2003 Cannes Film Festival
Official poster of the 56th Cannes Film Festival featuring an original illustration by Jenny Holzer.[1]
Opening filmFanfan la Tulipe
Closing filmCharlie: The Life and Art
of Charles Chaplin
LocationCannes, France
AwardsPalme d'Or: Elephant
Hosted byMonica Bellucci
No. of films20 (In Competition)[2]
19 (Un Certain Regard)
19 (Out of Competition)
20 (Cinéfondation)
9 Short Films Competition)
Festival date14 May 2003 (2003-05-14) – 25 May 2003 (2003-05-25)
Cannes Film Festival

The 56th Cannes Film Festival started on 14 May and ran until 25 May 2003. It showcased a diverse selection of international films from various genres. French opera and theatre director, filmmaker, actor and producer Patrice Chéreau was the president of the jury. The Palme d'Or went to the American film Elephant by Gus Van Sant based on the Columbine High School massacre.[3][4][5][6][7]

Another notable highlight of the 2003 Cannes Film Festival was the presence of iconic filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, who received an Honorary Palme d'Or for his contributions to cinema throughout his career.

The festival Opening Film was Fanfan la Tulipe, directed by Gérard Krawczyk, while Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin, directed by Richard Schickel, was the Closing Film[8] Monica Bellucci was the mistress of ceremonies.[9]

2003 Un Certain Regard poster, adapted from an original illustration by Oswaldo Vigas.[10]


The following people were appointed as the Jury for the various sections below:[11]

Main competition

Un Certain Regard

Cinéfondation and short films

Camera d'Or

Official selection

In Competition

The following feature films competed for the Palme d'Or:[2] The Palme d'Or winner has been highlighted.

English title Original title Director(s) Country
At Five in the Afternoon پنج عصر Samira Makhmalbaf Iran, France
The Barbarian Invasions Les Invasions barbares Denys Arcand Canada, France
Bright Future アカルイミライ Kiyoshi Kurosawa Japan
The Brown Bunny Vincent Gallo United States, Japan
Carandiru Héctor Babenco Brazil, Argentina
Les Côtelettes Bertrand Blier France
Dogville Lars von Trier Denmark, United Kingdom, Sweden, France, Germany
Elephant Gus Van Sant United States
Father and Son Отец и сын Alexander Sokurov Russia
Incantato Il cuore altrove Pupi Avati Italy
Little Lili La Petite Lili Claude Miller France
Mystic River Clint Eastwood United States
Purple Butterfly 紫蝴蝶 Lou Ye China
Shara 沙羅双樹 Naomi Kawase Japan
Strayed Les égarés André Téchiné France
Swimming Pool François Ozon France, United Kingdom
That Day Ce jour-là Raúl Ruiz Switzerland, France
The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Part 1: The Moab Story Peter Greenaway Netherlands, United Kingdom
Tiresia Bertrand Bonello France
Uzak Nuri Bilge Ceylan Turkey

Un Certain Regard

The following films were selected for the competition of Un Certain Regard:[2]

Films out of competition

The following films were selected to be screened out of competition:[2]


The following short films were selected for the competition of Cinéfondation:[2]

Short film competition

The following short films competed for the Short Film Palme d'Or:[2]

Parallel sections

International Critics' Week

The following films were screened for the 42nd International Critics' Week (42e Semaine de la Critique):[12]

Feature film competition

Short film competition

Special screenings

Directors' Fortnight

Apart from 16 short films, the following feature films were screened for the 2003 Directors' Fortnight (Quinzaine des Réalizateurs):[13]

Official Awards

Patrice Chéreau, Jury President
Gus Van Sant, Palme d'Or winner

In Competition

The following films and people received the 2003 Official selection awards:[14][3][4]

Un Certain Regard


Caméra d'Or

Short Films Competition

Independent Awards


Vulcan Award of the Technical Artist

Prize of the Ecumenical Jury

Award of the Youth

Critics' Week

Honorary Golden Palm

Cinema Prize of the French National Education System

Golden Coach


François Chalais Award


  1. ^ "Posters 2003". festival-cannes.fr. Archived from the original on 14 December 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Official Selection 2003: All the Selection". festival-cannes.fr. Archived from the original on 14 December 2013.
  3. ^ a b "56ème Festival International du Film - Cannes". cinema-francais.fr (in French). Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "Cannes 2003 / Palmarés". cannes-fest.com (in French). Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  5. ^ "Cannes winners in full". BBC News. 25 May 2003. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  6. ^ "A disappointing Cannes finishes with controversial decisions". theguardian.com. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  7. ^ Scott, A.O. (June 1, 2003). "FILM; Remembering Cannes 2003: Worst Festival Ever". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  8. ^ "Cannes Film Festival 2003 - Preview". urbancinefile.com.au. Archived from the original on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  9. ^ "'Fanfan,' Bellucci to open Cannes fest". Variety.com. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  10. ^ "Posters 2003". festival-cannes.fr. Archived from the original on 14 December 2013.
  11. ^ "All Juries 2003". festival-cannes.fr. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  12. ^ "42e Selecion de la Semaine de la Critique - 2003". archives.semainedelacritique.com. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  13. ^ "Quinzaine 2003". quinzaine-realisateurs.com. Archived from the original on 21 September 2020. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  14. ^ "Awards 2003: All Awards". festival-cannes.fr. Archived from the original on 18 October 2014.
  15. ^ "FIPRESCI Awards 2003". ipresci.org. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  16. ^ "Jury Œcuménique Palmarés 2003". cannes.juryoecumenique.org. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  17. ^ a b c "Cannes Film Festival Awards for 2003". imdb.com. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  18. ^ "Association Prix François Chalais Cannes 2003". francois-chalais.fr. Retrieved 25 June 2017.[permanent dead link]