May 13, 2009 / 12:49 AM / 10 years ago

FACTBOX: Cannes film festival

(Reuters) - Quentin Tarantino returns to Cannes as part of a group of familiar faces at the world’s biggest film festival that includes Pedro Almodovar, Ken Loach and Jane Campion.

The 62nd edition of the festival will open for the first time with an animated feature when “Up,” a 3D comedy directed by one of the creators of “Toy Story,” kicks off proceedings at the opening ceremony on May 13.

Here are some quick facts about the Cannes film festival:


— Originally conceived in 1939 as an alternative to the then-Fascist-influenced Venice film festival, Cannes has been held annually since 1946 apart from 1948 and 1950, when lack of funds led to the cancellation of the event.

— In 1949 the stars started coming: Tyrone Power, Orson Welles, Norma Shearer, Errol Flynn and Edward G. Robinson all appeared that year. Brigitte Bardot made her first appearance in 1953.

— A year later, starlet Simone Silva dropped her bikini top beside Robert Mitchum in front of the photographers, resulting in the kind of racy coverage that secured the festival’s reputation.

— In 1960, the first Cannes Market opened its doors to some 10 participants and one screen — a canvas hung from the roof of the old Palais Croisette. It quickly became a major meeting point for buyers and sellers from all over the world.

— In 1968 film director Louis Malle, who was on that year’s jury with Roman Polanski among others, was one of a group of film-makers who forced the festival to close in the midst of the student and worker uprisings across France. After an all-night debate marked by raging tempers and an occasional fistfight, the organizers called it off.

— Jane Campion became the first female director to win the Palme d’Or in 1993 for her film “The Piano.”

* In 1997 a “Palme des Palmes” — a super-version of the Palme d’Or best film prize — was awarded to Ingmar Bergman for the 50th festival. The Swedish director did not appear. * In 2004 an actors masterclass (Lecon d’acteur) was created and inaugurated by Max Von Sydow.


— “Entre Les Murs” (The Class), directed by Laurent Cantet won the coveted Palme D’Or.

— “Il Divo,” directed by Paolo Sorrentino, won the jury prize.

Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit

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