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24 Jun 2024 16:34
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  •   Home > News > Entertainment

    US director Sean Baker's Anora wins Palme d'Or at 2024 Cannes Film Festival

    The film beat 21 other finalists, including entries directed by Francis Ford Coppola and David Cronenberg.


    Anora, a darkly funny and touching drama about a young exotic dancer who becomes involved with a Russian oligarch's son, has won the Cannes Film Festival's top prize, the Palme d'Or.

    The film by US director Sean Baker beat 21 other finalists in the competition line-up, including entries by revered directors Francis Ford Coppola and David Cronenberg.

    The winner was announced on Saturday local time, at the 77th Festival de Cannes in France.

    Anora continues a streak of sex worker-focused films by Baker, including the 2021 Cannes entry Red Rocket and 2017's The Florida Project starring Willem Dafoe.

    He dedicated the award "to all sex workers past, present and future," while also thanking the film's star, Mikey Madison, and Samantha Quan, his wife and producer.

    "This has been my life's goal, so to reach this place is … I'm going to have to do some thinking tonight about what's next," Baker told Reuters after the ceremony.

    Jury president Greta Gerwig, the director behind the smash hit Barbie, called Anora an "incredibly human and humane film that captured our hearts" when announcing the award that was handed out by George Lucas, of Star Wars fame.

    Lucas was on stage to receive an honorary award during the festival's closing ceremony from his longtime friend Coppola, whose passion project "Megalopolis" was also in competition.

    "I'm just a kid who grew up in the middle of California, surrounded by vineyards, and made films in San Francisco with my friend Francis Coppola," said Lucas at the ceremony.

    The Grand Prix, which is the second-highest prize after the Palme d'Or, was awarded to All We Imagine as Light, marking the first time an Indian director had won the prize.

    Director Payal Kapadia's debut feature about the friendship between three women was the first Indian film in competition in 30 years.

    "The fact that we could be here is a testament that if you stick to one thing and don't give up hope, then the film could possibly be made, and we are here," she said.

    Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof, who was in Cannes about two weeks after announcing he had gone into exile, was given a special award for The Seed of the Sacred Fig, about an Iranian court official who grows increasingly controlling and paranoid as protests begin to swell in 2022.

    Films doubly honoured

    Emilia Pérez, a musical about a Mexican cartel boss who transitions from male to female, was doubly honoured.

    Director Jacques Audiard received the jury prize on stage, while the best actress prize was expanded to include all the film's female stars, with jury member Lily Gladstone saying Emilia Pérez celebrated the "harmony of sisterhood."

    Zoe Saldaña, Selena Gomez, Karla Sofia Gascón and Adriana Paz all star in the film that Vanity Fair magazine called "a movie unlike any other."

    "I want to dedicate this to all the women, trans and non-trans, in the world, this is for you, for all the minorities who are not left in peace when we simply want to go on living," said Gascón, who is the first transgender actress to win the prize.

    Jesse Plemons was named best actor for playing three different parts — a struggling police officer, a cult member and a man whose every action is controlled by his boss — in director Yorgos Lanthimos' film Kinds of Kindness.

    Best screenplay went to The Substance, starring Demi Moore, examining the perils of youth and beauty, while Miguel Gomes took best director for Grand Tour, an eclectic trip through Asia by a British civil servant and his pursuing fiancee.

    • Anora, directed by Sean Baker
    • All We Imagine as Light, directed by Payal Kapadia
    • Emilia Pérez, directed by Jacques Audiard
    • Miguel Gomes for Grand Tour
    • Mohammad Rasoulof for The Seed of the Sacred Fig
    • Jesse Plemons in Kinds of Kindness, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
    • Adriana Paz
    • Zoe Saldaña
    • Karla Sofia Gascón
    • Selena Gomez

    All four women star in the film Emilia Pérez, directed by Jacques Audiard.

    • Coralie Fargeat for The Substance
    • The man who could not remain silent, directed by Nebojša Slijepcevic
    • Bad for a moment, directed by Daniel Soares
    • Black Dog, directed by Guan Hu
    • L'historie de Souleymane, directed by Boris Lojkine
    • Roberto Minvervini for The Damned
    • Rungano Nyoni for On Becoming a Guinea Fowl
    • Anasuya Sangaré for L'historie de Souleymane
    • Holy Cow, directed by Louise Courvoisier
    • Norah, directed by Tawfik Alzaidi
    • Armand, directed by Halfdan Ullmann Tønde;
    • Mongrel, directed by Wei Liang Chiang and You Qia Yin
    • Sunflowers Were the First ones to Know, directed by Chidanada S Naik
    • Out the Window Through the Wall, directed by Asya Segalovich
    • The Chaos She Left Behind, directed by Nikos Kolioukos
    • BunnyHood, directed by Mansi Maheshwari
    • Daria D'antonio, director of photography for Parthenope, directed by Paolo Sorrentino
    • Evgenia Alexandrova, director of photography for The Balconettes, directed by Noémie Merlant

    The 77th edition of the festival ran from May 14 to 25.

    Reuters/ABC


    ABC




    © 2024 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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