Several of last month's Cannes Film Festival prize-winners are reaping the box-office benefits of the prestige and, more importantly, the free publicity generated by the high-profile event.

In 2000 Palme d'Or winner Dancer In The Dark gained massive pre-release publicity that saw it take $14m from international markets and another $4m in the US. This year's, as yet unreleased, Palme d'Or recipient, Roman Polanski's The Pianist, will hope to gain the same results from the pre-recognition.

The awards boost is most notable when a title is already on release. This year's Cannes Grand Jury prize winner, Aki Kaurismaki's The Man Without A Past, received a strong influx of national support in its homeland of Finland, merely thanks to its presence at the festival.

Over both weekends of the festival and subsequent to its win, the film saw large percentage increases in revenues. The first weekend of Cannes, the film's 12th on release, the dramedy gained 80% on its previous weeks takings. This was followed, on the weekend of its win, by a 52% rise which saw it gain third position in the Finnish chart - its first top five placing in 13 on release weeks.

The weekend following the win saw it gain another 42% (increasing its screen count by three) despite schools having closed for the summer, which resulted in an overall drop of 39% in ticket sales for the country's top 10.

Considering Kaurismaki has always found more success abroad than in Finland this bodes well for The Man Without A Past's international prospects. It has grossed $378,597 (Euros 400,556) in Finland to date.

Also capitalising on a major Cannes prize was Im Kwon-Taek's Chihwaseon, which shared the Best Direction award. Immediately following its Cannes success the film leapt 147% in Seoul, the capital of its homeland South Korea, jumping from eighth place to second.

In the country as a whole the film had sold 438,752 tickets ($2.4m) in its first three weeks on release up to May 26, the day of the awards announcements. One week later it totalled 649,936 admissions ($3.6m). In the seven days post-win Chihwaseon sold 211,184 tickets, 32.5% of its total four-week sales. It has taken $4.6m in South Korea so far.

Previous Cannes winners which went on to achieve substantial grosses include 1966's Secrets And Lies with an international take of $36.8m and 1994's Pulp Fiction which grossed $105m internationally (excluding the US).

Other Palme d'Or winners, however, failed to benefit from their awards, with Rosetta (1999), Eternity And A Day (1998) and A Taste Of Cherry (1997) virtually unknown outside of their home territories.