PARIS — Robert Favre Le Bret, the founder and ongoing inspiration of the Cannes Film Festival, has died at the age of 82 only days before the 40th anniversary of the international cinema extravaganza, festival officials said Tuesday.
Favre Le Bret died of cancer Monday at his home in Switzerland.
A journalist by trade, Favre Le Bret founded the festival in the Riviera resort town in 1947 and saw it evolve from a small art competition to the world's largest movie marketplace, attracting thousands of actors, industry leaders, film buffs and reporters.
Festival awards, especially the Golden Palm top prize, nearly guarantee box office success in Europe.
Favre Le Bret ran the festival as general delegate from 1947 to 1970, when he was named president, a post he held until 1984.
This year's festival begins Thursday.