The International Critics' Week (French: Semaine de la Critique), founded in 1962 and organized by the French Syndicate of Cinema Critics. It was created following the showing of The Connection directed by Shirley Clarke which had been organized by the French Syndicate of Cinema Critics for the 1961 Cannes Film Festival.
It is the oldest parallel competitive section of the Cannes Film Festival. It showcases first and second feature films by directors from all over the world, and has remained true to its tradition of discovering new talents. Bernardo Bertolucci, Leos Carax, Wong Kar-wai, Jacques Audiard, Arnaud Desplechin, Gaspar Noé, François Ozon, Alejandro González Iñárritu. all started out at Critics’ Week.
The International Critics’ Week presents a very selective programming of only seven feature films and seven short films in Cannes so that the films can get a greater visibility. The Critics’ Week Grand Prix (Nespresso Prize) is awarded by the press (journalists and films critics are invited to vote after each screening of the Selection). Feature films also run for the SACD Prize for best screenplay and the ACID Prize that helps the film to be distributed. In 2012, the France 4 Visionary Award (Prix Revelation) was introduced to reflect "the cinephile's passion for young talent" in the film industry. Short films can receive the Canal+ Award for best short film and the Kodak Discovery Award. The first feature films also run for the Caméra d'Or.