Closing of the Film Festival: The winners of Cannes

Closing of the Film Festival: The winners of Cannes

Glamorous closing ceremony in Cannes: George Lucas received the Palme d’Honor, Sean Baker the main prize for “Anora”.

The Cannes Film Festival ended on the evening of May 25th after almost two weeks. In the closing ceremony, the jury chaired by director Greta Gerwig (40) awarded the coveted prizes. 22 films were in competition. The most important prize, the Palme d’Or, was won by US director Sean Baker (53) for his film “Anora”, a wild, stormy romance between an exotic dancer (Mikey Madison) and the super-rich son of a Russian oligarch (Mark Eydelshteyn). The last time an American filmmaker received the main prize on the Croisette was in 2011, with Terrence Malick (80) for “The Tree of Life”.

Winner dedicates his prize to sex workers

“Anora” is Baker’s third film to premiere in Cannes, after “The Florida Project” and “Red Rocket.” The 53-year-old accepted the award from his colleague Francis Ford Coppola (85), who won the Palme d’Or twice and went home empty-handed this year for “Megalopolis.” Coppola also presented his friend and legendary colleague George Lucas (80), whom he described as his “little brother,” with an honorary Palme d’Or for his life’s work.

Baker dedicated his award to “all sex workers, past, present and future” and stressed the importance of “making films that are intended for theatrical release.” He explained in his acceptance speech: “Watching a film with others in the cinema is a great communal experience. We share laughter, sadness, anger, fear and hopefully catharsis with our friends and strangers. That’s why I say the future of cinema is where it began: in the cinema.”

Indian filmmaker Payal Kapadia (38) accepted the Grand Prix – the festival’s second highest award – for “All We Imagine as Light”. It is the first Indian film in 30 years to be selected for the competition. It focuses on the relationships between three women from Mumbai of different ages and social classes.

The award for the best screenplay went to the French director Coralie Fargeat (48) for the, according to jury member Eva Green (43), “bold, beautifully crazy” plastic surgery horror show “The Substance”, in which Demi Moore (61) plays a washed-up Hollywood beauty and Margaret Qualley (29) the younger, more perfect doppelganger.

Collective award for the best actresses

Moore was considered the favorite in the best actress category. However, the jury surprisingly expanded this to a collective award to celebrate what Lily Gladstone (37) described as “the harmony of sisterhood” in “Emilia Pérez”. The musical, set in Mexico and directed by former Palme d’Or winner Jacques Audiard (72), is about a cartel boss who disappears only to reappear as a woman. Four actresses were awarded: Zoe Saldaña (45), Selena Gomez (31), Adriana Paz (44) and Karla Sofía Gascón (52). The film also won the jury prize.

The award for best actor went to Jesse Plemons (36), who plays three roles in “Kinds of Kindness”, a surrealist satire by “Poor Things” director Yorgos Lanthimos (50) – a submissive businessman, a grieving police officer and a bisexual cult member.

Special prize for Mohammad Rasoulof

The jury also created a special prize in 2024 – which was greeted with enthusiastic standing ovations on Saturday evening – for the Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof (52). For a long time it was not clear whether he would even come to Cannes, but he ultimately attended the film festival despite great personal danger. He had fled Iran to avoid an eight-year prison sentence for filming the political drama “The Seed of the Sacred Fig”. The three-hour film examines the country’s recent women’s and freedom movement through the lens of a middle-class family whose two daughters question their father’s role in the regime.

Portuguese filmmaker Miguel Gomes (52) won the directing award for “Grand Tour”. The work mixes black-and-white and color footage, historical reenactments and contemporary anthropological insights and tells the story of an early 20th century British civil servant who tries to escape his fiancée by traveling from one Asian country to the next.

The Camera d’Or for the best first film went to “Armand” by the Norwegian Halfdan Ullman Tondel (born 1990). The production “Mongrel” by Chiang Wei Liang and You Qiao Yin received a special mention.

“Call My Agent” star Camille Cottin (45) moderated the awards ceremony. The jury, chaired by Greta Gerwig, included the Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona (49), the Turkish actress and screenwriter Ebru Ceylan (48), the Italian actor Pierfrancesco Favino (54), the American actress Lily Gladstone, the Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda (61), the Lebanese actress and director Nadine Labaki (50) and the French stars Eva Green and Omar Sy (46). Actress Meryl Streep (74) was already honored with the Golden Palm for her lifetime achievement at the start of the film festival.

Source: Stern

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