Cannes Film Festival as symbol of French Freedom

The history of Southern France and Italy has always been of reciprocal influence,
friendliness and constructive competition.

From the Arts to popular culture, from gastronomy to regional dialects, the geographical
proximity between the two has given birth to a whole new world.

There has been a time, though, when France in accordance with its traditions of Freedom
and Reason has seen itself obliged to step away from its cousin, and to take measures against what could have been a long period of cultural sleepiness.

It all started with the creation of the World first film festival in Venice in 1932.

The festival had of course started on the best intentions: it was meant to be a place where the best of the Cinema could have the opportunity to showcase new work and compare their savoir-faire.

Due to historical and political reason though, the Venice film festival very soon became an instrument of propaganda; It was in fact used as a platform by the Italian leader Mussolini and his German counterpart for their ideology.

Given the circumstances, the French exponents thought that a festival of the free World was not only needed but also necessary in order to stop the cultural decadence that was taking place in Europe.

The major French film companies, with the support of American and English industry leaders, after considering several locations decided that the Mediterranean resort of Cannes was the ideal place to establish the new Film Festival.

Cannes shortly became the new European cultural capital: in addition to being driven by the value of cultural freedom, the project was also seen by the local hoteliers as an opportunity to extend the summer season.

A combination of interests that made the Cannes Film Festival a global success.

If the Franco-Italian cultural friendliness was threatened during this period, the long lasting relation was fully restored after the political crisis.

The artistic importance and reputation of the Venice Film Festival was rehabilitated thanks to the Italian film movement of Neorealism, also known as the Golden age of Italian cinema; also, the Cannes Film Festival was brought forward by several months, making the festivals two unmissable events.

The Cannes Film Festival celebrates this year its 71th anniversary, and besides
being a cultural event it can be considered as the stronghold of French Freedom.

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