French director Julia Ducournau becomes only the second woman to win the Palme d’Or

New Delhi, Jul 18 (FN Bureau) French filmmaker Julia Ducournau on Saturday became only the second woman to win the prestigious Palme d’Or, the top prize at the 74th Cannes film festival. Ducournau’s dark drama ‘Titane’ won in a field of 24 films in the competition section of the festival, which returned this year after the coronavirus pandemic forced cancellation of its 2020 edition. ‘Titane’ is Ducournau’s sophomore feature film. New Zealand director Jane Campion was the first female director to win the Palme d’Or for ‘The Piano’ in 1993. American director Spike Lee, the first Black person to become the president of Cannes competition jury this year, announced the winner of the festival’s top honour at a glittering closing ceremony tonight. South Korean film ‘Parasite’ by Bong Joon-ho had won the Palme d’Or in 2019. ‘Parasite’ later went on to become the first non-English language film to win the Best Picture Oscar.

Among the films vying for the Palme d’Or were Dutch director Paul Verhoeven’s ‘Benedetta’, French filmmaker Mia Hansen-Love’s ‘Bergman Island’, and American actor-director Sean Penn’s ‘Flag Day’. The Grand Prix, the second biggest award, was shared by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s ‘A Hero’ and ‘Compartment No. 6’ by Finnish filmmaker Juho Kuosmanen. The Jury Prize was shared by ‘Ahed’s Knee’ by Israeli director Nadav Lapid and ‘Memoria’ by Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul. The Best Direction award went to French director Leos Carax for ‘Annette’, the opening film of the festival. The Best Screenplay award was bagged by Japanese filmmaker Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s ‘Drive My Car’, based on a short story of the same title by Haruki Murakami. Norwegian Renate Reinsve won the Best Actress award for ‘The Worst Person in the World’ by Joachim Trier. American actor Caleb Landry Jones was awarded the Best Actor prize for ‘Nitram’ by Australian director Justin Kurzel. The Palme d’Or for the Best Short Film went to ‘All the Crows in the World’ by Hong Kong director Tang Yi. Short film ‘August Sky’ by Brazilian director Jasmin Tenucci won a Special Jury Mention. The Camera d’Or for the First Best Feature Film of a director went to Croatian-born director Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic’s ‘Munira’, a Directors’ Fortnight selection about a restless teenager and her father.

Film and Television Institute of India alumna Payal Kapadia was in contention for the Camera d’Or for her debut film, ‘A Night of Knowing Nothing’, which was part of the Directors’ Fortnight parallel selection at the festival. ‘A Night of Knowing Nothing’ won the Golden Eye Award for the Best Documentary at the festival. Russian film, ‘Unclenching the Fist’ by Kira Kovelenko, won the Un Certain Regard Prize. The Cannes festival, which returned to the physical format after the pandemic forced cancellation of the event last year, concluded tonight with the closing film, ‘From Africa With Love’ by French filmmaker Nicolas Bedos.