Cannes Film Festival: the Palme d’Or since 1955 in computer graphics

INFOGRAPHICS – Discover, in figures and graphics, all the palmes d’or for 66 years, the nationalities of the award-winning directors, the theatrical success of the award-winning films.

The Palme d’Or is the supreme award awarded by the official jury of the Cannes Film Festival. If the Festival has existed since 1946, the first palm was awarded in 1955. Before that date, we speak of “Grand Prix of the International Film Festival” the award was in the form of a diploma. The following year, the palm, created by the jeweler Lucienne Lazon, disappeared only to return in 1975. The palm symbol was inspired by the arms of the city of Cannes.

But, the palm of gold, it is above all a list of films entered in the history of the seventh art. The films awarded are mainly dramas, sentimental, family, historical or psychological. However, among the winning films, documentaries stand out. The World of Silence directed by Jean-Yves Cousteau and Louis Malle won an award in 1956. Almost 50 years later, the documentary by Michael Moore Fahrenheit 9/11, won the prize in 2004. Among the exceptions, three musical films won over the jury: Orfeu Negro, directed by Marcel Camus and released in 1959, Dancer in the Dark of the Danish Lars Von Trier but above all Umbrellas of Cherbourg by Jaques Demy who won the award in 1964.

Since 1955, seven directors have been part of the much envied circle of double fins. In order: Emir Kusturica was awarded in 1985 and in 1995, Bille August in 1988 and in 1992, Francis Ford Coppola in 1974 and in 1979, the Japanese Shohei Imamura in 1983 and in 1997, the Dardennes Brothers in 1999 and in 2005 and finally Michael Haneke in 2009 and 2012.

France arrives behind the United States in second on the podium with ten gold palms obtained, it is followed by Italy and the United Kingdom. The period between 1956 and 1966 constitutes a golden age during which French films were regularly awarded. It was not until 1987 with Under Satan’s Sun by Maurice Pialat to see a French production obtain the supreme award. American cinema dominated throughout the period with nearly a quarter of the awards won.

Since the 1980s, films awarded at Cannes have not necessarily been major popular successes. Thus, on average, over the period 1955-2019, the award-winning films did not exceed 500,000 theatrical admissions in France. When the storks pass, winner in 1958, remains to this day the most viewed film. It has accumulated more than 5.4 million admissions in France.

Jane Campion is so far the only female winner of the Palme d’Or for her film The Piano Lesson, awarded in 1993. Women are very poorly represented, above all because they are in the minority in the official selection. Aside from 2011 and 2019, there have never been more than three women competing out of the twenty films vying for the palm.

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Cannes Film Festival: the Palme d’Or since 1955 in computer graphics