Palme d'Or

Golden Palm
Palme d'Or
Location Cannes
Country France
Presented by Festival International du Film de Cannes
First awarded 1955
Palme d'Or awarded to Apocalypse Now at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival

The Palme d'Or (French pronunciation: [palm(ə) dɔʁ]; English: Golden Palm) is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival.[1] It was introduced in 1955 by the organising committee. From 1939 to 1954, the highest prize was the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film.[2]

In 1964, it was replaced once again by the Grand Prix du Festival[3] before being reintroduced in 1974 as the Palme d'Or again.


The Commune of Cannes coat of arms

In 1954, the Jury of the Festival de Cannes suggested awarding an award titled the "Grand Prix of the International Film Festival" with a new design each year from a contemporary artist. At the end of 1954, the Festival's Board of Directors invited several jewellers to submit designs for a palm, in tribute to the coat of arms of the City of Cannes.[4] The original design by the jeweller Lucienne Lazon had the bevelled lower extremity of the stalk forming a heart, and the pedestal a sculpture in terracotta by the artist Sébastien.

In 1955, the first Palme d'Or was awarded to Delbert Mann for Marty, and it remained the highest award until 1964, when copyright issues with the Palme led the Festival to return to the Grand Prix. In 1975 the Palme d'Or was reintroduced and has since remained the symbol of the Cannes Film Festival, awarded every year to the director of the Best Feature Film of the Official Competition, and presented in a case of pure red Morocco leather lined with white suede.

As of 2015, Jane Campion is the only female director to have won the Palme d'Or, for The Piano. However, in 2013 the actresses, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux, were also awarded the Palme d'Or, as they received the award as the lead actors of Blue Is the Warmest Colour, alongside director Abdellatif Kechiche—the decision by the Steven Spielberg-headed jury was considered unorthodox. These choices were due to a Cannes policy that forbids the Palme d'Or-winning film from receiving any additional awards, thereby preventing the Jury from rewarding the film's two main actresses.[5] According to Spielberg: "Had the casting been 3% wrong, it wouldn't have worked like it did for us".[6]

Since its reintroduction, the prize has been redesigned several times. At the beginning of the 1980s, the rounded shape of the pedestal, bearing the palm, gradually transformed to become pyramidal in 1984. In 1992 Thierry de Bourqueney redesigned the Palme and its pedestal in hand-cut crystal. The current design, first presented in 1997, is by Caroline Scheufele from Chopard. A single piece of cut crystal forms a cushion for the 24-carat gold palm, which was hand-cast into a wax mould and presented in a case of blue Morocco leather.[7]

The winner of the 2014 Palme d'Or, Winter Sleep—a Turkish film by Nuri Bilge Ceylan—occurred during the same year as the 100th anniversary of Turkish cinema. Upon receiving the award, Ceylan dedicated the prize to both the "young people" involved in the ongoing political unrest of Turkey and the workers who were killed in the Soma mine disaster, which occurred on the day prior to the commencement of the awards event.[8]

Award winners

Grand Prix du Festival International du Film (1939–54)

Year Film Original Title Director(s) Nationality of Director
(at time of film's release)
1939 Union Pacific* Cecil B. DeMille  United States*
1946 The Turning Point Velikij perelom / Великий перелом Fridrikh Ermler  Soviet Union*
Men Without Wings Muži bez křídel František Čáp  Czechoslovakia*
The Last Chance Die Letzte Chance Leopold Lindtberg   Switzerland*
Iris and the Lieutenant Iris och löjtnantshjärta Alf Sjöberg  Sweden*
Portrait of Maria María Candelaria Emilio Fernández  Mexico*
Rome, Open City Roma, città aperta Roberto Rossellini  Italy*
Lowly City Neecha Nagar / नीचा नगर Chetan Anand  India*
Brief Encounter David Lean  United Kingdom*
Pastoral Symphony La symphonie pastorale Jean Delannoy  France*
The Lost Weekend Billy Wilder  United States
The Red Meadows De røde enge Bodil Ipsen and Lau Lauritzen, Jr.  Denmark*
1949 The Third Man Carol Reed  United Kingdom
1951 Miss Julie Fröken Julie Alf Sjöberg  Sweden
Miracle in Milan Miracolo a Milano Vittorio De Sica  Italy
1952 The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice Orson Welles  United States
Two Cents Worth of Hope Due soldi di speranza Renato Castellani  Italy
1953 The Wages of Fear Le salaire de la peur Henri-Georges Clouzot  France
1954 Gate of Hell Jigokumon / 地獄門 Teinosuke Kinugasa  Japan*

Palme d'Or (1955–63)

Year Film Original Title Director(s) Nationality of Director
(at time of film's release)
1955 Marty § Delbert Mann  United States
1956 The Silent World Le monde du silence Jacques Cousteau and Louis Malle  France
1957 Friendly Persuasion William Wyler  United States
1958 The Cranes Are Flying Letyat zhuravli / Летят журавли Mikhail Kalatozov  Soviet Union
1959 Black Orpheus § Orfeu Negro Marcel Camus  France
1960 The Sweet Life § La dolce vita Federico Fellini  Italy
1961 The Long Absence § Une aussi longue absence Henri Colpi  France
Viridiana § Luis Buñuel  Mexico
1962 Keeper of Promises § O Pagador de Promessas Anselmo Duarte  Brazil*
1963 The Leopard § Il gattopardo Luchino Visconti  Italy

Grand Prix du Festival International du Film (1964–74)

