2008 Cannes Film Festival

The 61st Annual Cannes Film Festival was held from 14 to 25 May 2008. The President of the Official Jury was American actor and director Sean Penn. Twenty two films from fourteen countries were selected to compete for the Palme d'Or. The awards were announced on 24 May. The film The Class (Entre les murs), directed by Laurent Cantet won the Palme d'Or.[4][5]

2008 Cannes Film Festival
Official poster of the 61st Cannes Film Festival featuring a photo of model Anouk Marguerite and photographed by Pierre Collier.[1]
Opening filmBlindness
Closing filmWhat Just Happened
LocationCannes, France
AwardsPalme d'Or (Entre les murs)[2]
Hosted byÉdouard Baer
No. of films22 (En Competition)[3]
20 (Un Certain Regard)
8 (Out of Competition)
17 (Cinéfondation)
7 (Special screening)
9 (Short Film)
Festival date14 May 2008 (2008-05-14) – 25 May 2008 (2008-05-25)

The festival opened with Blindness, directed by Fernando Meirelles[6] and closed with What Just Happened, directed by Barry Levinson.[7] Édouard Baer was the master of ceremonies.[8] Hunger, directed by Steve McQueen, opened the Un Certain Regard section.[9]

The British press reported the list of films in competition this year was notable for its absence of British films for the second successive year.[10][11] In addition to films selected for competition this year, major Hollywood productions such as Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Kung Fu Panda had their world premieres at the festival.


Main competition

The following people were appointed as the Jury for the feature films of the 2008 Official Selection:[12]

Un Certain Regard

Cinefondation and short films

Camera d'Or

Official selection

In competition - Feature films

The following feature films competed for the Palme d'Or:[3]

English title Original title Director(s) Country
24 City二十四城记/二十四城記 (Er shi si cheng ji)Jia ZhangkeChina
AdorationAtom EgoyanCanada
BlindnessFernando MeirellesBrazil
ChangelingClint EastwoodUnited States
Che (Part I: The Argentine and Part II: Guerilla)Steven SoderberghUnited States
A Christmas TaleUn conte de NoëlArnaud DesplechinFrance
The ClassEntre les mursLaurent CantetFrance
DeltaKornél MundruczóHungary
Il DivoPaolo SorrentinoItaly
Frontier of DawnLa frontière de l'aubePhilippe GarrelFrance
GomorrahGomorraMatteo GarroneItaly
The Headless WomanLa mujer sin cabezaLucrecia MartelArgentina
LeoneraPablo TraperoArgentina
Linha de PasseWalter Salles and Daniela ThomasBrazil
My MagicEric KhooSingapore
Palermo ShootingWim WendersGermany
ServiceSerbisBrillante MendozaPhilippines
Lorna's SilenceLe silence de LornaJean-Pierre and Luc DardenneBelgium
Synecdoche, New YorkCharlie KaufmanUnited States
Three MonkeysÜç MaymunNuri Bilge CeylanTurkey
Two LoversJames GrayUnited States
Waltz with Bashirואלס עם באשיר (Vals Am Bashir)Ari FolmanIsrael

Un Certain Regard

The following films were selected for the competition of Un Certain Regard:[3]

Films out of competition

The following films were selected to be screened out of competition:[13][3]

Special Screenings

The following films were selected for the Special Sceenings:[14][3]


The following short films were selected for the competition of Cinéfondation:[3]

  • August 15th (Ba yue shi wu) by Jiang Xuan
  • Blind Spot by Johanna Bessiere, Nicolas Chauvelot, Olivier Clert, Cécile Dubois Herry, Yvon Jardel, Simon Rouby
  • El Reloj (The Watch) by Marco Berger
  • Et dans mon coeur j'emporterai (And I’ll Keep in My Heart) by Yoon Sung-A
  • Forbach by Claire Burger
  • Gata by Diana Mkrtchyan
  • Gestern In Eden (The Other Day In Eden) by Jan Speckenbach
  • Himnon (Anthem) by Elad Keidan
  • Illusion Dwellers by Robb Ellender
  • Interior. Scara de Bloc (Interior. Bloc of Flats Hallway) by Ciprian Alexandrescu
  • Kestomerkitsijät (Roadmarkers) by Juho Kuosmanen
  • Naus by Lukás Glaser
  • O som e o resto (Sound and the Rest) by André Lavaquial
  • Shtika (Silence) by Hadar Morag
  • Stop by Park Jae-Ok
  • The Maid by Heidi Saman
  • This Is a Story About Ted and Alice by Teressa Tunney

Short film competition

The following short films competed for the Short Film Palme d'Or:[3]

Cannes Classics

Cannes Classics places the spotlight on documentaries about cinema[15] and restored masterworks from the past.[16]


Documentaries about Cinema

  • Il était une fois...Lawrence d'Arabie by Anne Kunvari (2008)
  • La Collection Cinéma cinémas by Claude Ventura (2008)
  • No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo & Vilmos by James Chressanthis (2008)
  • The Mystery of Samba (O mistério do Samba) by Jabor Carolina, Buarque De Hollanda Lula (2008)

Restored prints

Parallel sections

International Critics' Week

The following films were screened for the 47th International Critics' Week (47e Semaine de la Critique):[18]

