With the Festival de Cannes 2016 about to get underway today, hundreds of the industry's best and brightest are making their way to France to attend.
The Cannes Film Festival has been running since 1946 and over that time has become one of the most respected and important film showcases in the world. The festival offers the opportunity for smaller art house films from far flung countries to be seen on a world stage by some of the most important names in the industry. But among the obscure films shown at the festival, you might be surprised to learn that some massive blockbusters also had their premiere at Cannes.
Take a look at these seven films that I was surprised to learn all made their debut at the Cannes Film Festival:
Up had the honor of opening the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and in the process became the first animated and 3D film to do so! Not only did the film premiere at Cannes, but the character Dug was also awarded the Palm Dog Award for the best canine performance (trumping the fox from Antichrist and the poodle from Inglourious Basterds)
2. Moonrise Kingdom
Wes Anderson's beautiful coming of age film Moonrise Kingdom had its premiere during the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. The film was screening in competition as Anderson had been nominated for the Palme d'Or.
3. X-Men: The Last Stand
Surprisingly, X-Men: The Last Stand premiered at Cannes and the entire cast was in attendance for the event!
4. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
Steven Spielberg's cult classic E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial had its debut during the closing gala for the 1982 festival.
5. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith
The last piece of George Lucas' Star Wars prequel trilogy opened the 2005 Cannes Film Festival! Lucas was also awarded the festival trophy in the same year to honor his whole career.
6. Pulp Fiction
Not only did Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction premiere at Cannes in 1994, but it also won the festival's highest honor, taking home the Palme d'Or. The win was controversial, with many believing it should have been awarded to Krzysztof Kieślowski’s final film Three Colors: Red.
That's right, this childhood favorite also premiered at Cannes! Willow was shown in 1988 and apparently received a 2-minute long applause at the conclusion of the screening.