Cannes prizes keep on coming

The Worst Ones takes top honours in Un Certain Regard

by Richard Mowe

Round of applause for the winners and the jury at the closing ceremony of Un Certain Regard in Cannes
Round of applause for the winners and the jury at the closing ceremony of Un Certain Regard in Cannes Photo: Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival
With speculation reaching fever pitch in Cannes today ahead of tonight’s big awards ceremony including the revelation of the Palme d’Or winner, several of the festival’s sidebar selections have announced the winners.

In Un Certain Regard the top accolade has been awarded to The Worst Ones, a debut feature from female directing duo Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret. It follows a film crew seeking non-professional actors for a shoot in a working class French town. In a different register Vicky Krieps shared the best performance prize for her acting in Marie Kreutzer’s costume drama Corsage about the legend of Empress Elizabeth of Austria. The co-winner was Adama Bessa for his impressive role in a Tunisia-set social drama Harka.

The jury prize in Un Certain Regard proved a popular choice - Joyland, the first film from Pakistan to screen at the festival, about the relationship between a married man and transgender exotic dancer in working class Lahore. It is being touted as a contender for the Camera d’Or prize for best first film to be announced at the main ceremony tonight.

Joyland duo Alina Khan, the trans star, and director Saim Sadiq who won the Queer Palm
Joyland duo Alina Khan, the trans star, and director Saim Sadiq who won the Queer Palm Photo: Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival
Joyland also has been given the Queer Palm from a jury headed by director Catherine Corsini, herself the recipient of the ward last year for The Divide. “It's a very powerful film, that represents everything that we stand for," Corsini said.

The Romanian contender Metronom which is set against the Communist regime in the Seventies, scooped best director award for Alexander Belc.

Another French film Rodeo received the jury’s special coup de coeur award about a young woman who joins a motorcycle gang. It’s directed by newcomer Lola Quivoron.

Tensions in a suburb of Haifa bubble to the surface in Mediterranean Fever, a second feature by Palestinian-Israeli filmmaker Maha Haj which took best screenplay.

In bestowing the awards jury president Valeria Golino praised the “tour de force of talent” in this year’s selection. Besides Golino the jury comprised: director Debra Granik, actress Joanna Kulig, actor-singer Benjamin Biolay and actor-producer Edgar Ramírez.

Over at Directors’ Fortnight the much praised One Fine Morning by Mia Hansen-Løve received the Europa Cinemas Cannes Label for best European film in the Quinzaine. The jury citation read: “Her observation of human life is astutely drawn – the tussle for a single mother between her child, her sick father and her lover.” The cast includes Léa Seydoux and Pascal Greggory.

In other awards at the Directors’ Fortnight Thomas Salvador won the SACD prize from France’s Writers’ Guild for The Mountain for the best French language film in the section. Salvador himself plays the main character Pierre who visits Chamonix on business and stays on to strike up a friendship with a restaurant worker (Louise Bourgoin). “The spectacular and intimate ambition of the film, its delicate writing and its stylistic ambition take us on a memorable journey,” suggested the award citation.

Elsewhere Bachelorette Party by Lola Cambourieu and Yann Berlier received the Grand Prize of the 20th edition of the Unifrance Short Film Awards, announced on the Unifrance Terrace.

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