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South Korean film Parasite wins Palme d'Or; Banderas Best Actor, Special Mention for Elia Suleiman's fiction
Published in Ahram Online on 26 - 05 - 2019

For the second year in a row, the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival has gone to an Asian film.

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's jury gave this year's top prize to Bong Joon Ho's “Parasite,” one of the most critically acclaimed films of this year's festival, one year after Hirokazu Kore-eda's “Shoplifters” won the 2018 award.

The film is about a close-knit family of con artists.

The Grand Prize, the jury's second place award, went to the first black woman director ever in the Cannes competition, Mati Diop, for “Atlantics.”

The Jury Prize was shared by both “Les Misérables” and “Bacurau,” a sign that the jury was divided or equally impressed by both films. They also added a Special Mention award for Palestinian director Elia Suleiman's “It Must Be Heaven.”

In a happy surprise, the jury gave the Best Director award to the Dardenne brothers for “Young Ahmed,” their portrait of the radicalisation of a Muslim teenager.

Antonio Banderas won the Best Actor prize for his performance as a Pedro Almodovar-like director in Almodovar's “Pain and Glory,” while Emily Beecham won the Best Actress award for her portrayal of a flower breeder in Jessica Hausner's “Little Joe.”

Writer-director Celine Sciamma won the screenplay award for “Portrait of a Lady on Fire."

Cesar Diaz's “Our Mothers” won the Camera d'Or, which goes to the best first film from any section of the festival. It screened in the independent International Critics' Week section.

The jury was headed by director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, one of six directors on the nine-person panel. The other directors were Pawel Pawlikowski, Kelly Reichardt, Robin Campillo, Yorgos Lanthimos and Alice Rorhwacher, with the panel filled out by actress Elle Fanning, author Enki Bilal and actress Maimouna N'Diaye.

The winners:

Palme d'Or: “Parasite,” Bong Joon Ho
Grand Prix: “Atlantique,” Mati Diop
Best Director: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, “Young Ahmed”
Best Screenplay: Celine Sciamma, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”
Best Actor: Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”
Best Actress: Emily Beecham, “Little Joe”
Jury Prize: (TIE) “Bacurau,” Kleber Mendonca Filho and Juliano Dornelles; and “Les Misérables,” Ladj Ly
Special Mention: Elia Suleiman, “It Must Be Heaven”
Camera d'Or: “Our Mothers” (“Nuestras Madres”), Cesar Diaz
Palme d'Or, Short Film: “The Distance Between Us and the Sky,” Vasilis Kekatos
Short Film, Special Mention: “Monstruo Dios,” Agustina San Martin

Antonio Banderas (L)
Elia Soleiman (R)
Mati Diop

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