The Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) is the highest prize awarded to competing films 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. From 1964 to 1974 it was replaced again by the Grand Prix du Festival.
Until 1954, the Jury of the Festival de Cannes awarded a “Grand Prix of the International Film Festival” to the best film. The prize was redesigned each year by a different 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 in the history of the Festival was awarded to Delbert Mann for his film Marty. The Palme d’Or was established as the Festival’s highest award until 1964, when the Festival temporarily resumed awarding a Grand Prix due to copyright problems with the Palm. In 1975, the Palme d’Or was reintroduced and became again the symbol of the Cannes Film Festival, awarded each and every year since to the director of the Best Feature Film of the Official Competition. The award was presented in a case of pure red Morocco leather, lined with white suede.
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 Palm and its pedestal in hand-cut crystal. In 1997, the Palm was again modernised by Caroline Scheufele. The present Palm, made of 24-carat gold, is hand cast into a wax mould, then attached to a cushion of a single piece of cut crystal. The award is today presented in a case of blue Morocco leather.
1975 Chronicle of the Years of Fire Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina Algeria / 1976 Taxi Driver Martin Scorsese United States / 1977 Padre Padrone Paolo Taviani and Vittorio Taviani Italy / 1978 The Tree of Wooden Clogs Ermanno Olmi Italy / 1979 Apocalypse Now Francis Ford Coppola United States, The Tin Drum Volker Schlöndorff West Germany / 1980 All That Jazz Bob Fosse United States, Kagemusha Akira Kurosawa Japan / 1981 Man of Iron Andrzej Wajda Poland / 1982 Missing Costa-Gavras Greece, The Way Yılmaz Güney and Şerif Gören Turkey / 1983 The Ballad of Narayama Shohei Imamura Japan / 1984 Paris, Texas (unanimously) Wim Wenders West Germany / 1985 When Father Was Away on Business (unanimously) Emir Kusturica Yugoslavia / 1986 The Mission Roland Joffé United Kingdom / 1987 Under the Sun of Satan (unanimously) Maurice Pialat France / 1988 Pelle the Conqueror Bille August Denmark / 1989 Sex, Lies, and Videotape Steven Soderbergh United States / 1990 Wild at Heart David Lynch United States / 1991 Barton Fink (unanimously) Joel and Ethan Coel United States / 1992 The Best Intentions Bille August Denmark / 1993 Farewell My Concubine Chen Kaige China, The Piano Jane Campion New Zealand / 1994 Pulp Fiction Quentin Tarantino United States / 1995 Underground Emir Kusturica Yugoslavia / 1996 Secrets & Lies Mike Leigh United Kingdom / 1997 Taste of Cherry Abbas Kiarostami Iran, The Eel Shohei Imamura Japan / 1998 Eternity and a Day (unanimously) Theo Angelopoulos Greece / 1999 Rosetta Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne Belgium / 2000 Dancer In the Dark Lars von Trier Denmark / 2001 The Son’s Room Nanni Moretti Italy / 2002 The Pianist Roman Polanski Poland / 2003 Elephant Gus van Sant United States / 2004 Fahrenheit 9/11 (unanimously) Michael Moore United States / 2005 L’enfant Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne Belgium / 2006 The Wind That Shakes the Barley Ken Loach Uited Kingdom / 2007 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days Cristian Mungiu Romania / 2008 The Class (unanimously) Laurent Cantet France / 2009 The White Ribbon Michael Haneke Austria / 2010 Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives Apichatpong Weerasethakul ThailandRead less