South Korean film 'Parasite' wins Cannes' most prestigious award

Special jury prize for Elia Suleiman’s Palestinian saga 'It Must Be Heaven'
Palestinian director Elia Suleiman also acted in 'It Must Be Heaven'
Palestinian director Elia Suleiman also acted in 'It Must Be Heaven'


Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho picked up the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday for his Parasite, one of the most critically acclaimed films at this year’s festival. This makes it the second year in a row that the Palme d’Or has gone to an Asian film. Last year, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters won the award.  

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The Grand Prix, the jury’s second place award, went to the first black woman director ever in the Cannes competition, Mati Diop, for Atlantics.

Antonio Banderas won the Best Actor prize for his performance in Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory, while Emily Beecham won the Best Actress award for her portrayal of a flower breeder in Jessica Hausner’s creepy Little Joe.

The Jury Prize was shared by both Les Miserables and Bacurau, while a special mention award - the Fipresci prize - went to Palestinian director and screenwriter Elia Suleiman’s It Must Be Heaven. . The comedy was at the top in the Official Competition category and was screened late in the festival but still won the the critics over. 

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The best-director award went to the Dardenne brothers for Young Ahmed, their portrait of the radicalisation of a Muslim teen.

Writer-director Celine Sciamma won the screenplay award for Portrait of a Lady on Fire, a period romance that was one of the festival’s most acclaimed films.

List of winners:

Palme d’Or: Parasite, Bong Joon Ho
Grand Prix: Atlantics, Mati Diop
Best Director: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Young Ahmed
Best Screenplay: Celine Sciamma, Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Best Actor: Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
Best Actress: Emily Beecham, Little Joe
Jury Prize: (TIE) Bacurau, Kleber Mendonca Filho and Juliano Dornelles; and Les Miserables, Ladj Ly
Special Mention: Elia Suleiman, It Must Be Heaven
Camera d’Or: Our Mothers (“Nuestras Madres”), Cesar Diaz

Palme d’Or, Short Film: The Distance Between Us and the Sky, Vasilis Kekatos
Short Film, Special Mention: Monstruo Dios, Agustina San Marti

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