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Palme d'Or

Golden Palm
Palme d'Or
Palme dor.png
Location Cannes
Country France
Presented by Festival International du Film de Cannes
First awarded 1955

The Palme d'Or (French pronunciation: ​[palm(ə) dɔʁ]; English: Golden Palm) is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival. 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.

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

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. 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. According to Spielberg: "Had the casting been 3% wrong, it wouldn't have worked like it did for us".


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