Feature film competition

Short film competition

  • A espera (L’attente) by Fernanda Teixeira (Brazil)
  • Ahendu nde sapukai by Pablo Lamar (Argentina, Paraguay)
  • Ergo by Géza M. Tóth (Hungary)
  • La Copie de Coralie by Nicolas Engel (France)
  • Next Floor by Denis Villeneuve (Canada)
  • Nosebleed by Jeff Vespa (USA)
  • Skhizein by Jérémy Clapin (France)

Special screenings

Short films
  • Areia (Sand) by Caetano Gotardo (Brazil)
  • La Résidence Ylang Ylang by Hachimiya Ahamada (France, Comores)
  • L’ondée by David Coquard-Dassault (France, Canada)
  • Beyond the Mexique Bay by Jean-Marc Rousseau Ruiz (France, Mexico)
Prix de la Critique
  • Taxi Wala by Lola Frederich (France)
  • Graffiti by Vano Burduli (Georgia)
  • Les Filles de feu by Jean-Sébastien Chauvin (France)
  • Les Paradis Perdus by Hélier Cisterne (France)
  • Young Man Falling (Ung and falder) by Martin De Thurah (Denmark)
  • A Relationship in Four Days by Peter Glanz (USA)

Directors' Fortnight

The following films were screened for the 2008 Directors' Fortnight (Quinzaine des Réalizateurs):[19]

Feature films

Special screenings

Short films

  • The Acquaintances of a Lonely John by Benny Safdie
  • Ciel éteint! by F.J. Ossang
  • Easter Morning by Bruce Conner
  • Il fait beau dans la plus belle ville du monde by Valérie Donzelli
  • Je vous hais petites filles by Yann Gonzalez
  • Kamel s’est suicidé six fois, son père est mort by Soufiane Adel
  • MAN by Myna Joseph
  • Mes copains by Louis Garrel
  • Muro by Tião
  • Sagan om den lille Dockpojken by Johannes Nyholm
  • Summer Afternoon by Wi-ding Ho
  • Vsakdan ni vsak dan by Martin Turk


Official awards

The following films and people received the 2008 Official selection awards:[2][4]

Un Certain Regard


  • First Prize: Himnon (Anthem) by Elad Keidan
  • Second Prize: Forbach by Claire Burger
  • Third Prize: Stop by Park Jae-Ok & Kestomerkitsijät (Roadmarkers) by Juho Kuosmanen

Golden Camera

Short films

Independent awards

FIPRESCI Prizes[21][5]

Vulcan Award of the Technical Artist

Ecumenical Jury[22][5]

Awards in the frame of International Critics' Week[4]

  • Critics Week Grand Prize: Snow (Snijeg) by Aida Begic
  • SACD Award: Moscow, Belgium (Aanrijding in Moscou) by Christophe Van Rompaey
  • ACID/CCAS Award: Moscow, Belgium (Aanrijding in Moscou) by Christophe Van Rompaey
  • OFAJ/TV5MONDE Young Critics Award: Blood Appears (La Sangre brota) by Pablo Fendrik
  • Canal+ Gran Prix for short film: Next Floor by Denis Villeneuve
  • Kodak Discovery Award for Best Short Film: Skhizein by Jérémy Clapin

Other awards

Association Prix François Chalais


  1. "Posters 2008". festival-cannes.fr. Archived from the original on 4 December 2013.
  2. "Awards 2008: All Awards". festival-cannes.fr. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013.
  3. "Official Selection 2008: All the Selection". festival-cannes.fr. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.
  4. "61ème Festival International du Film - Cannes". cinema-francais.fr (in French). Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  5. "Cannes 2008 / Palmarés". cannes-fest.com (in French). Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  6. "Cannes Film Festival 2008 opener: the end of civilisation". The Telegraph. 9 May 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  7. "2008 Cannes Film Festival Lineup". voices.yahoo.com. 14 May 2008. Archived from the original on 28 July 2014.
  8. "Edouard Baer, emcee of the 62nd Cannes Film Festival". festival-cannes.com. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013.
  9. "Visceral Brit offering opens Un Certain Regard section". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  10. "Cannes Film Festival snubs British movies for the second year running". The Independent. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  11. "Indiana Jones steals the show as Cannes ignores British films". The Times Literary Supplement. Archived from the original on 17 May 2011.
  12. "All Juries 2008". festival-cannes.fr. Archived from the original on 5 October 2015.
  13. "Out of competition". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  14. "Retrospective 2008, Special Screenings". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  15. "Cannes Classics — Documentaries about Cinema". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  16. "Cannes Classics — Restored Prints". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  17. "Cannes Classics — Tribute". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  18. "47e Selecion de la Semaine de la Critique - 2008". archives.semainedelacritique.com. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  19. "Quinzaine 2008". quinzaine-realisateurs.com. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  20. "Festival de Cannes : Film details 2008". Archived from the original on 11 September 2011.
  21. "FIPRESCI Awards 2008". fipresci.org. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  22. "Jury Œcuménique Palmarés 2008". cannes.juryoecumenique.org. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  23. "Association Prix François Chalais Cannes 2008". francois-chalais.fr. Archived from the original on 29 October 2017. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
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