Columbia Pictures Marks 100-Year Anniversary in Cannes With Exhibit



An iconic woman needs an apt setting.

So, to mark its 100th anniversary, Columbia Pictures has teamed with the Municipality of Cannes to put the studio’s instantly recognizable Torch Lady and roster of legendary actresses on full display as part of a free photographic exhibit in the historic city’s town square, just off the Croisette and with the Palais and Mediterranean Sea serving as a backdrop.

The exhibit, dubbed “Lighting the Way: From the Torch Lady to Leading Ladies,” includes outdoor installations emblazoned with Columbia’s longstanding symbol as well as more than 30 rare photographs from the studio’s archive spanning Hollywood’s Golden Age through present day, The photographs include ones of Katherine Hepburn, Deborah Kerr, Claudette Colbert, Ann-Margret, Meryl Streep, Viola Davis, Julia Roberts, Michelle Yeoh, and, naturally, “Gilda” star Rita Hayworth. A restored version of that film is screening this year as part of the festival’s Cannes Classics program.

Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group president Sanford Panitch touted “the impact these very special women have had on audiences throughout the world” and plans to “celebrate Columbia’s next 100 years.” He added: “We are so proud of our history at the studio.”

The exhibition will be on display for the general public on Cours Félix Faure in Cannes through June 10.

“Columbia Pictures may have been founded by men, but women have always been vital to its growth and impact. We are grateful to Mayor Lisnard and Cannes, the first city of cinema, for helping us celebrate the female icons of our studio’s history.  We hope the public will enjoy seeing the exhibition as much as we have enjoyed assembling it,” said Tom Rothman, Chairman & CEO of Sony Pictures’ Motion Picture Group.

Columbia Pictures was founded by brothers Harry and Jack Cohn and best friend Joe Brandt on January 10, 1924. Over the following century, the studio launched such cinematic classics as “It Happened One Night,”“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “On The Waterfront,”“Lawrence of Arabia,”“To Sir With Love,”“Funny Girl”and “Taxi Driver” all the way up to“Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” and the “Spider-Man” franchise.


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