Published: 20th September 2021
#ThrowbackToday: How the prestigious Cannes Film Festival became a big deal
In today's #TBT, we talk about the much-talked-about already, Cannes Film Festival. It has become huge now, but its humble beginnings are something that we would like to explore today
Enough is enough, said France.
Well, they did not literally say that. But when the world's first, and now the oldest, annual international film festival at Venice started showing an inclination towards films that advanced the Fascist and Nazi propaganda, the French Republic decided to step up. The French decided to organise one of their own festivals in June 1939. The dates were set for September 1 to 20 and films like The Wizard of Oz from America and USSR's Tomorrow, It’s War were selected. The charming beach city Cannes was selected as the venue. But on the day of September 1, when the festival was to begin, lo and behold, Germany invaded Poland. After the screening of just one film, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the festival was called off because France started mobilising troops and two days after, the French and the British declared war on Germany.
The festival was fated to begin on September 20, 1946 and indeed it did. After World War II, it all started and the French Riviera came to life. Films like The Lost Weekend, Open City, The Battle of the Rails and many more found an audience and nine films were given the grand award, Grand Prix du Festival.
And that's how the Cannes Film Festival began.