The Grand Illusion

What will be with Cannes Film Festival 2020?
Maybe it's again because of the grand illusion? Do you know that Cannes Film Festival started because of the grand illusion? And it's not really about cinema which is "the great illusion of moving pictures", it's much more illusionary! The fact is that at the end of 1930s the only international film festival was held in Venice. However, it already became controversial because of a limited presentation of films from other European countries rather than Italy. Moreover, it was falling under the influence of nacist Germany. And when in 1938 the main prize was given to a documentary film instead of a fiction one, it became the last straw. The documentary was German "Olympia" by Leni Riefenstahl, and the fiction was French "The Grand Illusion" by Jean Renoir.

Oksana Belousova
CEO & Founder of MY KINOROOM, Film Director
As a result, in 1939 France decided to set up its own and what was most important - independent film festival. This initiative was supported by Great Britain and USA. The French government was choosing between Cannes and Biarritz, and if it had favoured to the latter, then filmmakers would have dreamt not about the "golden palm", but consequently about some "golden whale" which is depicted on the coat of arms of Biarritz. And not Boulevard de la Croisette, but Boulevard du Prince de Galles would have become the place of pilgrimage for all the film passionate.

It could have happened, but it would have been a different story and reality, exactly the same as if this year's Festival de Cannes that was supposed to open today. And la Croisette would have been packed with film stars and guests, queueing on the red carpet to enter the Palace of Festivals and see the film of the opening night… ⠀

Now it seems like an illusion, doesn't it? Well, at least in reality you can see that very "The Grand Illusion" by Jean Renoir Cannes Film Festival started with (and probably "Olympia" by Leni Riefenstahl, however, Venice Film Festival could still happen later this year).

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