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.
Blue is the Warmest Colour, an intimate love story between two young women, directed by Tunisian-born French director Abdellatif Kechiche, has received rave reviews in Cannes as the film festival draws to a close.
The film has shocked some critics with its s** scenes.
Variety magazine said it contained “the most explosively gr***ic lesbian s** scenes in recent memory”.
The film is the bookmakers’ favorite to win the Palme d’Or on Sunday.
But reviewers have speculated the film may require editing to secure cinema distribution.
The three-hour character study centres on the 15-year-old Adele, played by French actress Adele Exarchopoulos, and her lover Emma, played by Lea Seydoux.
The Hollywood Reporter said the “sprawling drama” would “raise eyebrows” as it crossed the barrier “between performance and the real deal”.
Abdellatif Kechiche, best known for his critically acclaimed 2007 film Couscous, said he would consider cutting some scenes to allow the widest possible audience to see the work.
“We wouldn’t want the film not to be screened because of one scene,” he said.
Blue is the Warmest Colour directed by Abdellatif Kechiche is tipped to win Cannes’ Palme d’Or prize
“But of course that wouldn’t apply if it were the whole thing.”
Meanwhile, director Alexander Payne, best known for his Oscar-winning films The Descendants and Sideways, received a standing ovation at the premiere of his latest production Nebraska.
Cannes judges Nicole Kidman and Ang Lee joined Alexander Payne on the red carpet alongside stars of the road movie, Bruce Dern and Will Forte.
Bruce Dern portrays an ageing resident of the US state of Montana who is convinced he has won $1 million in a sweepstake and is determined to travel to a prize headquarters in Nebraska to collect the winnings.
His son, played by Saturday Night Live comedian Will Forte, agrees to drive him, taking a side trip to the small Nebraska town where his father was born.
Critics have praised the film, which is also a late contender for the Palme d’Or.
In his four-star review, Robbie Collins in the Daily Telegraph described it as a “resounding return to form for Payne”.
The Guardian called Bruce Dern’s performance “terrific” in the “thoroughly sweet and charming movie”.
Elsewhere, the stars at Cannes were at an exclusive hotel on the French Riviera for the 20th American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) gala.
Hosted by actress Sharon Stone, the event attracted stars including Leonardo DiCaprio, Jessica Chastain, Janet Jackson and Goldie Hawn and raised around $25 million for AIDS research.
The Great Gatsby actor Leonardo DiCaprio agreed to travel into space aboard the Virgin Galactic alongside a bidder who paid $1.5 million to join him on the journey.
The event, which also saw bids for Oscar tickets and a six-a-side football game against a team led by Zinedine Zidane, raised more than twice the amount collected last year.
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