The immutable symbol of the Cannes Film Festival, the Palme d’or, which is awarded to the best film of the official competition every year, was reinvented in 1998 by Caroline Scheufele, whose passion for film-making has always shone brightly in the Chopard firmament. Both embodying absolute glamour, the Cannes Film Festival and Maison Chopard have remained closely linked ever since, reinforcing their unfailing bond over the years. This year, in addition to the Palme d’or for the best feature film and the mini Palme for the best short film – both made in ethical ‘Fairmined’ certified gold – the Maison’s workshops will produce rock crystals engraved with a palm branch for all the other awards.
Chopard, the Red Carpet Jeweller since 1998
In 1997, as the festival was marking its 50th anniversary, Caroline Scheufele, co-president and artistic director of Chopard, met Pierre Viot, then director of the Cannes International Film Festival, who suggested that she redesign the Palme for the following year. This marked the start of the enduring love story between the famous Maison and the world’s largest film festival. Enchanted by the idea of reinterpreting the prestigious trophy, Caroline Scheufele set about the task with all her heart and creativity, picking up the palm motif in reference to the palm trees lining La Croisette, as well as to the proud and victorious palm branch appearing on the city of Cannes’ coat-of-arms evoking the famous legend of Saint Honorat. In the latter, a palm tree is said to have been climbed by Saint Honorat, the monk who founded the Abbey on one of the Lérins islands near Cannes, to avoid being swept away by waves while the sea – in response to his prayer – was clearing the island of the snakes that infested it.
A unique Palme
Giving free rein to her romantic sensibility, inspired by the spirit of luxury, glamour and voluptuousness of the French Riviera, Caroline Scheufele designed a new Palme that is light, dynamic and precious. The base of its stem symbolically formed a small heart, the favourite emblem of Chopard, the Artisan of emotions. She sketched 19 tiny leaves swaying gently as if caressed by a sea breeze. This veritable treasure featuring 118 grams of 18-carat ethical ‘Fairmined’ certified yellow gold rests majestically on a rock crystal cushion shaped like an emerald-cut diamond. The impurities within the natural material of the gemstone make each rock crystal unique, meaning there are never two identical Palmes d’or. No less than 40 hours of work performed by five Chopard Artisans are required to hand-craft this most coveted award of any festival with infinite delicacy: a Holy Grail for filmmakers worldwide, and now a lasting symbol of the Maison’s commitment to sustainable luxury.
Once again this year, the ateliers of the Maison Chopard are producing all the trophies awarded during the unmissable and emotionally intense closing ceremony: in addition to the Palme d’or and a mini Palme for the best short film, rock crystals engraved with a palme and each featuring their own singular characteristics will be awarded to the winners of the Best Actor and Best Actress Prizes, the Grand Prix, the Best Director Prize, the Best Screenplay Prize and the Jury Prize. A classic example of when aesthetics meet ethics and uniqueness…