Palme d'Or

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]

Palme d'Or
Presented byFestival International du Film de Cannes
First awarded1955
Currently held byParasite (2019)

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 dissatisfaction about the festival having given out multiple trophies in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, saying that he felt they had "publicly insulted" him by doing it, and that "liberating myself from this Palme d’Or is a way of washing my hands of this sorry affair."[7]

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.[10]

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.[11]

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)Country
Awarded as "Grand Prix du Festival International du Film"
1939 Union PacificCecil B. DeMille USA
1940–1945No awards due to World War II.
1946The Turning PointVelikij perelom / Великий переломFridrikh Ermler USSR
Men Without WingsMuži bez křídelFrantišek Čáp Czechoslovakia
The Last ChanceDie Letzte ChanceLeopold Lindtberg Switzerland
TormentHetsAlf Sjöberg Sweden
Portrait of MariaMaría CandelariaEmilio Fernández Mexico
Rome, Open CityRoma, città apertaRoberto Rossellini Italy
Neecha Nagar (Lowly City)Nīcā nagar / नीचा नगरChetan Anand India
Brief EncounterDavid Lean United Kingdom
Pastoral SymphonyLa symphonie pastoraleJean Delannoy France
The Lost WeekendBilly Wilder USA
The Red MeadowsDe røde engeBodil Ipsen and Lau Lauritzen, Jr. Denmark
1949The Third ManCarol Reed United Kingdom
1951Miss JulieFröken JulieAlf Sjöberg Sweden
Miracle in MilanMiracolo a MilanoVittorio De Sica Italy
1952The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of VeniceOrson Welles USA
Two Cents Worth of HopeDue soldi di speranzaRenato Castellani Italy
1953The Wages of FearLe salaire de la peurHenri-Georges Clouzot France
1954Gate of HellJigoku-mon / 地獄門Teinosuke Kinugasa Japan
Awarded as "Palme d'Or"
1955Marty §Delbert Mann USA
1956The Silent WorldLe monde du silenceJacques Cousteau and Louis Malle France
1957Friendly PersuasionWilliam Wyler USA
1958The Cranes Are FlyingLetyat zhuravli / Летят журавлиMikhail Kalatozov USSR
1959Black Orpheus §Orfeu NegroMarcel Camus France
1960The Sweet Life §La dolce vitaFederico Fellini Italy
1961The Long Absence §Une aussi longue absenceHenri Colpi France
Viridiana §Luis Buñuel Mexico
1962Keeper of Promises §O Pagador de PromessasAnselmo Duarte Brazil
1963The Leopard §Il gattopardoLuchino Visconti Italy
Awarded as "Grand Prix du Festival International du Film"
1964The Umbrellas of CherbourgLes parapluies de CherbourgJacques Demy France
West Germany
1965The Knack ...and How to Get ItRichard Lester United Kingdom
1966A Man and a WomanUn homme et une femmeClaude Lelouch France
The Birds, the Bees and the ItaliansSignore e signoriPietro Germi Italy
1967BlowupMichelangelo Antonioni United Kingdom
1968No awards this year because of the May 1968 events in France.
1969If....Lindsay Anderson United Kingdom
1970MASHRobert Altman USA
1971The Go-BetweenJoseph Losey United Kingdom
1972The Working Class Goes to Heaven §La classe operaia va in paradisoElio Petri Italy
The Mattei Affair §Il caso MatteiFrancesco Rosi Italy
1973The HirelingAlan Bridges United Kingdom
ScarecrowJerry Schatzberg USA
1974The ConversationFrancis Ford Coppola USA
Awarded as "Palme d'Or"
1975Chronicle of the Years of FireChronique des années de braiseMohammed Lakhdar-Hamina Algeria
1976Taxi DriverMartin Scorsese USA
1977Padre PadronePaolo and Vittorio Taviani Italy
1978The Tree of Wooden Clogs §L'albero degli zoccoliErmanno Olmi Italy
1979Apocalypse NowFrancis Ford Coppola USA
The Tin DrumDie BlechtrommelVolker Schlöndorff West Germany
1980All That JazzBob Fosse USA
KagemushaKagemusha / 影武者Akira Kurosawa Japan
1981Man of IronCzłowiek z żelazaAndrzej Wajda Poland
1982Missing §Costa-Gavras USA
The Way §YolYılmaz Güney and Şerif Gören Turkey
1983The Ballad of NarayamaNarayama bushikō / 楢山節考Shohei Imamura Japan
1984Paris, Texas §Wim Wenders West Germany
United Kingdom
1985When Father Was Away on Business §Otats na službenom putu / Отац на службеном путуEmir Kusturica SFR Yugoslavia
1986The MissionRoland Joffé United Kingdom
1987Under the Sun of Satan §Sous le soleil de SatanMaurice Pialat France
1988Pelle the ConquerorPelle erobrerenBille August Denmark
1989Sex, Lies, and VideotapeSteven Soderbergh USA
1990Wild at HeartDavid Lynch USA
1991Barton Fink §Joel and Ethan Coen USA
1992The Best IntentionsDen goda viljanBille August Sweden
1993Farewell My ConcubineBàwáng bié jī / 霸王別姬Chen Kaige China
The PianoJane Campion New Zealand
1994Pulp FictionQuentin Tarantino USA
1995UndergroundPodzemlje / ПодземљеEmir Kusturica FR Yugoslavia
Czech Republic
1996Secrets & LiesMike Leigh United Kingdom
1997Taste of CherryTa'm-e gīlās / طعم گيلاسAbbas Kiarostami Iran
The EelUnagi / うなぎShohei Imamura Japan
1998Eternity and a Day §Mia aio̱nióti̱ta kai mia méra / Μια αιωνιότητα και μια μέραTheodoros Angelopoulos Greece
1999Rosetta §Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne Belgium
2000Dancer in the DarkLars von Trier Denmark
2001The Son's RoomLa stanza del figlioNanni Moretti Italy
2002The PianistRoman Polanski France
United Kingdom
2003ElephantGus Van Sant USA
2004Fahrenheit 9/11Michael Moore USA
2005The ChildL'enfantJean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne Belgium
2006The Wind That Shakes the Barley §Ken Loach Ireland
United Kingdom
20074 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days4 luni, 3 săptămâni şi 2 zileCristian Mungiu Romania
2008The Class §Entre les mursLaurent Cantet France
2009The White RibbonDas weiße Band, Eine deutsche KindergeschichteMichael Haneke Austria
2010Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past LivesLung Bunmi Raluek Chat / ลุงบุญมีระลึกชาติApichatpong Weerasethakul Thailand
2011The Tree of LifeTerrence Malick USA
2012AmourMichael Haneke France
2013Blue Is the Warmest Colour § La Vie d'Adèle: Chapitres 1 et 2Abdellatif Kechiche and Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux France
2014Winter SleepKış UykusuNuri Bilge Ceylan Turkey
2015DheepanJacques Audiard France
2016I, Daniel BlakeKen Loach United Kingdom
2017The SquareRuben Östlund Sweden
2018ShopliftersManbiki kazoku / 万引き家族Hirokazu Kore-eda Japan
2019Parasite §Gisaengchung / 기생충Bong Joon-ho South Korea
§ 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.[12] 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:[13]

