Palme d'Or

Palme d'Or
Location Cannes
Country France
Presented by Festival International du Film de Cannes
First awarded 1955
Currently held by Shoplifters (2018)

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 festival's organizing committee. Previously, from 1939 to 1954, the highest prize at the festival was the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film.[1] In 1964, The Palme d'Or was replaced again by the Grand Prix, before being reintroduced in 1975.[1]

The Palme d'Or is widely considered to be one of the most prestigious awards in the film industry.[2][3][4]


In 1954, the festival decided to present an award annually, titled the Grand Prix of the International Film Festival, with a new design each year from a contemporary artist. 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.[1] 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.[5]

In 1955, the first Palme d'Or was awarded to Delbert Mann for Marty. From 1964 to 1974, the Festival temporarily resumed a Grand Prix.[1] 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 winning film, and presented in a case of pure red Morocco leather lined with white suede.[1]

As of 2018, Jane Campion is the only female director to have won the Palme d'Or, for her work on The Piano. However, in 2013, when Blue Is the Warmest Color won the Palme d'Or, the Steven Spielberg-headed jury awarded it to the film's director Abdellatif Kechiche, as well as the film's actresses Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux.[6] This marks the first time multiple Palme d'Or trophies were given out in the festival's history.[7]

The jury decided to award the actresses alongside the director due to a Cannes policy that forbids the Palme d'Or-winning film from receiving any additional awards, thereby preventing the jury from rewarding both the film and the film's actresses separately.[8] Of the unorthodox decision, Spielberg said that "had the casting been 3% wrong, it wouldn't have worked like it did for us".[9] Kechiche later auctioned off his Palme d'Or trophy to fund his new feature film, and expressed mixed feelings about the festival having given out multiple trophies in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.[10]

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.

In 1997, a new design, created by Caroline Scheufele from Chopard, was created; 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.[11]

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 in 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.[12]

In 2017, the award was re-designed to celebrate the festival's 70th anniversary.[1] The diamonds were provided by an ethical supplier certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council.[1]

