This chapter explores the history of the Cannes film festival in relation to art house cinema across four periods when particular types of films were recognized as innovative for a combination of aesthetic, critical, industrial. It explores the idea of "humanist film" which was linked with the pacifist goals embraced by Cannes in its early days and a result of specific programming policies of the festival. The chapter focuses on the idea of "Cannes film" which is the result of recent changes in production practices whereby film festivals both are a meeting place for the industry. It describes characteristics of these historic Cannes film categories, which are compounded in today's category of a festival film. The success of the Cannes film festival is built around its ability to respond to the changes taking place in film industry worldwide by restructuring the festival's architecture to accommodate new trends, new films, and new directors.