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A few fun facts about the Cannes film festival

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The film that won the Grand Prix at Cannes this year was a critics’ favourite, Korean film Parasite that I cannot wait to see when it comes out here. But this post is devoted to a different aspect of the festival. I will not be reviewing festival films but I will share with you a few fun facts about the event.

Please forgive me for not illustrating the post with images of celebrities but with my own photographs taken during my previous stays there 😉

The budget

All right, let’s start with the money. The Cannes Film Festival is an enormous venture with a budget of roughly EUR 20 million. Interestingly, the entire event is organised most of the time by a 30-person-stron team only. It is not until a few weeks before the festival that the number of Staff expands to 850 people. This is actually quite obvious given the fact that the festival is visited by over 20 000 people from the cinematic industry.

Lots of red

The Festival Palace was erected in 1982 and it spans an area of 25,000 square metres. Inside there are 18 screening halls and outside – a 2 km-long red carpet. It gets soiled so often during the festival that it is sometimes replaced 3 times a day!

Palm d’Or

The main award has been given out since 1955. Before that, the best film was simply awarded the Grand Prix. The Palm d’Or is a direct reference to the emblem of the city. It features 19 leaves and is made from 24-carat gold. In the festival’s history, only one Polish film was honoured with the award, namely Man of Ironby Andrzej Wajda in 1981. The French and Polish coproduction of The Pianist by Roman Polański also won one.

Scandals large and small

As befits the cinematic world, there is no shortage of less and more controversial incidents in Cannes. In 2016, Julia Roberts walked barefoot on the red carpet. It was a violation of the rule that women can only wear heels at the festival. Robert was supported by Susan Sarandon who donned flat shoes to the event.

In 2012, an Ukrainian journalist made the news when he tried to… kiss Will Smith. The actor pushed him away and slapped him in the face.

Another star that became briefly famous in Cannes was Simone Silva who was posing wearing a bikini and decided to show the reporters a bit more by displaying her breasts. Cannes was so appalled by the incident that the jury actually suspended its deliberations for two weeks… but this took place in 1954, mind you.

I am planning a trip to Cannes next week. I promise to get back to you with an interesting post about my stay there when I get back.

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