Cannes Diary: Prestige but few financial rewards

THE FESTIVAL climaxes with the Palme d'Or, one of the most prestigious prizes in world cinema.

But a gateway to riches it isn't. Last year's joint winners, Iran's The Taste of Cherry, according to figures in Screen International, has taken just pounds 100,000 in the United States and has not been released yet in the UK.

Japan's The Eel has taken pounds 500,000 in the UK and has not been released in the States.

Our own Kathy Burke was best actress but the film she starred in, Gary Oldman's Nil By Mouth, has taken less than pounds 150,000 in the States and pounds 500,000 in the UK.

The Ice Storm won special jury prize but didn't get a single Oscar nomination. But then, the president of this year's jury, Martin Scorcese, won the Palme D'Or for Taxi Driver in 1976. And he is still looking for his first Oscar.