Entertainment/Film Festivals

From Quiz Revision Notes

The Big Five

Cannes Film Festival

The festival previews new films of all genres, including documentaries, from around the world. It has become an important showcase for European films.


The film festival was founded in 1946, partly due to a desire to compete with the Venice Film Festival, which had a fascist bias in the late-1930s. In 1939, the city of Cannes was selected as the location for a free film festival. The first edition was planned to be held in September 1939 but was cancelled due to World War II and relaunched in 1946. The festival is usually held in May.

Eleven films were honoured at the first edition, including Brief Encounter.

The 21st Cannes Film Festival was to have been held from 10 to 24 May 1968, but was cancelled to show solidarity with the students and workers who were demonstrating in what became known as the May ‘68 movement.


Palme d’Or

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The Palme d'Or is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival. It was introduced in 1955. Previously, from 1939 to 1954, the festival's highest prize was the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film. In 1964, The Palme d'Or was replaced again by the Grand Prix, before being reintroduced in 1975.

In 1955, the first Palme d'Or was awarded to Delbert Mann for Marty.

Recent winners:

2013 Blue is the Warmest Colour Abdellatif Kechiche (France)
2014 Winter Sleep Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey)
2015 Dheepan Jacques Audiard (France)
2016 I, Daniel Blake Ken Loach (United Kingdom)
2017 The Square Ruben Ostlund (Sweden)
2018 Shoplifters Hirokazu Kore-eda (Japan)
2019 Parasite Bong Joon-ho (South Korea)
2020 Cancelled due to COVID-19
2021 Titane Julia Ducournau (France)
2022 Triangle of Sadness Ruben Ostlund (Sweden)
2023 Anatomy of a Fall Justine Triet (France)
2024 Anora Sean Baker (USA)

Grand Prix

The Grand Prix is an award bestowed by the jury of the festival on one of the competing feature films. It is the second-most prestigious prize of the festival after the Palme d'Or, and it replaced the Special Jury Prize.

Jury Prize – the third-most prestigious prize of the festival

Best Director

Best Actor

Best Actress

Palm Dog – Best canine performance

Queer Palm – Best LGBT-related film

Berlin International Film Festival

The festival is considered the largest publicly attended film festival worldwide based on actual attendance rates. Up to 400 films are shown in several sections.


The film festival was founded in 1951. Oscar Martay, a film officer of the US Army, proposed the idea and used his influence to persuade the American Military to fund the festival. Usually called the Berlinale, the festival is held in February each year.

Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca opened the first festival on 6 June 1951.

The 1970 festival was cancelled and no major prizes were awarded due to a controversy surrounding the participation of Michael Verhoeven's anti-war film o.k.


Golden Bear

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The Golden Bear is the highest prize awarded for the best film. In its first year in 1951 it was awarded to the best film in each of five categories.

Recent winners:

2019 Synonyms Nadav Lapid (Israel)
2020 There Is No Evil Mohammad Rasoulof (Iran)
2021 Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn Radu Jude (Romania)
2022 Alcarras Carla Simon (Spain)
2023 On the Adamant Nicolas Philibert (France)
2024 Dahomey Mati Diop (France)

Silver Bears

Silver Bears are awarded in eight categories including Best Director and Best Leading Performance.

Honorary Golden Bear

The Honorary Golden Bear has been awarded for lifetime achievement since 1982, when it was awarded to James Stewart.

Venice Film Festival

The festival is part of the Venice Biennale cultural exhibition. Screenings take place in the historic Palazzo del Cinema and in other venues nearby.


The Venice Film Festival is the world's oldest film festival. Founded by the National Fascist Party in Venice in 1932. The festival is held in late August or early September on the island of the Lido in the Venice Lagoon.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde opened the first festival on 6 August 1932. No awards were given at the first festival.

In the 1930s fascist organisations controlled the festival, which was renamed the Italian-German Film Festival in 1940.

From 1969 to 1979 no prizes were awarded.


Golden Lion

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The Golden Lion is awarded to the best film screened in competition at the festival.

Recent winners:

2018 Roma Alfonso Cuaron (Mexico)
2019 Joker Todd Phillips (United States)
2020 Nomadland Chloe Zhao (China)
2021 Happening Audrey Diwan (France)
2022 All the Beauty and the Bloodshed Laura Poitras (United States)
2023 Poor Things Yorgos Lanthimos (Greece)

Grand Jury Prize – awarded to the second best film

Special Jury Prize – awarded to the third best film

Silver Lion – awarded to the best director

Volpi Cup for best actor

Volpi Cup for best actress

The Volpi Cups are named in honour of Count Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata, the founder of the Venice Film Festival.

Toronto International Film Festival

The festival attracts over 480,000 people annually. It is one of the largest and most prestigious events of its kind in the world.


The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) was founded in 1976 at the Windsor Arms Hotel in Toronto. The festival is held in September.

TIFF Bell Lightbox opened in 2010 and is the headquarters for the Toronto International Film Festival. It also serves throughout the year as a venue for other film screenings and smaller specialty film festivals.