Award winners

YearFilmOriginal titleDirector(s)Nationality of director *
Awarded as "Grand Prix du Festival International du Film"
1939 Union PacificCecil B. DeMilleUnited States
1940–1945No awards due to World War II.
1946The Turning PointVelikij perelom / Великий переломFridrikh ErmlerSoviet Union
Men Without WingsMuži bez křídelFrantišek ČápCzechoslovakia
The Last ChanceDie Letzte ChanceLeopold LindtbergSwitzerland
TormentHetsAlf SjöbergSweden
Portrait of MariaMaría CandelariaEmilio FernándezMexico
Rome, Open CityRoma, città apertaRoberto RosselliniItaly
Neecha Nagar (Lowly City)Nīcā nagar / नीचा नगरChetan AnandIndia
Brief EncounterDavid LeanUnited Kingdom
Pastoral SymphonyLa symphonie pastoraleJean DelannoyFrance
The Lost WeekendBilly WilderUnited States
The Red MeadowsDe røde engeBodil Ipsen and Lau Lauritzen, Jr.Denmark
1949The Third ManCarol ReedUnited Kingdom
1951Miss JulieFröken JulieAlf SjöbergSweden
Miracle in MilanMiracolo a MilanoVittorio De SicaItaly
1952The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of VeniceOrson WellesUnited States
Two Cents Worth of HopeDue soldi di speranzaRenato CastellaniItaly
1953The Wages of FearLe salaire de la peurHenri-Georges ClouzotFrance
1954Gate of HellJigoku-mon / 地獄門Teinosuke KinugasaJapan
Awarded as "Palme d'Or"
1955Marty §Delbert MannUnited States
1956The Silent WorldLe monde du silenceJacques Cousteau and Louis MalleFrance
1957Friendly PersuasionWilliam WylerUnited States
1958The Cranes Are FlyingLetyat zhuravli / Летят журавлиMikhail KalatozovSoviet Union
1959Black Orpheus §Orfeu NegroMarcel CamusFrance
1960The Sweet Life §La dolce vitaFederico FelliniItaly
1961The Long Absence §Une aussi longue absenceHenri ColpiFrance
Viridiana §Luis BuñuelMexico
1962Keeper of Promises §O Pagador de PromessasAnselmo DuarteBrazil
1963The Leopard §Il gattopardoLuchino ViscontiItaly
Awarded as "Grand Prix du Festival International du Film"
1964The Umbrellas of CherbourgLes parapluies de CherbourgJacques DemyFrance
1965The Knack … and How to Get ItRichard LesterUnited Kingdom
1966A Man and a WomanUn homme et une femmeClaude LelouchFrance
The Birds, the Bees and the ItaliansSignore e signoriPietro GermiItaly
1967BlowupMichelangelo AntonioniItaly
1968No awards this year because of the May 1968 events in France.
1969If....Lindsay AndersonUnited Kingdom
1970MASHRobert AltmanUnited States
1971The Go-BetweenJoseph LoseyUnited Kingdom
1972The Working Class Goes to Heaven §La classe operaia va in paradisoElio PetriItaly
The Mattei Affair §Il caso MatteiFrancesco RosiItaly
1973The HirelingAlan BridgesUnited Kingdom
ScarecrowJerry SchatzbergUnited States
1974The ConversationFrancis Ford CoppolaUnited States
Awarded as "Palme d'Or"
1975Chronicle of the Years of FireChronique des années de braiseMohammed Lakhdar-HaminaAlgeria
1976Taxi DriverMartin ScorseseUnited States
1977Padre PadronePaolo and Vittorio TavianiItaly
1978The Tree of Wooden Clogs §L'albero degli zoccoliErmanno OlmiItaly
1979Apocalypse NowFrancis Ford CoppolaUnited States
The Tin DrumDie BlechtrommelVolker SchlöndorffWest Germany
1980All That JazzBob FosseUnited States
KagemushaKagemusha / 影武者Akira KurosawaJapan
1981Man of IronCzłowiek z żelazaAndrzej WajdaPoland
1982Missing §Costa-GavrasGreece
The Way §YolYılmaz Güney and Şerif GörenTurkey
1983The Ballad of NarayamaNarayama bushikō / 楢山節考Shohei ImamuraJapan
1984Paris, Texas §Wim WendersWest Germany
1985When Father Was Away on Business §Otats na službenom putu / Отац на службеном путуEmir KusturicaYugoslavia
1986The MissionRoland JofféUnited Kingdom
1987Under the Sun of Satan §Sous le soleil de SatanMaurice PialatFrance
1988Pelle the ConquerorPelle erobrerenBille AugustDenmark
1989Sex, Lies, and VideotapeSteven SoderberghUnited States
1990Wild at HeartDavid LynchUnited States
1991Barton Fink §Joel and Ethan CoenUnited States
1992The Best IntentionsDen goda viljanBille AugustDenmark
1993Farewell My ConcubineBàwáng bié jī / 霸王別姬Chen KaigeChina
The PianoJane CampionNew Zealand
1994Pulp FictionQuentin TarantinoUnited States
1995UndergroundPodzemlje / ПодземљеEmir KusturicaSerbia and Montenegro
1996Secrets & LiesMike LeighUnited Kingdom
1997Taste of CherryTa'm-e gīlās / طعم گيلاسAbbas KiarostamiIran
The EelUnagi / うなぎShohei ImamuraJapan
1998Eternity and a Day §Mia aio̱nióti̱ta kai mia méra / Μια αιωνιότητα και μια μέραTheodoros AngelopoulosGreece
1999Rosetta §Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc DardenneBelgium
2000Dancer in the DarkLars von TrierDenmark
2001The Son's RoomLa stanza del figlioNanni MorettiItaly
2002The PianistRoman PolanskiFrance, Poland
2003ElephantGus Van SantUnited States
2004Fahrenheit 9/11Michael MooreUnited States
2005The ChildL'enfantJean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc DardenneBelgium
2006The Wind That Shakes the Barley §Ken LoachUnited Kingdom
20074 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days4 luni, 3 săptămâni şi 2 zileCristian MungiuRomania
2008The Class §Entre les mursLaurent CantetFrance
2009The White RibbonDas weiße Band, Eine deutsche KindergeschichteMichael HanekeAustria
2010Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past LivesLung Bunmi Raluek Chat / ลุงบุญมีระลึกชาติApichatpong WeerasethakulThailand
2011The Tree of LifeTerrence MalickUnited States
2012AmourMichael HanekeAustria
2013Blue Is the Warmest Colour § La Vie d'Adèle: Chapitres 1 et 2Abdellatif KechicheFrance, Tunisia
2014Winter SleepKış UykusuNuri Bilge CeylanTurkey
2015DheepanJacques AudiardFrance
2016I, Daniel BlakeKen LoachUnited Kingdom
2017The SquareRuben ÖstlundSweden
2018Shoplifters万引き家族 / Manbiki kazokuHirokazu Kore-edaJapan
* Director's nationality given at time of film's release.
§ Denotes unanimous win
The Palme d'Or for Union Pacific was awarded in retrospect at the 2002 festival. The festival's debut was to take place in 1939, but it was cancelled due to World War II.[13] The organisers of the 2002 festival presented part of the original 1939 selection to a professional jury of six members. The films were: Goodbye Mr. Chips, La Piste du Nord, Lenin in 1918, The Four Feathers, The Wizard of Oz, Union Pacific, and Boefje.

