15 Marvelous Facts About Cannes

Cannes is a unique and wonderful city – chock full of surprises and twists and turns. In light of the Cannes Film Festival starting within the next couple of months, we decided to celebrate some of Canne’s wonderful history with you.

  • In 1947 the unfinished roof of the Palais des Festivals, built for use in the Cannes Film Festival, blew off during a storm.
  • Jane Campion is the only female director to have been awarded the Palme D’Or for her work on The Piano in 1993.
  • The 1968 festival was stopped in May of 1993 after directors, including Carlos Saura and Milos Forman, withdrew their films from the festival. Filmmaker Louis Malle also interrupted screenings at the Palais in solidarity with striking students and workers.
  • In 2001, there was a comedy introduced in Cannes, starring Greta Scacchi and Macimillian Schnell, that made fun of filmmakers trying to make deals during the festival.
Greta Scacchi

Greta Scacchi

  • The festival itself runs for 12 days, during which time it attracts 200,000 plus people and 4,000 journalists who track their every move.
  • The famed Brigitte Bardot got her start at Cannes when she appeared as an unknown star in a film’s debut there.
  • Starlet Simone Sylva lost her Miss Festival title in 1954 when she took off her top at the beach.
Symone Sylva

Symone Sylva

  • The Palme d’Or is a coveted award that is competed for by directors and producers. It’s an award presented for 20 of the best pictures.
  • $123,000 a week can get you a house to stay in during the festival with a pool and a gust house in the resort of Antibes.
  • Grace Kelly’s ascent into become Princess of Monaco started at Cannes when she was introduced to her future husband, Prince Rainer of Monaco, by a journalist.
  • The actor who plays Borat once turned up at the festival in a skimpy piece of clothing he called a “mankini”.
  • “Up” was the first animated 3D cartoon to have the privilege of opening the festival with its viewing.


  • In 2007, Chinese director Lou Ye caused quite a stir when he submitted his film for viewing without prior permission of Peking’s government censors.
  • Roger Ebert once branded Vincent Gallo’s drama “The Brown Bunny” the worst movie in the history of the Cannes Film Festival.
  • Lady Di and Prince Charles’ estranged relationship was first noticed by onlookers at the festival in 1987.