email print share on Facebook share on Twitter share on reddit pin on Pinterest

CANNES 2019 Awards

Cannes’ Palme d'Or goes to Parasite

by 

- CANNES 2019: The film by South Korea’s Bong Joon-ho has taken home the top prize; other trophies went to Mati Diop, Antonio Banderas, Ladj Ly, Emily Beecham, Céline Sciamma and the Dardennes

Cannes’ Palme d'Or goes to Parasite
The winners, jury members and presenters of the awards at the Cannes closing ceremony (© Eliott Chalier/FDC)

At the end of this year’s Cannes competition, which was of an exceedingly high overall standard, to such an extent that an unusually high number of films turned out to be serious contenders for the top prize, the jury chaired by Alejandro González Iñárritu confirmed this abundance of superb movies by singling out nine features in the awards list, but also by ruling out a certain number of the most highly renowned favourites in order to offer the limelight to audacity, youth and women. Nevertheless, a fairly seasoned director still came out on top with a movie that proved highly popular among the press on the Croisette, as the Palme d'Or of the 72nd Cannes Film Festival was handed to Parasite by South Korean helmer Bong Joon-ho. With this comedy-drama, which is outstanding in every way, and on the occasion of his second time in competition, the filmmaker has therefore brought back the very first Palme d’Or in his country’s history.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

Meanwhile, the real surprise of the night came when the prestigious Grand Prix was handed to a feature debut: Atlantics [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mati Diop
film profile
]
 by French-Senegalese director Mati Diop. Blending realism and fantasy as it weaves an intriguing and ambiguous parable on immigration, love and death in Dakar, this film produced by Les Films du Bal, and co-produced by Arte France Cinéma, Cinekap (Senegal) and Frakas Productions (Belgium), is being sold abroad by mk2 Films

The Best Actress Award was bestowed upon British-American thesp Emily Beecham for her turn in Little Joe [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jessica Hausner
film profile
]
 by Austria’s Jessica Hausner. This feature, produced by Austrian outfit Coop99 Filmproduktion together with British firm The Bureau and Germany’s Essential Filmproduktion, is being sold overseas by Coproduction Office.

The Best Actor Award served to reward the excellent work of Spaniard Antonio Banderas in Pain & Glory [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Antonio Banderas
Q&A: Pedro Almodóvar
film profile
]
 by his fellow countryman Pedro Almodóvar (who was snubbed for the Palme d’Or for the sixth time in his career), a movie produced by El Deseo.

With Young Ahmed [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
film profile
]
, Belgium’s Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have added a brand-new statuette, the Best Director Award, to their highly impressive Cannes trophy cabinet (Palme d’Or in 1999 and 2005, Grand Prix in 2011, Best Screenplay Award in 2008, Best Actress in 1999 and Best Actor in 2002). Young Ahmed, produced by Les Films du Fleuve together with France’s Archipel 35France 2 CinémaProximus and RTBF, is being sold internationally by Wild Bunch.

European film productions were also placed centre stage thanks to the Jury Prize that was split between two movies: Les Misérables [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ladj Ly
film profile
]
 by France’s Ladj Ly (staged by SRAB Films and co-produced by Rectangle Productions and Lyly Films, sold by Wild Bunch) and Bacurau [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juli…
film profile
]
 by Brazil’s Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles (produced by France’s SBS Productions and Brazil’s CinemaScópio, co-produced by Arte France Cinéma and Globo Filmes, sold by SBS).

The Best Screenplay Award was taken home by France’s Céline Sciamma for Portrait of a Lady on Fire [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Céline Sciamma
film profile
]
, a Lilies Films production in co-production with Arte France Cinéma and Hold Up Films, sold abroad by mk2 Films.

A Special Mention also served to enrich the list of awards handed out, and it was presented to It Must Be Heaven [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Elia Suleiman
film profile
]
 by Palestine’s Elia Suleiman, produced by France’s Rectangle Productions together with Nazira Films, the Doha Film Institute, Germany’s Pallas Film, Canada’s Possibles Média and Turkey’s Zeynofilm, and sold by Wild Bunch. 

This year, the future of filmmaking would seem to be embodied by Guatemalan director César Diaz, who picked up the Caméra d'Or (which rewards the best feature debut screened in any of the Cannes selections) for Our Mothers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Cesar Diaz
film profile
]
 (presented in the Critics’ Week), a film that was previously singled out with the SACD Award handed out in the parallel section. Produced by Belgium’s Need Productions and co-produced by France’s Perspective Films, this feature is being sold by Pyramide.

Lastly, topping off the European awards sweep, the Greek-French co-production The Distance Between Us and the Sky by Vasilis Kekatos scooped the Short Film Palme d’Or.

Here is the complete list of winners:

Palme d'Or
Parasite - Bong Joon-ho (South Korea)

Grand Prix
Atlantics [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mati Diop
film profile
]
 - Mati Diop (France/Senegal/Belgium)

Best Director
Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne - Young Ahmed [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
film profile
]
 (Belgium/France)

Best Actress
Emily Beecham - Little Joe [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jessica Hausner
film profile
]
 (Austria/UK/Germany)

Best Actor
Antonio Banderas - Pain & Glory [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Antonio Banderas
Q&A: Pedro Almodóvar
film profile
]
 (Spain)

Best Screenplay
Portrait of a Lady on Fire [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Céline Sciamma
film profile
]
 - Céline Sciamma (France)

Jury Prize
Les Misérables [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ladj Ly
film profile
]
 - Ladj Ly (France)
Bacurau [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juli…
film profile
]
 - Kleber Mendonça Filho & Juliano Dornelles (Brazil/France)

Special Mention
It Must Be Heaven [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Elia Suleiman
film profile
]
 - Elia Suleiman (France/Germany/Canada/Turkey/Qatar)

Caméra d'Or
Our Mothers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Cesar Diaz
film profile
]
 - César Diaz (Belgium/France/Guatemala)

Palme d'Or for Best Short Film
The Distance Between Us and the Sky - Vasilis Kekatos (Greece/France)
Special Mention
Monstruo Dios - Agustina San Martín (Argentina)

(Translated from French)

Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.