A French Film, "The Class", Wins Cannes Palme d'Or


Today the official jury of the 61st Cannes International Film Festival announced the winners of this year’s competition. Presented by actor Robert Deniro at today’s closing ceremony, the Palme d’Or was given to French filmmaker Laurent Cantet, whose film “The Class” (Entre Les Murs), took home the festivals top prize. This marks the first time in 21 years that a French film has won the Palme d’Or, the last French filmmaker to win being Maurice Pialat for “Under the Sun of Satan”.
Mr. Laurent was gracious in his acceptance, thanking both his cast and producers. He remarked, “We were supported by a sort of state of grace throughout the production phase, from the auditions, where I met all these young people, through the writing of the film, borne along by encouraging signs that proved to be right, through the editing.”
“The Class” takes a dramatic look at junior high school in a difficult Parisian neighborhood. In accepting the award, Mr. Laurent referred to the films intentions, “The film we wanted to make was supposed to look like French society: multi-faceted, lively, and complex, with conflicts that the film was not going to try to gloss over. I hope that’s what the film looks like, and that we didn’t get it wrong. Thank you very much!”
The rest of the award winners for the 61st annual Cannes Film Festival are:
Feature Films:

Palme d’Or
“The Class” (Eentre les Murs) by Laurent Cantet

Grand Prix
“Gomorra” by Matteo Garrone

Prize of the 61st Festival de Cannes ex-aequo
Catherine Deneuve for “Un Conte De Noel” by Arnaud Desplechin
Clint Eastwood for “The Exchange”

Award for the Best Director
“Three Monkeys” (Uc Maymun) by Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Jury Prize
“Il Divo” by Paolo Sorrentino

Prix d’interprétation masculine
Benicio Del Toro for “Che” by Steven SODERBERGH

Best Performance for an Actress
Sandra Corveloni for “Linha De Passe” by Walter Salles, Daniela Thomas

Award for the Best Screenplay
“Le Silence De Lorna” by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

Short Films:

Palme d’Or
“Megatron” by Marian Crisan

Jury Prize
“Jerrycan” by Julius Avery

“Hunger” by Steve McQueen (Un Certain Regard)


Un Certain Regard Prize
“Tulpan” by Sergey Dvortsevoy

Jury Prize
“Tokyo Sonata” by Kurosawa Kiyoshi

Heart Throb Jury Prize
“Wolke 9” by Andreas Drese

The Knockout of Un Certain Regard
“Tyson” by James Toback

Prize of Hope
“Johnny Mad Dog” by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire


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Christopher P. Duffy

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