The Best Director Award (French: Prix de la mise en scène) is an annual award presented at the Cannes Film Festival for best directing achievements in a feature film screened as part of festival's official selection (i.e. films selected for the competition program which compete for the festival's main prize Palme d'Or). Awarded by festival's jury, it was first given in 1946.
The prize was not awarded on 12 occasions (1947, 1953–54, 1960, 1962–64, 1971, 1973–74, 1977, 1980). In addition, the festival was not held at all in 1948 and 1950, while in 1968 no awards were given as the festival was called off mid-way due to the May 1968 events in France. Also, the jury vote was tied and prize was shared by two directors on six occasions (1955, 1969, 1975, 1983, 2001, and 2002).
The winner of Best Director Award rarely wins the Palme d'Or, the main prize at the festival (note that the Palme d'Or is awarded to the film's director as well; the only exception is the case of Blue Is the Warmest Colour, where the actresses are also awarded). This happened only twice, in 1991, when Joel Coen won both awards for Barton Fink, and in 2003, when Gus van Sant won for his film Elephant.