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The Cannes Film Festival is one of the most important events on the film calendar, and generally considered the first big awards platform. However, it’s easy to feel a little left out of the loop when it comes to film festivals, so here is everything you need to know about Cannes 2017.

When is Cannes?

The official festival runs from Wednesday 17th – Sunday 28th May. During this period the French Riviera is jam-packed with events, screenings, awards and one of the biggest film markets in the world.

The news may only shine a light on the big upcoming movies, but it’s the film market and all the social events where the real business happens. This is where the big studios and distributors buy new titles, thus cementing this and next year’s potential big award contenders.

If you care about awards season, it’s probably worth keeping one eye on the market, as it arguably carries more weight than the actual awards.

Who decides the awards?

Pedro AlmodovarEach year the Cannes Jury is hand-picked, with the choice of President always making top news. Previous years have often brought some controversy such as Roman Polanski, but this year is a somewhat conventional choice for Cannes, as Pedro Almodovar (left) helms the committee.

Park Chan-Wook, Jessica Chastain and Will Smith are also presiding over this year’s feature film awards, and you can view the full jury list here

What exactly are the awards?

The annual awards will be announced on Sunday 28th May and broadcast live online for all to watch. Details can be found HERE

The Palme d’Or is the pinnacle at Cannes, though don’t be fooled – previous winners have rarely translated this prize into Academy Awards. Cannes is a platform acknowledging critical acclaim and widely disregarding popularity or broad appeal. As they are judged by filmmakers, using high end criteria, the results tend to differ widely from the rest of the season.

The big screenings

On the subject of Oscar hopefuls, this year’s official selection features, as usual, an eclectic mix of world cinematic masterpieces. Only the official competition selection are eligible for the main feature film awards.

This year the one to keep a close eye on is Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck. The director of CarolFar From Heaven and I’m Not There could use Cannes as a key launchpad for his new movie, and of all the competition films this stands the best chance of making an impact at the Oscars.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL SELECTION

How Can I go to Cannes?

In short, you probably don’t want to unless you have a film to sell, you have a company to buy with, or you’re an accredited member of the press.

Cannes is primarily an industry event by filmmakers for filmmakers. If you love watching movies you may enjoy the experience of going, and the weather certainly sells itself, but don’t expect VIP entrance to all the parties.  The film world is a fickle, contact-driven place so unless you have the gift of the gab you may be disappointed.

However, you can keep up to date with all the latest news and award winners right here on Movie Marker, or by visiting the official Cannes website.