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The Palme d'Or (English: Golden Palm) is the highest prize awarded to competing films at the Cannes Film Festival. It was introduced in 1955 by the organising committee. From 1939 to 1954, the highest prize was the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film. From 1964 to 1974 it was replaced again by the Grand Prix du Festival.
The Commune of Cannes coat of arms
Until 1954, the Jury of the Festival de Cannes awarded a "Grand Prix of the International Film Festival" to the best film. The prize was represented to a work by a contemporary artist in vogue, different each year. At the end of 1954, the Festival's Board of Directors invited several jewellers to submit designs for a palm, in tribute to the coat of arms of the City of Cannes. The original design by the jeweller Lucienne Lazon had the bevelled lower extremity of the stalk forming a heart, and the pedestal a sculpture in terracotta by the artist Sébastien.
In 1955, the first Palme d'Or in the history of the Festival was awarded to Delbert Mann for his film Marty. The Palme d'Or was established as the Festival's highest award until 1964, when the Festival temporarily resumed awarding a Grand Prix due to copyright problems with the Palm. In 1975, the Palme d'Or was reintroduced and became again the symbol of the Cannes Film Festival, awarded each and every year since to the director of the Best Feature Film of the Official Competition. The award was presented in a case of pure red Morocco leather, lined with white suede.
Since its reintroduction, the prize has been redesigned several times. At the beginning of the 1980s, the rounded shape of the pedestal, bearing the Palm, gradually transformed to become pyramidal in 1984. In 1992, Thierry de Bourqueney redesigned the Palm and its pedestal in hand-cut crystal. In 1997, the Palm was again modernised by Caroline Scheufele. The present Palm, made of 24-carat gold, is hand cast into a wax mould, then attached to a cushion of a single piece of cut crystal. The award is today presented in a case of blue Morocco leather.
In the nearly 70-year history of the Festival, a female director has only won the top prize once: Jane Campion in 1993 for The Piano. Campion won the prize after her previous film, Sweetie, had been heckled and booed. However, it has been suggested that "at Cannes, movies don't get booed for being bad -- they get booed for being shocking or transgressive". In 2008, films by Lucrecia Martel, Charlie Kaufman, and Wim Wenders were also booed at the festival.
Grand Prix du Festival International du Film (1939-1954)
Palme d'Or (1955-1963)
Grand Prix du Festival International du Film (1964-1974)
Palme d'Or (1975-present)
- ^ "Awards at Cannes Film Festival: Golden Palm". The Internet Movie Database. 2008. http://www.imdb.com/Sections/Awards/Cannes_Film_Festival/awards_summary#Golden_Palm. Retrieved 2008-05-28.
- ^ "Awards at Cannes Film Festival: Grand Prize of the Festival". The Internet Movie Database. 2008. http://www.imdb.com/Sections/Awards/Cannes_Film_Festival/awards_summary#Grand_Prize_of_the_Festival. Retrieved 2008-05-28.
- ^ "A Brief History of the Palme d'Or". Festival de Cannes. 2008. http://www.festival-cannes.fr/en/festivalHistory/goldenpalm.html. Retrieved 2008-05-28.
- ^ "Revenge is Sweetie: Cannes Film Festival" (director Jane Campion wins Golden Palm award), The Economist (US), May, 1993
- ^ "Bizzers befuddled over boo boors..." Variety, By ADAM DAWTREY, BRIAN COCHRANE, 4 June 2006
- ^ "Why the Cannes boo-birds are wrong (as usual)" - Beyond the Multiplex by Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com, 25 May 2008
- ^ This particular Palme d'Or was awarded in retrospect at the 2002 festival. The festival's debut was to take place in 1939, but it was cancelled due to World War II. The organisers of the 2002 festival presented part of the original 1939 selection to a professional jury of six members. The films were: Goodbye Mr. Chips, La piste du nord, Lenin in 1918, The Four Feathers, The Wizard of Oz, Union Pacific and Boefje.