Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan has won the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
The refugee drama tells the story of people fleeing post-civil war Sri Lanka for a life in France.
Holocaust drama Son of Saul took the Grand Prix. Vincent Lindon won Best Actor while Rooney Mara and Emmanuelle Bercot shared Best Actress.
Dheepan tells of a former Tamil Tiger fighter who links up with two strangers to pretend to be a family and find a life of asylum in a tough, drug-infested housing estate on the edge of Paris.
Director Jacques Audiard, who previously made A Prophet and Rust and Bone, said: “To receive a prize from the Coen brothers is something pretty exceptional. I’m very touched. I’m thinking of my father.”
Joel Coen said: “This isn’t a jury of film critics. This is a jury of artists who are looking at the work.”
The Grand Prix, essentially the runner-up prize, went to Hungarian newcomer Laszlo Nemes for Son of Saul and its depiction of the Auschwitz, gas chambers.
“This continent is still haunted by this subject,” Laszlo Nemes said.
Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos took the jury award, the third prize, for The Lobster, a dystopian comedy starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz.
Best Director went to Taiwan’s Hou Hsiao-hsien for martial arts film The Assassin, his first movie in eight years.
Rooney Mara shared Best Actress for her role in Carol, but her co-star Cate Blanchett was overlooked and instead the jury decided to honor Emmanuelle Bercot for her role in My King.
Vincent Lindon’s Best Actor award was for his role in Stephane Brize’s movie The Measure of a Man.
There were 19 in-competition films this year, though several were aired out of competition, including Mad Max: Fury Road and Pixar’s Inside Out.
Amy Winehouse’s father has criticized a documentary about the late singer’s life, saying it’s “misleading”.
Mitch Winehouse says the producers left out key details.
He says the film is unbalanced, and isn’t happy with the way he’s portrayed.
Amy is due to be shown at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Photo Getty Images
The documentary was made by the same team behind the BAFTA-winning documentary Senna, about the Formula 1 racing driver Ayrton Senna.
Mitch Winehouse, who now fronts the Amy Winehouse Foundation, says the film presents him as not being there to help Amy, something he denies.
His comments come as a spokesperson for Amy Winehouse’s family said they “would like to disassociate themselves from the forthcoming film about their much missed and beloved Amy”.
The filmmakers have defended the documentary saying: “When we were approached to make the film, we came on board with the full backing of the Winehouse family and we approached the project with total objectivity, as with Senna.
“During the production process, we conducted in the region of 100 interviews with people that knew Amy Winehouse; friends, family, former-partners and members of the music industry that worked with her.
“The story that the film tells is a reflection of our findings from these interviews.”
Amy Winehouse died at the age of 27 from alcohol poisoning in July 2011.
This year’s Cannes Film Festival lineups have been announced at a press conference in Paris.
The festival begins on May 13 and ends on May 24 with a jury chaired by Joel and Ethan Coen.
Festival director Thierry Fremaux announced the lineup in Paris on April 16, simultaneously launching a campaign to stem the tide of “selfies” on the red carpet.
“We don’t want to prohibit it, but we want to slow down the process of selfies on the steps,” said Thierry Fremaux.
“We think it’s ridiculous and grotesque and really slows things down.”
“You never look as ugly as you do in a selfie,” he added.
Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey, Marion Cotillard and Michael Caine are among those with films competing at this year’s festival.
The lineup sees many returning auteurs including new films from Gus Van Sant, Nanni Moretti and Jacques Audiard.
Films from Woody Allen and new Pixar animation Inside Out will play out of competition, alongside Asif Kapadia’s Amy Winehouse documentary.
Today’s press conference follows earlier announcements regarding the opening film – La Tete Haute (Standing Tall), by French actress-director Emmanuelle Bercot – and the worldwide premiere of Fury Road, the latest chapter in the revived Mad Max franchise.
Seventeen films were unveiled in competition and 14 in Un Certain Regard, although Thierry Fremaux noted there would be more films added to the lineup in the coming days.
Cate Blanchett will star alongside Rooney Mara in Carol, based on a novel by The Talented Mr. Ripley author Patricia Highsmith. The 1950s New York-set drama is directed by Todd Haynes of Far From Heaven fame.
In Gus Van Sant’s The Sea of Trees, Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe play two men who meet by chance in Japan’s Suicide Forest, where both have gone to end their lives; Naomi Watts also stars.
Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard will co-star in a new adaptation of Macbeth, from up-and-coming Australian director Justin Kurzel, while Italy’s Paolo Sorrentino follows up 2013’s The Great Beauty with the English-language drama Youth starring Michael Caine as a retired orchestra conductor who receives an invitation to perform for the Queen.
This year’s lineups also include two other Italian directors, Gomorrah‘s Matteo Garrone – premiering his The Tale of Tales – and Cannes regular Nanni Moretti, with My Mother.
As tradition dictates, France is represented by four directors – including Jacques Audiard, Maiwenn Le Besco, Valerie Donzelli and first-timer Stephane Brize.
Asia is represented by The Assassin, from Taiwan’s Hou Hsiao-hsien, China’s Jia Zhangke whose Mountains May Depart marks his fourth film at Cannes and Our Little Sister, from Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda.
Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario – a crime drama starring Emily Blunt and Benecio Del Toro – rounds out the trio of directors from the US, alongside Gus Van Sant and Todd Haynes.
Screening out of competition, Woody Allen’s 45th film, Irrational Man, sees Joaquin Phoenix star as a college professor who starts a relationship with one of his students (Emma Stone).
In 2014, the Palme d’Or was won by Winter Sleep, from Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan.
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