What is the mission of the Festival de Cannes?
Ever since its creation, the Festival de Cannes has remained faithful to its founding purpose: to draw attention to and raise the profile of films with the aim of contributing towards the development of cinema, boosting the film industry worldwide and celebrating cinema at an international level.
What is the Official Selection?
The Official Selection serves to highlight the diversity of cinematic creation through its different sections, the two most important of which are the Competition and Un Certain Regard. Films that are representative of “auteur cinema with a wide audience appeal” are presented in Competition, and Un Certain Regard focuses on works that have an original aim and aesthetic. The Official Selection also includes Out of Competition films, Special Screenings and Midnight Screenings, Cannes Classics
and the Cinéfondation
selection targeting film schools.
What do the “Red Carpet Steps” represent today?
These are one aspect of the event and, without a doubt, the part of the festival that draws the most media attention. For the organisation, they represent above all an opportunity to give an initial and equally special welcome to both the world’s greatest film artists and emerging talent. They also represent an opportunity to honour the creativity of those artists on whom the Festival’s prestige depends.
What do the non-competitive selections consist of?
The Out of Competition films are often films that have a big impact on the cinematic calendar, and the Special Screenings and Midnight Screenings represent a special opportunity to view more personal works. Restored copies of films that are important in the history of cinema are brought back to life for Cannes Classics, which also offers tributes and documentaries focusing on cinema. In addition to the Selection, cinema lovers can also explore the world of cinema in a different way by attending masterclasses, tributes, exhibitions and so on.
Where do short films fit in at Cannes?
At Cannes, short films feature in the Competition, at the end of which the Short Films Jury awards a Palme d’or, and in the Short Film Corner, a professional area dedicated to meeting people, exchanging ideas and promoting films.
In 2010, the Festival created "Cannes Short Film
" to bring these two entities together in a complementary dynamic in an attempt to offer an all-encompassing panorama of short film production worldwide, as well as to stimulate the creativity of short film artists.
What initiatives has the Festival set up to encourage film production?
The Festival is very keen to discover new talent and act as a springboard for creation. The development of “Cannes Short Film” is just one example of this. A number of initiatives aimed at supporting the talent of the future have already been introduced: the Caméra d’or is awarded to the best film presented either in the Official Selection, during Directors´ Fortnight
or during Semaine de la Critique
The Cinéfondation, which serves to showcase new trends in the film industry, screens films from film schools as part of the Official Selection, as well as organising the Résidence and the Atelier.
How do you maintain the Festival’s international dimension?
The films selected and the professionals whose work is recognised at the Festival come from around the world, and there is international coverage of the event in the media. In addition, the Festival de Cannes offers filmmaking countries the chance to showcase the richness of their cinema in the Village International, which hosted over 40 countries in 2012.
To further enhance the Festival’s international dimension, six new languages were added to the official website in 2010. Internet users can now follow the event not only in French and English, but also in Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic and Russian.
Does the Marché du Film represent the economic side of the Festival de Cannes?
From a very early stage, the Festival de Cannes has placed an emphasis on its Marché du Film
as a way of promoting the dual cultural and economic nature of cinema. Today, boasting in excess of 10,500 participants and 1,500 screenings, it is the world’s leading market, serving to add dynamism to the global film industry. It forms an integral part of the Festival in the sense that it also facilitates networking and provides accredited professionals with the services and tools they need in order to exchange information, hold negotiations and uncover new opportunities.
What does the Festival do for the general public?
A film’s success and its director’s reputation depend above all on how it is received in cinemas. Despite being an event for film professionals only, the Festival is mindful of this reality and is taking steps to improve the way it reaches film enthusiasts.
Since 2011, the opening film has been released in French cinemas on the same day as its screening at Cannes and the opening ceremony has been broadcast in cinemas enabling audiences to experience the Festival launch night live.
At Cannes, the Cinéma de la Plage, an outdoor cinema, screens a different film each night - and, since 2010, even the occasional world première – as part of its theme-based programme. These open-air screenings are open to everyone and represent a strong link with the general public.
The Festival has just turned 65, what is the secret to its lasting success?
While maintaining a solid connection with its past, the Festival is very ready to take on board new and original concepts. Over the years, it has evolved, all the while seeking to preserve its core values: a passion for cinema, the discovery of new talent, and the bringing together of professionals and journalists from around the world with the aim of contributing to the creation and distribution of films.
During every new edition, projects are conceived, experiences are shared and different cultures are discovered: it is this dynamism that makes the Festival de Cannes a true reflection of its time.