People’s Choice Award

The festival's major prize, the People's Choice Award, is given to a feature-length film. It is not a juried prize, but is given to the film with the highest ratings as voted by the TIFF-going public. The winners of this award have often later earned Academy Award nominations.

Recent winners:

2018 Green Book Peter Farrelly (United States)
2019 Jojo Rabbit Taika Waititi (New Zealand)
2020 Nomadland Chloe Zhao (China)
2021 Belfast Kenneth Branagh (United Kingdom)
2022 The Fabelmans Steven Spielberg (United States)
2023 American Fiction Cord Jefferson (United States)

Sundance Film Festival

The festival is a showcase for new work from American and international independent filmmakers. it is the largest independent film festival in the United States.


Sundance began in Salt Lake City in 1978 as the Utah/US Film Festival.

In 1981, the festival moved to Park City, Utah, and was called the US Film and Video Festival.

Sundance Institute is a non-profit organization founded in 1981 by Robert Redford committed to the growth of independent artists.

In 1984, the Sundance Institute took over management of the US Film Festival.

In 1991, the festival was officially renamed the Sundance Film Festival, after Robert Redford's character from the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

The festival takes place each January in Park City, Utah; Salt Lake City, Utah; and at the Sundance Resort (a ski resort near Provo, Utah).

CODA became the first Sundance film to win an Oscar for Best Picture at the 94th Academy Awards.


The two main awards are –

U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic Competition

World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic Competition

Other Festivals

BFI London Film Festival

The festival was founded in 1957 and is run with co-operation from the British Film Institute. It screens more than 300 films, documentaries, and shorts from approximately 50 countries. The festival is held for two weeks in October. The Sutherland Trophy is awarded for the most original and innovative first feature.

Cairo International Film Festival

The festival was founded in 1976 and is held at Cairo Opera House. The 1976 festival featured around 100 films from 33 countries. The highest award is the Golden Pyramid Award for Best Picture. Silver Pyramid and Bronze Pyramid Awards go to the Best Director and Best New Director respectively.

Edinburgh International Film Festival

The festival was founded in 1947 and is the world's oldest continually running film festival. It presents both UK and international films, in all genres and lengths. The festival is held in August. The Michael Powell Award for Best New British Feature Film is awarded by a jury.

Hong Kong International Film Festival

The festival was founded in 1976 and is one of Asia’s oldest international film festivals. It was a pioneer in introducing Hong Kong, Chinese language and Asian cinema and filmmakers to the world.

International Film Festival of India

Founded in 1952, the festival has taken place at various cities throughout India. The first festival was held in Mumbai. The festival has been held in Goa since 2004. The highest award is the Golden Peacock Award for Best Picture. Silver Peacock Awards are presented for Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Actress. The Bostonians, directed by James Ivory, won the Golden Peacock Award in 1985.

Locarno Film Festival

Founded in 1946, the festival is held every August. The top prize of the festival is the Golden Leopard, awarded to the best film in the International Competition. Other awards include the Leopard of Honour for career achievement, and the Prix du Public, the public choice award.

Melbourne International Film Festival

The festival was founded in 1952 and is the largest film festival in the southern hemisphere. The festival's inaugural award was Best Short Film. During the 2009 festival, the film The 10 Conditions of Love, which documents the life of an exiled Uyghur leader, was screened despite many attempts by the Government of China to have the film withdrawn from the festival.

San Sebastian International Film Festival

Founded in 1953, it was originally intended to honour Spanish language films, though films of other languages became eligible for consideration in 1955. The Golden Shell is the highest prize given to a competing film. The festival hosted the European premiere of Star Wars.

Seattle International Film Festival

The festival began in 1976 at a then-independent cinema, the Moore Egyptian Theater. It runs for 24 days in May/June and features a diverse assortment of predominantly independent and foreign films, and a strong contingent of documentaries. Since 1985, the festival has awarded the Golden Space Needle award each year to the festival's most popular movie.

Shanghai International Film Festival

First held in 1993, it is China’s largest film festival. The most prestigious award given out at Shanghai is the Jin Jue ("Golden Goblet") for Best Feature Film. The festival is held over 10 days in June.

South by Southwest

South by Southwest (SXSW) is an annual conglomeration of parallel film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences. It began in 1987 and takes place in March in Austin, Texas. SXSW Film Conference spans five days of conference panels and sessions. The SXSW Film Festival runs for nine days, simultaneously with the SXSW Film Conference, and celebrates emerging talent.

Telluride Film Festival

The festival was founded in 1974 and takes place in Telluride, Colorado, during Labor Day weekend in September. The bulk of the program is made up of new films, and there is a tradition that new films must be shown for the first time in North America to be eligible for the festival.

Tokyo International Film Festival

The event was held biennially from 1985 to 1991 and annually thereafter. It is considered to be the largest film festival in Asia. The top award is the Tokyo Grand Prix. The festival is held in October.

Tribeca Festival

The festival was founded in 2002 by Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro, and Craig Hatkoff in response to the 9/11 attacks on New York City, to spur the recovery of the Lower Manhattan area. Each year the festival hosts over 600 screenings with approximately 150,000 attendees. Until 2020, the festival was known as the Tribeca Film Festival