• Festivals

The Importance of Cannes Film Festival poster

Each year the Cannes Film Festival releases an official poster to promote the festivities. The 76th edition, which runs May 16-27, pays tribute to French cinema legend Catherine Deneuve, 79. With a stunning black and white photograph taken in 1968, at the Pampelonne beach, near Saint-Tropez, on the set of La Chamade (Heartbeat), a film directed by Alain Cavalier, adapted from the eponymous Francoise Sagan novel.


The photograph is by Jack Garofalo, who worked at the popular weekly magazine Paris Match from 1960 to 1980, for which he shot many stars such as Brigitte Bardot, Alain Delon, Monica Vitti, Sophia Loren

It captures the actress’s effortless glamour and sophistication. The poster caption indicates: “Côte d’Azur, 1968. The iconic Catherine Deneuve embodies what cinema should never stop being: elusive, daring, irreverent.”

Over the years, the poster has become a symbol of the festival. It’s generally the work of a well-known artist or designer, which adds to its artistic and cultural value, and it often reflects the themes and mood of that year’s celebrations.

An integral part of the festival’s branding and marketing, the poster decorates the facade of the Palais des Festival throughout the event and is widely displayed throughout Cannes and other parts of France. It not only helps to provide a sense of anticipation and excitement for the festival, but also serves as a visual reminder of its significance in the world of cinema.

It is also a collector’s item for film enthusiasts and art collectors. Each one is a unique and limited edition, making it a sought-after commodity, with many collectors eagerly awaiting its release. Some even travel to Cannes specifically to purchase one.

To be featured on the poster is an honor for anyone who graces it. When Italian star Claudia Cardinale was selected for the 70th Cannes Film Festival in 2017, she said in a press release, “That dance on a roof in Rome… It reminds me of a time when I could never have imagined climbing up the red-carpeted steps of the most celebrated film festival in the world.”

Some notable posters include the 1992 edition, which featured a portrait of Marlene Dietrich, the following year it was Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman with a still from Notorious. In 2014, a photograph of Marcello Mastroianni taken from 8 ½.  Other famous actors and actresses celebrated have been Juliette Binoche (2010), Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward (2013), Faye Dunaway (2011), Marilyn Monroe (2012), Anna Karina and Jean-Paul Belmondo (2018), and filmmakers like Spike Lee in 2021. Original illustrations are often used, like those of Polish painter Wojciech Siudmak, in 1975, 1976 and 1977. Or drawings by Federico Fellini (in 1982 and 1994) and Akira Kurosawa (1983).