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Lesson Transcript

The Festival of Cannes, From Glamour to the World of Business
Hello, and welcome to the Culture File: France series at FrenchPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring essential cultural information about France, French culture, and French people.
In this lesson, we’re going to learn about The Festival of Cannes. I’m Becky, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 1 - The Festival of Cannes, From Glamour to the World of Business.
For months before the Cannes Festival is held, many French find themselves daydreaming about the glamour behind it all. The film stars, the expensive clothes, the high society life… But this lifestyle is out of reach for the majority of people. So then what is the role of the Cannes Festival except for generating such dreams? Does it have other functions besides the most obvious ones such as promoting and advertising? What are some advantages of this gathering? Let’s find out!
The Cannes Festival takes places either the third week or the last week of May each year. The programming is quite varied, but always keeps true to a certain vision built over the years past. During the 61st edition of the Cannes, which took place from May 14 to May 25 2008, the festival tried to maintain its long-standing traditions, while at the same time keeping an open-minded spirit towards quality, creativity, movie professionals' enthusiasm, and especially to novelty.
In order to feed this mission of renewal and philosophy of open-minded spirit, or in French esprit, the festival offers a number of competitions aimed at pleasing everyone from regular moviegoers to hardcore film buffs. The most famous is of course the competition between movies for the awards, in French prix, of which the most well-known is the Palme d'Or meaning Golden Palm. However, a different, less well-known competition called Un Certain Regard, or in English A certain look, takes place the evening before the closing ceremony. This event is more of an artistic competition, the goal being to honor a single film, or film for its originality as well as its aesthetic realization and script writing. The Cannes Festival also highlights films depicting certain aspects of foreign cultures represented within the cinema, or cinéma industry.
In order to help young professionals, the Cinéfondation, A French organization aiming to support the film industry, selects short and average length movies from film schools to enrich the movie industry of tomorrow through early discovery of the talent of today.
Finally, for the benefit of the public, Cannes offers Ciné de la Plage, or Cinema on the beach, an open-air viewing of the official movie, or film selection. Cinema on the Beach itself is proof that the traditional integrity of the festival has not been compromised and that it truly has something to offer everyone.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Are there any famous film festivals in your country?
Until next time!