Cannes Festival facts

Last updated at 14:33 12 May 2004

Here's some interesting facts about the Cannes Film Festival:

  • Kill Bill director Quentin Tarantino is president of this year's jury.
  • Tarantino won the Palme d'Or prize ten years ago with his film Pulp Fiction.
  • Britain is represented on the jury panel by actress Tilda Swinton, whose films include Orlando, The War Zone and Adaptations.
  • US actress Kathleen Turner and French beauty Emmanuelle Beart are also jury members.
  • Eighteen films are in contention for the Palme d'Or.
  • The festival runs from May 12 to May 23 and the winner of the Palme d'Or is announced on the penultimate day.
  • Gus Van Sant's Elephant won the prize last year.
  • Some 4,000 journalists from around the world attend the festival each year.
  • British film Calendar Girls was the surprise hit of the 2003 festival.
  • Nicole Kidman and Penelope Cruz caused a headache for organisers last year when they both attended the festival - their films were scheduled days apart so their paths did not cross.
  • Originally conceived in 1939 as an alternative to the then Fascist-influenced Venice Film Festival, Cannes has been held annually since 1946.
  • 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.
  • A "Palme des Palmes" - a super-version of the Palme d'Or best film prize - was awarded to Ingmar Bergman on the Festival's 50th anniversary.

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