Multiple nominations

The following directors have had three or more films in competition and thus, are considered to have been nominated for the Palme d'Or:

Honorary Palme d'Or

In 1997, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Festival, the Cannes jury awarded a "Palme des Palmes" for the first time.[14]

YearRecipientProfessionNationality of recipient
1997Ingmar Bergman[14]Director/ScreenwriterSweden

In 2002 the festival began to sporadically award a non-competitive Honorary Palme d'Or to directors or actors who had achieved a notable body of work but who had never won a competitive Palme d'Or.[15]

YearRecipientProfessionNationality of recipient
2002Woody AllenDirector/Actor/ScreenwriterUnited States
2003Jeanne MoreauActressFrance
2005Catherine DeneuveActressFrance
2007Jane FondaActressUnited States
2008Manoel de OliveiraDirector/ScreenwriterPortugal
2009Clint EastwoodActor/DirectorUnited States
2011Jean-Paul BelmondoActorFrance
Bernardo BertolucciDirector/ScreenwriterItaly
2015Agnès Varda[16][17]Director/ScreenwriterFrance
2016Jean-Pierre Léaud[18]ActorFrance
2017Jeffrey Katzenberg[19]ProducerUnited States
2019Alain Delon[20]ActorFrance

In 2018, the Cannes jury also awarded a "Special Palme d'Or" for the first time.[21]

YearFilmOriginal titleDirector(s)CountryRef(s)
2018The Image BookLe Livre d'imageJean-Luc Godard Switzerland

See also


  1. "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. "A brief history of the Palme d'Or - Festival de Cannes 2013 (International Film Festival)". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  11. 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.
  12. McCarthy, Todd (May 26, 2002). "'Pianist' tickles Cannes". Variety. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  13. 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.
  14. Rooney, David (9 April 1997). "Bergman to get special Cannes salute". Variety. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  15. "A Honorary Palme at the opening ceremony of the Festival de Cannes". Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  16. "Director Agnes Varda to receive honorary Palme d'Or". BBC. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  17. "Agnes Varda to receive honorary Palme d'Or". Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  18. Szalai, Georg. "Cannes: Jean-Pierre Leaud to Get Honorary Palme d'Or". The Hollywood Reporter. 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. "Cannes: Alain Delon to Receive Honorary Palme d'Or". Variety. 17 April 2019. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  21. 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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