Multiple award winners

Eight directors or co-directors have won the award twice:[14]

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.[15] American director Woody Allen was the inaugural recipient while pioneering French filmmaker Agnès Varda was the first woman to receive the award in 2015.[16][17] In 2016, Jean-Pierre Léaud became the first person to be awarded solely for acting.[18]

YearRecipientProfessionNationality of recipient
2002Woody AllenDirector/Actor/ScreenwriterUnited States
2008Manoel de OliveiraDirectorPortugal
2009Clint EastwoodActor/DirectorUnited States
2011Bernardo BertolucciDirectorItaly
2015Agnès VardaDirectorFrance
2016Jean-Pierre LéaudActorFrance
2017Jeffrey Katzenberg[19]ProducerUnited States

In 2018, the Cannes jury also awarded a "Special Palme d'Or" for the first time.[20]

YearFilmOriginal titleDirector(s)Nationality of director Ref(s)
2018The Image BookLe Livre d'imageJean-Luc GodardFrance, Switzerland[20]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "A brief history of the Palme d'or". Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  2. "Why the Cannes Film Festival matters (and how to pronounce it)". Vox. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  3. "Cannes 2017: Sweden's Ruben Östlund wins Palme d'Or for 'The Square' - France 24". France 24. 2017-05-28. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  4. Hammond, Pete (2016-05-11). "Cannes Vs Oscar: Why The Palme d'Or And Best Picture Academy Award Don't Make A Perfect Match". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  5. "Histoire de la Palme d'or, de Lucienne Lazon à Chopard" (in French). Retrieved 2017-05-31.
  6. "Cannes: 5 unforgettable Palme d'Or winners". 2015-05-24. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  7. "Director Abdellatif Kechiche: Why I'm Selling My Palme d'Or (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  8. "Festival de Cannes - Regulations". Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  9. "Conference of the Jury of 66th Festival de Cannes". Festival de Cannes. 2013. Archived from the original on 30 December 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013.(video unavailable)
  10. "Director Abdellatif Kechiche: Why I'm Selling My Palme d'Or (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  11. "A brief history of the Palme d'Or - Festival de Cannes 2013 (International Film Festival)". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  12. Xan Brooks (25 May 2014). "Cannes festival ready for shut-eye after Winter Sleep wins Palme d'Or". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  13. McCarthy, Todd (May 26, 2002). "'Pianist' tickles Cannes". Variety. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  14. Lodge, Guy; Gleiberman, Owen (22 May 2016). "Cannes: Ken Loach Wins His Second Palme d'Or for 'I, Daniel Blake'". Variety. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  15. "A Honorary Palme at the opening ceremony of the Festival de Cannes". Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  16. "Director Agnes Varda to receive honorary Palme d'Or". Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  17. "AGNÈS VARDA TO RECEIVE HONORARY PALME D'OR". Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  18. Szalai, Georg. "Cannes: Jean-Pierre Leaud to Get Honorary Palme d'Or". Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  19. Richford, Rhonda (19 May 2017). "Cannes: Jeffrey Katzenberg Feted With Honorary Palme d'Or". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  20. 1 2 Steve, Pond (19 May 2018). "'Shoplifters' Wins Palme d'Or at 2018 Cannes Film Festival". SF Gate. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
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