 films competed for the Palme d’Or, with the Cannes jury, headed by Blanchett, handing out the prize at a gala ceremony in the Mediterranean resort town.