France scoops major prizes at Cannes Festival

French actress Emmanuelle Bercot (L), French director Jacques Audiard (C) and French actor Vincent Lindon pose on stage after they respectively won the Best Actress, Palme d'Or and Best Actor award during the closing ceremony of the 68th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southeastern France, on May 24, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT

The jury presided this year by Ethan and Joel Coen gave prominence on Sunday to French cinema as the palme d’or was given to Director Jacques Audiard for his brutal portrayal of a struggling tamil tiger fighter hoping for a new life in France in “Dheepan”. A Cannes veteran, Audiard previously competed for the top prize with his 2012 film “Rust and Bone” and won the Grand Prix for “A Prophet” in 2010. Agnès Varda received a an honorary prize that stands out for a career that spans over 40 years with films, she said that “did not win anything, and did not make money”.

French actress and Director Emmanuelle Bercot won the best actress award for her performance in Director’s Maïwenn’s “Mon roi”! The prize was shared with Rooney Mara although some may argue that Cate Blanchett would have been a more appropriate choice than Bercot.

Pourquoi-Vincent-Lindon-a-eu-la-PalmeAlso Vincent Lindon won best actor for his poignant performance as an unemployed man who finally finds work as a supermarket store detective. In his emotionnal speech Vincent Lindon said he had never received any prize and dedicated his award to Director Stéphane Brizé and their unique and close relationship (Lindon played in two previous films directed by Brizé)

Other highlight of the ceremony: Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-Hsien took best director for his venture into the martial arts genre with The Assassin. 

This year’s Grand Prix was awarded to the Holocaust drama Son of Saul, the acclaimed debut film by Hungarian director László Nemes, while the festival’s Jury Prize went to The Lobster, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and backed by the BFI Film Fund.

Cannes 2015: The winners

President of the jury : Joel and Ethan Coen
Host: Lambert Wilson
Members of the jury: Sophie Marceau (actress), Guillermo Del Torro (Director), Jake Gyllenhaal (actor), Sienna Miller (actress), Rokia Traore (composer), Xavier Dolan (Director/Actor), Rossy De Palma (actress)

Palme d’Or
Jacques Audiard for Dheepan

Grand Prix
László Nemes for Son of Saul

Jury Prize
Yorgos Lanthimos for The Lobster

Camera d’Or
César Augusto Acevedo for La tierra y la sombra [Land and Shade]

Best director
Hou Hsiao-hsien for The Assassin

Best screenplay
Michel Franco for Chronic

Best actress
Rooney Mara for Carol and Emmanuelle Bercot for Mon roi

Best actor
Vincent Lindon for La Loi du marche

Short film
Ely Dagher for Waves ‘98

Honorary Palme d’Or
Agnès Varda

by Fab Poller

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