Year Film Original Title Director(s) Nationality of Director
(at time of film's release)
1964 The Umbrellas of Cherbourg Les parapluies de Cherbourg Jacques Demy  France
1965 The Knack ...and How to Get It Richard Lester  United Kingdom
1966 A Man and a Woman Un homme et une femme Claude Lelouch  France
The Birds, the Bees and the Italians Signore e signori Pietro Germi  Italy
1967 Blowup Michelangelo Antonioni  Italy
1968 No award this year because of the May 1968 events in France. N/A N/A N/A
1969 If.... Lindsay Anderson  United Kingdom
1970 MASH Robert Altman  United States
1971 The Go-Between Joseph Losey  United Kingdom
1972 The Working Class Goes to Heaven § La classe operaia va in paradiso Elio Petri  Italy
The Mattei Affair § Il caso Mattei Francesco Rosi  Italy
1973 The Hireling Alan Bridges  United Kingdom
Scarecrow Jerry Schatzberg  United States
1974 The Conversation Francis Ford Coppola  United States

Palme d'Or (1975–present)

Year Film Original Title Director(s) Nationality of Director
(at time of film's release)
1975 Chronicle of the Years of Fire Chronique des années de braise Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina  Algeria*
1976 Taxi Driver Martin Scorsese  United States
1977 Padre Padrone Paolo and Vittorio Taviani  Italy
1978 The Tree of Wooden Clogs § L'albero degli zoccoli Ermanno Olmi  Italy
1979 Apocalypse Now Francis Ford Coppola  United States
The Tin Drum Die Blechtrommel Volker Schlöndorff  West Germany*
1980 All That Jazz Bob Fosse  United States
Kagemusha Kagemusha / 影武者 Akira Kurosawa  Japan
1981 Man of Iron Człowiek z żelaza Andrzej Wajda  Poland*
1982 Missing § Costa-Gavras  Greece*
The Way § Yol Yılmaz Güney and Şerif Gören  Turkey*
1983 The Ballad of Narayama Narayama bushikō / 楢山節考 Shohei Imamura  Japan
1984 Paris, Texas § Wim Wenders  West Germany
1985 When Father Was Away on Business § Otac na službenom putu / Отац на службеном путу Emir Kusturica  Yugoslavia*
1986 The Mission Roland Joffé  United Kingdom
1987 Under the Sun of Satan § Sous le soleil de Satan Maurice Pialat  France
1988 Pelle the Conqueror Pelle erobreren Bille August  Denmark
1989 Sex, Lies, and Videotape Steven Soderbergh  United States
1990 Wild at Heart David Lynch  United States
1991 Barton Fink § Coen brothers  United States
1992 The Best Intentions Den goda viljan Bille August  Denmark
1993 Farewell My Concubine Bàwáng bié jī / 霸王別姬 Chen Kaige  China*
The Piano Jane Campion  New Zealand*
1994 Pulp Fiction Quentin Tarantino  United States
1995 Underground Podzemlje / Подземље Emir Kusturica  Serbia and Montenegro*
1996 Secrets & Lies Mike Leigh  United Kingdom
1997 Taste of Cherry Ta'm-e gīlās / طعم گيلاس Abbas Kiarostami  Iran*
The Eel Unagi / うなぎ Shohei Imamura  Japan
1998 Eternity and a Day § Mia aio̱nióti̱ta kai mia méra / Μια αιωνιότητα και μια μέρα Theodoros Angelopoulos  Greece
1999 Rosetta § Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne  Belgium*
2000 Dancer in the Dark Lars von Trier  Denmark
2001 The Son's Room La stanza del figlio Nanni Moretti  Italy
2002 The Pianist Pianista Roman Polanski  France
2003 Elephant Gus Van Sant  United States
2004 Fahrenheit 9/11 Michael Moore  United States
2005 The Child L'enfant Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne  Belgium
2006 The Wind That Shakes the Barley § Ken Loach  United Kingdom
2007 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days 4 luni, 3 săptămâni şi 2 zile Cristian Mungiu  Romania*
2008 The Class § Entre les murs Laurent Cantet  France
2009 The White Ribbon Das weiße Band, Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte Michael Haneke  Austria*
2010 Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives Lung Bunmi Raluek Chat / ลุงบุญมีระลึกชาติ Apichatpong Weerasethakul  Thailand*
2011 The Tree of Life Terrence Malick  United States
2012 Amour Michael Haneke  Austria
2013 Blue Is the Warmest Colour § La Vie d'Adèle: Chapitres 1 et 2 Abdellatif Kechiche  France
2014 Winter Sleep Kış Uykusu Nuri Bilge Ceylan  Turkey
2015 Dheepan Jacques Audiard  France
2016 I, Daniel Blake Ken Loach  United Kingdom

* denotes first win
§ denotes unanimous win

Multiple award winners

Honorary Palme d'Or

In 2002 the festival began to sporadically award a non-competitive Honorary Palme d'Or to directors who had achieved a notable body of work but who had never won a competitive Palme d'Or. In 2011 the festival announced that the award would be given out annually, however plans for this fell through and it was not awarded again until four years later in 2015.[9] American director Woody Allen was the inaugural recipient while pioneering French filmmaker Agnès Varda was the first woman to receive the award in 2015.[10][11] In 2016 Jean-Pierre Léaud became the first person to be awarded solely for acting.[12]

Year Recipient Profession Nationality of Recipient
2002 Woody Allen Director United States United States
2008 Manoel de Oliveira Director Portugal Portugal
2009 Clint Eastwood Actor/Director United States United States
2011 Bernardo Bertolucci Director Italy Italy
2015 Agnès Varda Director France France
2016 Jean-Pierre Léaud Actor France France

See also


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