“Titan” has won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, making Julia DuCournau the second female filmmaker in its 74-year history to win the festival’s top honor.
At the top of the show, a victory was accidentally declared by jury president Spike Lee, causing a few moments of confusion. DuCournau did not immediately take the stage to accept the award, instead waiting until a formal announcement at the end of the ceremony.
In the end, the victory for “Titan” was announced by Lee and presenter Sharon Stone.
After the flub, the ceremony continued and other awards were presented while Lee was seen with his head in his hands.
The Grand Prix prize was a joint honor split between the Iranian drama “A Hero” and the Finnish director Juho Kuosmann’s “Apartment No. 6”.
Léos Carrax was awarded Best Director for “Annet”, the fictional musical that opened the festival. The award was accepted by the music duo Sparks, who wrote the film’s screenplay and music.
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Nadav Lapid’s “Ahead’s Knee” won the Jury Prize, while Caleb Landry Jones won Best Actor. Renate Reinesway won Best Actress for “The Worst Person in the World” by Joachim Trier.
The Croatian coming-of-age drama “Murina” by Antoneta Alamat Kuसijnovi took the Camera d’Or award, a non-jury award, for best debut feature. Kusijanovic was absent from the ceremony after giving birth the day before.
The Cannes finale is the first major film festival to host 12 days of red-carpet premieres, regular COVID-19 tests for many attendees, and the pandemic since the pandemic almost began in its normal form. With less crowds in theaters and mandatory mask-wearing, Cannes went ahead with an ambitious slate of global cinema. Last year’s Cannes was completely canceled by the pandemic.
Twenty-four films were in contention for Palme. The jury’s deliberations are private and anonymous, but it never precludes a wide spectrum of predictions, conjectures and betting odds. This year saw a strong slate of several top international filmmakers screened, but no film was seen as a clear favourite.
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Among the highest-received films at the festival were: Ducornau’s wild, high-octane and violent serial killer film “Titan”; Asghar Farhadi’s honor and social media “A Hero” portrait; Chadian filmmaker Mahmat-Saleh Haroon’s abortion drama “Lingui”; “Memoria” led by Tilda Swinton, the focus of Thai director Epichatpong Weerasethkul; Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project” follow-up, “Red Rocket”; Haruki Murakami adaptation of Japan’s Ryusuke Hamaguchi, “Drive My Car”; And the influenza story of Russian director Kirill Serebennikov “Petrov flu.”
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In 2019, Palme went to Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite,” which later also took home best picture at the Academy Awards. Only one female filmmaker has won the Cannes top prize (Jane Campion for “The Piano”), so a win for DuKornau or Mia Hansen-Lowe (“Burman Island”) would be history-making. If Aaron was victorious, it would be the second time an African film would win.
Lee was the first black jury president in Cannes. His fellow jury members are: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Melanie Laurent, Song Kang-ho, Tahar Rahim, Mati Diop, Jessica Hausner, Kleber Mendonca Filho and Mylene Farmer.
Before the ceremony, Lee and the jury posed for photographers holding hands on the red carpet.