Cannes critics love Mimosas

Turkish comedy and Cambodian drama also win awards.

by Richard Mowe

Spiritual and mystical journey in Olivier Laxe’s prize-winning second feature
Spiritual and mystical journey in Olivier Laxe’s prize-winning second feature Photo: Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival
The first prizes from the 69th edition of the Cannes Film Festival have started to roll in ahead of the main awards ceremony on Sunday night (May 22) when the Palme d’Or and other winners will be announced. The Critics’ Week jury headed by Valerie Donizelli have given the Nespresso Grand Prix to Mimosas, the second feature by Spanish director Olivier Laxe.

Laxe, who lives in Morocco, follows the journey of an ageing and dying sheikh who journeys across the Atlas mountains on a kind of spiritual and mystical odyssey.

A comedy from Turkey, Album, received the France 4 Visionary Award - revolving around a couple who stage a pretend pregnancy so that it will seem as if the child they are adopting was theirs. Along the way, the director Mehmet Can Mertoğlu casts a satirical swipe at Turkish bureaucracy and the attitudes the country’s middle class.

Diamond Island - a French-Cambodian co-production - receives the SACD prize
Diamond Island - a French-Cambodian co-production - receives the SACD prize Photo: Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival
Meanwhile Claire Maugendre’s narrative feature baptism Diamond Island - a French Cambodian co-production about a man who becomes reunited with his missing older brother when he leaves home to become a construction worker - received the SACD prize.

The Fondation Gan for the cinema has awarded its prize to help Sophie Dulac distributors show One week And A Day (Shavua ve yom) by Asaph Polonsky.

The Canal + award for best short film has gone to L'enfance d'un chef by Antoine de Bary. The Leica Cine Discovery Prize for short films
 
went to Prenjak by Wregas Bhanuteja.

Other members of Donizelli's jury were filmmakers Alice Winocour, Nadav Lapid, David Robert Mitchell and Santiago Mitre.

This was the 55th edition of the week organised by France’s association of film critics.

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