Ahead of the commotion and buzz surrounding the Palme d’Or award ceremony we take a look back at some of the most prolific past winners.

Sixty three years ago, the Cannes Film Festival was founded, it is considered to be the world’s most prestigious film festival. Held annually in the village of Cannes, in the south of France, filmmakers from across the globe compete for some of the most sought after prizes in the filmmaking industry. Of all these coveted prizes, the Palme d’Or is considered to be the Holy Grail of the film industry.

Ahead of the commotion and buzz surrounding the Palme d’Or award ceremony we take a look back at some of the most prolific past winners.

Union Pacific



Union Pacific is a 1939 film and the first to be awarded a Palme d’Or, it was actually awarded retrospectively seven years ago in 2002. It tells the story of the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad. Friends are torn apart by love and money as the crooked banker, Mr. Barrows aims to obstruct the building of the railway in the name of profit. The world premiere drew massive crowds to the city of Omaha so much so that the US National Guard was called in to handle over 250,000 people.


Directed and produced by Orson Wells, a name many movie fans will be familiar with, Othello is based on the play by Shakespeare. For all those of us unaware of the story of Othello, it’s a play about love, racism and betrayal, Othello being fed false information by his enemy Iago seeks to destroy his love Desdemona believing she is in an affair with Cassio. The film was financed in large by Wells and while it wasn’t a major success in the United States it tied for the award of Palme d’Or with another film, the Italian film ‘Two Cents Worth of Hope’ in 1952




The Leopard

Directed by Luchino Visconti, The Leopard accounts the demise of an Italian aristocracy and the rise of a new generation. It was awarded the Palme d’Or in 1963 and featured an international cast including the famous American actor Burt Lancaster. The film is now mainly distributed in Italian and Burt’s performance has been dubbed over by another voice actor, it was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design.






“Attention. Tonight’s movie has been “M*A*S*H.” Follow the zany antics of our combat surgeons as they cut and stitch their way along the front lines”. You are probably more aware of the cult TV sitcom that spawned from this 1970 film and who could blame you, the finale of the television is still to date the most watched series finale of all time with a recorded 105million audience members. The 1970 film starred Donald Sutherland and was directed by Robert Altman.

Taxi Driver

“Are you talking to me?” well actually Robert De Niro was talking to himself but it’s still one of the most widely impersonated film scenes ever. De Niro stars alongside the young Jodie Foster in a film by Martin Scorsese. Taxi Driver tells the story of Travis Bickle, a former Vietnam veteran who now works as a nightshift taxi driver, lying about his life to his family and suffering from insomnia and an ever increasing sense of paranoia, Bickle’s grasp on reality spirals out of control as he plots to murder people he feels are ruining New York city and rescue the young Iris (Foster) from a life of drugs and prostitution. Aside from winning the Palme d’Or, Taxi Driver also scooped three BAFTA awards and several Academy nominations.



The Ballad of Narayama

A 1983 Japanese remake of the 1958 film, The Ballad of Narayama tells the story Orin an ageing woman who lives in a small village where it is tradition for the elderly to leave the village once they reach the age of 70 and travel to a mountain to die. A year before she must leave Orin sets about getting her affairs in order and making sure her village can continue to strive even after she leaves it for the last time.

The Piano

A film by Jane Campion, won the Palme d’Or at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival. Starring Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neil and a young Anna Paquin, ‘The Piano’ tells the story of an arranged marriage between a mute pianist Ada from Scotland and Stewart, who sells her piano to their neighbour George. Campion’s film ‘Sweetie’ was previously booed and heckled, who not only managed to scoop the Palme d’Or she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director and Holly Hunter won the Academy Award for Best Actress.

The Class




‘The Class’ or ‘Entre les Murs’, was last years winner of the Palme d’Or. Written and directed by Laurent Cantet, its based on a novel by Francois Begaudeau. As the school year begins again, literature teacher Francois Marin sets out to help his new students succeed and realise their own potential. In the multi-cultural school it becomes clear that it’s not always possible for Marin to help his students, and as he is pushed closer to his own breaking point, the school year ends but in a few months the cycle will start all over again for the teacher.