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The Palme d'Or ( ) is the highest prize awarded to competing films at the Cannes Film Festivalmarker. 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 Cannesmarker. 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.

Award winners

Grand Prix du Festival International du Film (1939-1954)

Year Film Director Nationality of Director

(at time of film's release)
1939 Union Pacific Cecil B. DeMille
1946 Torment (Hets) Alf Sjöberg
The Lost Weekend Billy Wilder
The Red Meadows (De røde enge) Bodil Ipsen and Lau Lauritzen Jr.
Brief Encounter David Lean
Portrait of Maria (María Candelaria (Xochimilco)) Emilio Fernández
Neecha Nagar (नीचा नगर) Chetan Anand
The Turning Point (Великий перелом, Velikiy perelom) Fridrikh Ermler
La symphonie pastorale Jean Delannoy
The Last Chance (Die Letzte Chance) Leopold Lindtberg
Men Without Wings (Muži bez křídel) František Čáp
Rome, Open City (Roma, città aperta) Roberto Rossellini
1947 not awarded
1948 not held
1949 The Third Man Carol Reed
1950 not held
1951 Miss Julie (Fröken Julie) Alf Sjöberg
Miracle in Milan (Miracolo a Milano) Vittorio De Sica
1952 The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice Orson Welles
Two Cents Worth of Hope (Due soldi di speranza) Renato Castellani
1953 The Wages of Fear (Le salaire de la peur) Henri-Georges Clouzot
1954 Gate of Hell (地獄門, Jigokumon) Teinosuke Kinugasa

Palme d'Or (1955-1963)

Year Film Director Nationality of Director

(at time of film's release)
1955 Marty Delbert Mann
1956 The Silent World (Le monde du silence) Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Louis Malle
1957 Friendly Persuasion William Wyler
1958 The Cranes Are Flying (Летят журавли, Letyat zhuravli) Mikhail Kalatozov
1959 Black Orpheus (Orfeu Negro) Marcel Camus
1960 La dolce vita Federico Fellini
1961 The Long Absence (Une aussi longue absence) Henri Colpi
Viridiana Luis Buñuel
1962 O Pagador de Promessas Anselmo Duarte
1963 The Leopard (Il gattopardo) Luchino Visconti

Grand Prix du Festival International du Film (1964-1974)

Year Film Director Nationality of Director

(at time of film's release)
1964 The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Les parapluies de Cherbourg) Jacques Demy
1965 The Knack …and How to Get It Richard Lester
1966 A Man and a Woman (Un homme et une femme) Claude Lelouch
The Birds, the Bees and the Italians (Signore e signori) Pietro Germi
1967 Blow-Up Michelangelo Antonioni
1968 cancelled due to events of May 1968
1969 if.... Lindsay Anderson
1970 MASH Robert Altman
1971 The Go-Between Joseph Losey
1972 The Working Class Goes to Heaven (La classe operaia va in paradiso) Elio Petri
The Mattei Affair (Il caso Mattei) Francesco Rosi
1973 The Hireling Alan Bridges
Scarecrow Jerry Schatzberg
1974 The Conversation Francis Ford Coppola

Palme d'Or (1975-present)

Year Film/ Director Nationality of Director

(at time of film's release)
1975 Chronicle of the Years of Fire (Chronique des années de braise) Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina
1976 Taxi Driver Martin Scorsese
1977 Padre Padrone Paolo Taviani and Vittorio Taviani
1978 The Tree of Wooden Clogs (L'albero degli zoccoli) Ermanno Olmi
1979 Apocalypse Now Francis Ford Coppola
The Tin Drum (Die Blechtrommel) Volker Schlöndorff
1980 All That Jazz Bob Fosse
Kagemusha (影武者) Akira Kurosawa
1981 Man of Iron (Człowiek z żelaza) Andrzej Wajda
1982 Missing Costa-Gavras
The Way (Yol) Yılmaz Güney and Şerif Gören
1983 The Ballad of Narayama (楢山節考 / Narayama bushiko) Shohei Imamura
1984 Paris, Texas Wim Wenders
1985 When Father Was Away on Business (Otac na službenom putu) [unanimously] Emir Kusturica
1986 The Mission Roland Joffé
1987 Under the Sun of Satan (Sous le soleil de Satan) [unanimously] Maurice Pialat
1988 Pelle the Conqueror (Pelle erobreren) Bille August
1989 Sex, Lies, and Videotape Steven Soderbergh
1990 Wild at Heart David Lynch
1991 Barton Fink [unanimously] Joel and Ethan Coen
1992 The Best Intentions (Den goda viljan) Bille August
1993 Farewell My Concubine (霸王別姬 / Bàwáng bié jī) Chen Kaige
The Piano Jane Campion
1994 Pulp Fiction Quentin Tarantino
1995 Underground (Подземље, Podzemlje) Emir Kusturica
1996 Secrets & Lies Mike Leigh
1997 Taste of Cherry (طعم گيلاس /Ta'm-e gīlās) Abbas Kiarostami
The Eel (うなぎ, Unagi) Shohei Imamura
1998 Eternity and a Day (Μια αιωνιότητα και μια μέρα / Mia aioniotita kai mia mera) [unanimously] Theo Angelopoulos
1999 Rosetta Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne
2000 Dancer in the Dark Lars von Trier
2001 The Son's Room (La stanza del figlio) Nanni Moretti
2002 The Pianist Roman Polanski
2003 Elephant Gus Van Sant
2004 Fahrenheit 9/11 [unanimously] Michael Moore
2005 The Child (L'enfant) Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne
2006 The Wind That Shakes the Barley Ken Loach
2007 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (4 luni, 3 săptămâni şi 2 zile) Cristian Mungiu
2008 The Class (Entre les murs) [unanimously] Laurent Cantet
2009 The White Ribbon (Das weiße Band) Michael Haneke

Repeat winners

See also


  1. "Revenge is Sweetie: Cannes Film Festival" (director Jane Campion wins Golden Palm award), The Economist (US), May, 1993
  2. "Bizzers befuddled over boo boors..." Variety, By ADAM DAWTREY, BRIAN COCHRANE, 4 June 2006
  3. "Why the Cannes boo-birds are wrong (as usual)" - Beyond the Multiplex by Andrew O'Hehir -, 25 May 2008
  4. 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.

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