French director Jacques Audiard has won this year’s Palme d’Or for his drama Dheepan, the story of a Tamil refugee trying to make a new life in France. A Cannes veteran, Audiard previously competed for the top prize with his 2012 film Rust and Bone and won the Grand Prix for A Prophet in 2010.
This year’s Grand Prix was awarded to the Holocaust drama Son of Saul, the acclaimed debut film by Hungarian director László Nemes, while the festival’s Jury Prize went to The Lobster, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and backed by the BFI Film Fund.
The Camera d’Or is the festival’s prize for best first feature, which this year went to Colombian César Augusto Acevedo for his family drama La tierra y la sombra.
Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien took best director for his venture into the martial arts genre with The Assassin, with best screenplay going to Mexican writer-director Michel Franco for the emotional Chronic, starring Tim Roth.
Many people’s favourite for the best actor prize, Roth lost out to Vincent Lindon for The Measure of a Man (La Loi du marche). The best actress award was shared between Rooney Mara for Todd Haynes’s much-heralded Patricia Highsmith adaptation, Carol, and Emmanuelle Bercot for Maïwenn’s Mon roi.
The winners were rounded out with a best short film prize for Waves ‘98, directed by Ely Dagher. French new wave veteran Agnès Varda, director of classics such as Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962), was honoured with a special lifetime achievement Palme.
Winners in full
Palme d’OrJacques Audiard for Dheepan
Grand PrixLászló Nemes for Son of Saul
Jury PrizeYorgos Lanthimos for The Lobster
Camera d’OrCésar Augusto Acevedo for La tierra y la sombra [Land and Shade]
Best directorHou Hsiao-hsien for The Assassin
Best screenplayMichel Franco for Chronic
Best actressRooney Mara for Carol and Emmanuelle Bercot for Mon roi
Best actorVincent Lindon for La Loi du marche
Short filmEly Dagher for Waves ‘98
Honorary Palme d’OrAgnès Varda