Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2022

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Anne Quinney

Relational Format



Since its inception, the Cannes International Film Festival was envisioned as a means of using film as a method of diplomacy. In fact, the first two decades of the two-week long festival on the banks of the French Riviera sought to unify politically divided nations in the years following World War II and into the Cold War. My research seeks to identify the political agenda of the festival in the early years and how the Cannes International Film Festival promoted transnationalism and unity between divided nations. I argue that the festival was able to accomplish its unifying agenda through the invitation for all nations to participate and the apportionment of grand-prize winning films among many attending nations in the early years. Additionally, through a series of film analyses I conclude that many of the movies awarded the grand prize at the festival emphasized anti-war and pacifist-minded sentiments. The Cannes International Film Festival awarded the grand prizes to many films that showed the horrors of war, thus, providing spectators a message that the festival does not tolerate violence and divisiveness rather it seeks unity and peace.

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