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George Lucas To Receive Cannes Film Festival’s Honorary Palme d’Or

George Lucas will receive the Honorary Palme d’Or at the closing ceremony of the 77th Cannes Film Festival on May 25.

“The Festival de Cannes is delighted to pay tribute to one of the greatest figures of contemporary cinema, a man with an extraordinary career, who brings together great entertainment and innovation, mythology and modernity and cinephilia and technology,” said the festival.

Lucas said that Cannes had always held a special place in his heart as a filmmaker for giving him one of his first festival breaks.

“The Festival de Cannes has always held a special place in my heart. I was surprised and elated when my first film, THX-1138, was selected to be shown in a new program for first time directors called the Directors’ Fortnight.

“Since then, I have returned to the festival on many occasions in a variety of capacities as a writer, director and producer. I am truly honored by this special recognition which means a great deal to me,” he added.

Charting Lucas’s career, the festival noted how his debut in the film industry was marked by his close collaboration with Francis Ford Coppola, who helped him produce THX 1138 (1971), which in turn was adapted from one of his experimental short films made at the University of Southern California.

“From his very first feature, George Lucas staged the themes that are dear to him: science fiction to denounce a society of surveillance, using love to fight fate and conformity, and reversing moral values to challenge the role of good and evil,” read the festival release.

The festival also noted how Lucas had revealed Harrison Ford in American Graffiti before reuniting with him in Star Wars.

“A visionary intergalactic odyssey that reinvented the codes of cinematic genres as part of the New Hollywood movement, Star Wars is nothing short of mythology, a study that has fascinated George Lucas since his university days, in the construction of characters and plots and the breadth of its cultural reach,” Cannes said of the latter franchise.

“Like Tolkien in literature, he imagined a universe, with its geography, populations, languages, moral values and even its vehicles. This exceptional ambition, which initially frightened 20th Century Fox’s producers and led to a grueling post-production period, was nonetheless the recipe for unprecedented success: the film captivated the American crowds and became a worldwide socio-cultural phenomenon, which continues to this day.”

The 77th Cannes Film Festival will run from May 14 to 25.

The bulk of its Official Selection will be announced at a press conference in Paris on April 11.

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