Created in 1969 by the French Directors’ Guild (SRF, Société des Réalisateurs de Films), the Directors’ Fortnight is a parallel selection of the Cannes Film Festival that showcases a wide spectrum of films and highlights the most singular and visionary practices in contemporary cinema.
Historically, the Directors’ Fortnight is a free-spirited and non-competitive selection and it is open also to non-professional spectators who attend the Cannes Film Festival.
Each year, the Directors’ Fortnight selection showcases films without constraints of genre, format, duration or geographical origin.
These films are selected and accompanied by a team of passionate professionals, and are shared with an enthusiastic audience.
Since 1969, the Directors’ Fortnight has thus contributed to enriching the overall proposal of the Cannes Film Festival, by expanding the spectrum of subjects and cinematographic practices represented.
The Directors’ Fortnight has presented films and supported filmmakers who have profoundly influenced contemporary cinema and contributed to the evolution of its language, including Werner Herzog, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Nagisa Oshima, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, Chantal Akerman, Djibril Diop Mambéty, Jim Jarmusch, Michael Haneke, Spike Lee, Naomi Kawase, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, and Sofia Coppola., and more recently Albert Serra, Clive Baudelaire, and others. And more recently Albert Serra, Clio Barnard, Lisandro Alonso, Céline Sciamma, Ruben Östlund, Xavier Dolan, Bertrand Bonello, Alice Rohrwacher, Joshua and Ben Safdie, Miguel Gomes, Chloé Zhao, Robert Eggers…
Every year since 2002, the Fortnight has hosted the Carrosse d’Or award ceremony. This prize, awarded by the SRF, pays tribute to a filmmaker who has left his or her mark on the history of cinema, through his or her daring, demanding and uncompromising work. Among the awardees are Nanni Moretti, Martin Scorsese, Ousmane Sembene, Jia Zhangke, Naomi Kawase, David Cronenberg, Agnès Varda, Jane Campion, and John Carpenter…
The world of the late 1960s and early 1970s underwent profound social, political and cultural upheaval. Since its creation, the Fortnight has reflected these changes and has been the place to present cinema that reinvents its codes. In Brazil, Italy, the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Senegal, Egypt… filmmakers explored new forms in response to changing times. The Fortnight naturally became the place where this “Cinéma en liberté” (the name given to the first edition of the Fortnight in 1969) was expressed without hindrance.
Its openness to the general audience proved that the most personal and visionary auteur cinema, often marginalized by commercial structures and official organizations, could also have a popular resonance, thus revealing its true commercial potential on the film industry market.
For over 50 years, the Fortnight has thus contributed to the support, both artistic and commercial, of formally innovative and unexpected film works.
In the words of Pierre-Henri Deleau, co-founder and general delegate of the Directors’ Fortnight from 1969 to 1998: “the first edition was launched in total euphoria, organized within impossible deadlines and carried out amidst general skepticism. However, it survived its chaotic baptism, leaving the lasting impression that its existence in Cannes was relevant, audacious, surprising and perfectly in the air of time.
Even today, the Fortnight remains a space teeming with new visions and in perpetual dialogue with the contemporary world.