The French city of Cannes is a lot more than sandy beaches, luxurious hotels and affluent neighbourhoods. It is home to the Cannes Film Festival, an annual star-studded event of film screenings and glamourous red carpet looks.

Initially known as the International Film Festival, the exclusive event premieres film and documentary screenings for directors, actors, critics and industry experts. 

A carefully formulated jury then presents top honors, including the Palme d’Or, to recognize and celebrate cinematic projects from all across the globe. 

Each year, Cannes puts together a selection committee that takes on the responsibility to review all submitted films and documentaries. 

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The selection committee then meticulously handpicks about 50 feature films and 10 short films for the official selection. 

“There’s something organic in a selection of 50 films that reflect the entirety of cinema,” Thierry Fremaux, the director of the festival, told Variety in 2016.

Talking about the selection criteria, Fremaux said that “it’s important…to be a platform where we show personal auteurs who have their own touch, who experiment and play with the form of cinema, but it’s also important to show that classic forms matter as well.”

Screenings are segregated through categories, which comprise the Cinefondation selections, the main juried competition, the Un Certain Regard, and those featured outside the competition. 

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Strict guidelines for the selection process are also put in place. For a film to get the eligibility green flag, it is mandatory that its production took place within 12 months of the event, and no excerpts from the film have been released on DVD, the internet, or any other international motion picture event.

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Feature films submitted at the event are required to release in theatres across France and must be in English or French, or contain subtitles of the two languages. If selected for screening, a film must be provided in a Digital Cinema Package, a 35mm print or a JPG 2000 file format.