Cannes' elite prizes: What are the Grand Prix and Palme d'Or awards?

US director Sean Baker, Payal Kapadia. Photo: LOIC VENANCE / AFP

It was a proud moment for Indians worldwide as filmmaker Payal Kapadia's 'All We Imagine As Light' won the Grand Prix at the 77th Cannes Film Festival. This film, which screened on the night of May 23, is the first Indian movie in 30 years and the first ever by an Indian female director to be featured in the main competition.
This achievement also marked the first time an Indian film competed for the Palme d'Or in nearly three decades, the last being Shaji N. Karun's 'Swaham' in 1994. The two most prestigious awards at the Cannes Film Festival are the Palme d’Or (French for ‘The Golden Palm’) and the Grand Prix (meaning ‘Grand Prize’). Sean Baker’s New York-set romantic dramedy Anora has won the Cannes Film Festival’s top prize, the Palme d’Or.
But what exactly are the Grand Prix and the Palme d'Or? Let's take a closer look.

Grand Prix
The Grand Prix is an award given by the jury at the Cannes Film Festival to one of the feature films in competition. It is the runner-up to the Palme d'Or and is considered the second most prestigious prize at the festival. Since 1995, the award has been officially named the Grand Prix, but it has had two other names since its inception in 1967: the Grand Prix Spécial du Jury (1967–1988) and the Grand Prix du Jury (1989–1994).

Palme d'Or
The Palme d'Or is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival. Although the festival began in 1946, the Palme d’Or was introduced in 1955. Prior to that, from 1939 to 1954, the festival's highest prize was the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film.
No film that wins the Palme d’Or can receive any other award, such as Best Actor or Best Screenplay, as it is considered the highest prize across all categories.

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