On September 19, 1946, the first Cannes International Film Festival (“Le Festival de Cannes”) kicked off in the south of France. It was conceived in 1939 in response to fascist interference by Italy and Germany with a film festival in Venice. Movies screened included “The Lost Week-End” (directed by Billy Wilder), “Notorious” (Alfred Hitchcock), “La Belle et La Bête” (Jean Cocteau), “Gilda” (Charles Vidor) and “Brief Encounter” (David Lean). It has become the world's most prestigious and publicized film festival, now held in May, mainly to showcase and promote European films. Since the early 1950s, however, when Brigitte Bardot posed at Cannes in a bikini (pictured, 1953), the Festival has largely embodied sex, cinema, red carpets, palm trees, intrusive paparazzi and celebrity parties.