Finn lands prize punch at Cannes

Juho Kuosmanen's boxing drama heads Un Certain Regard awards.

by Richard Mowe

Top prize in Un Certain Regard for The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki
Top prize in Un Certain Regard for The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki Photo: Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival
The jury in the sidebar Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival (headed by Swiss actress Marthe Keller) has awarded its top award to The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki by the Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen.

Filmed in back and white on 16mm, the story deals with the build-up to the 1962 world featherweight championship title match and in particular the tussle between country baker Mäki and American title holder Davey Moore.

A drama about a Japanese family whose life is shattered after a visitor comes to live with them was awarded the jury prize. Described as a “psychologic thriller”, Harmonium is directed by Foji Fukada.

Matt Ross' Captain Fantastic won best direction award for the director’s second feature. The film, launched at the Sundance Film Festival, stars Viggo Mortensen as the head of an eccentric family who takes his family on a road trip after the death of his wife.

Jury prize in Un Certain Regard went to Harmonium by Japanese director Foji Fukada
Jury prize in Un Certain Regard went to Harmonium by Japanese director Foji Fukada Photo: Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival
The Un Certain Regard best screenplay was won by The Stopover, by Delphine and Muriel Coulin, about two female soldiers who have three days of leave in Cyprus before returning home after a spell of duty in Afghanistan. The special jury prize went to The Red Turtle, the animated film by Michael Dudok De Wit about a man trying to escape from an island and his encounter with the turtle of the title.

Keller’s jury also included Diego Luna, Celine Sallette and Swedish director Ruben Ostlund. A total of 18 titles were in competition in the section, of which seven were films by first-time directors.

The top prizes for the main competition selection will be awarded tonight (May 22) during the closing ceremony at the Palais des Festivals.

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