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Cannes names its 2017 winners

Cannes has closed its doors for another year, handing out its gongs across a number of ceremonies over the last few days.

While there’s often considerable speculation about what films will win, there seemed to be less this year. Indeed reports of diminished attendance, less busyness in the business of the market, and little to get excited about on screen – plus a couple of rows about organisers’ decisions – continue to chip away at what’s increasingly looking like a French impression of King Canute, long on bluster, blinded by a sense of self-importance, and increasingly removed from the world it inhabits.

What should have been an opportunity for celebration, the festival’s 70th edition, seems to have turned into a damp squib, punctuated by the occasional bit of negative publicity.

There was hoopla before kick off when the festival used the Photoshop diet to trim several inches off the waist and thighs of Italian actress Claudia Cardinale for the poster. Why would anyone would think they could get away with such behaviour in 2017, when singers and celebrities are regularly called out on social media for doing the same thing?

The festival’s line-up itself wasn’t slimmed down although, according to critics, it was lacking in quality. Ruben Östlund’s The Square (pictured, top) took the Palme d’Or in what was considered the weakest field in several years.

Big screen small screen
For a festival that regards itself and its selections as the peak of artistic achievement on the big screen, something clearly went wrong this year. A good number of critics claimed the best thing they saw was Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake: China Girl, one of two television series presented at the festival. Admittedly both series were created by Palme d’Or winners, but they were made for television – something Cannes organisers intend to see hived off into a separate event next year.

Cannes’ relationship with television also came under scrutiny due to the selection of two Netflix titles (Bong Joon-ho’s Okja and Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories) which won’t see a theatrical release outside of festival appearances. Hastily, the festival added a new rule as a sop to local distributors and exhibitors, which will require all future titles selected for the official competition to have a theatrical release in France.

The ‘other’ competitions
Chloe Zhao’s The Rider took the top award in the Directors Fortnight sidebar. Zhao was one of a number of filmmakers returning to Cannes this year. Her Songs My Brothers Taught Me played in Directors Fortnight in 2015.

The winner of the Critics Week sidebar, Emmanuel Gras’ Makala, added to the small but growing number of films about Africa (but not necessarily by African filmmakers) that have become popular at Cannes in recent years, including Timbuktu and Beasts of No Nation.

Although the odds are long for winning a prize at Cannes, with most competition line-ups being drawn from pools of several thousand entries, Belgian student Valentina Maurel is now guaranteed the presentation of her first feature at Cannes as part of the prize for the Cinéfondation competition.



The Cannes Film Festival, including Un Certain Regard and Cinéfondation, ran 17 – 28 May. Critics Week ran 18 – 26 May. Directors Fortnight ran 18 – 28 May. The winners were…

Cannes Official Selection Awards
Palme D’Or
The Square, Ruben Östlund

70th Anniversary Award
Nicole Kidman

Grand Prix
120 Beats Per Minute, Robin Campillo

Best Director Prize
Sofia Coppola, The Beguiled

Best Performance By An Actor
Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here dir. Lynne Ramsay

Best Performance By An Actress
Diane Kruger, Aus Dem Nichts (In The Fade) dir. Fatih Akin

Jury Prize
Nelyubov (Loveless), Andrey Zvyagintsev

Best Screenplay Ex-Æquo
(joint winners)
Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou, The Killing Of A Sacred Deer
Lynne Ramsay, You Were Never Really Here

Short Films – Competition
Palme D’or

Xiao Cheng Er Yue (A Gentle Night), Qiu Yang

Special Distinction By The Jury
Katto (The Ceiling), Teppo Airaksinen

Caméra D’or
Jeune Femme (Montparnasse Bienvenüe), Léonor Serraille
Cannes Un Certain Regard Awards


Un Certain Regard Prize
Lerd, Un Homme Integre (A Man Of Integrity), Mohammad Rasoulof
Prize For Best Actress
Jasmine Trinca For Fortunata, dir. Sergio Castellitto
Prize For The Best Poetic Narrative
Barbara, Mathieu Amalric
Prize For Best Direction
Taylor Sheridan, Wind River
Jury Prize
Las Hijas De Abril (April’s Daughter), Michel Franco
Critics Week Awards


Nespresso Grand Prize
Makala, Emmanuel Gras

France 4 Visionary Prize
Gabriel and the Mountain, Fellipe Barbosa

Fondation Gan Award for distribution
Gabriel and the Mountain, Fellipe Barbosa

SACD prize
Ava, Léa Mysius

Leica Cine Discovery Prize for short films
Los Desheredados, Laura Ferrés

Canal+ Award for short films
The Best Fireworks Ever, Aleksandra Terpinska
Directors Fortnight Awards

The Rider

Art Cinema Award
The Rider, Chloe Zhao

SACD Prize
(joint winners)
Lover for a Day, Philippe Garrel
Bright Sunshine Indoors, Claire Denis 

Europa Cinemas Label
A Ciambra, Jonas Carpignano

Illy prize for short film
Return to Genoa, Benoit Grimalt
Cinéfondation Prizes

Paul is Here

First Prize
Paul Est Là (Paul Is Here), Valentina Maurel
INSAS, Belgium
Second Prize
Heyvan (AniMal), Bahram & Bahman Ark
Iranian National School of Cinema, Iran

Third Prize
Deux Égarés Sont Morts (Two Youths Died), Tommaso Usberti
La Fémis, France
The International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) Prizes


Official Selection Prize
120 Beats Per Minute, Robin Campillo

Un Certain Regard Prize
Closeness (Tesnota), Kantemir Balagov

Parallel Sections Prize
(Directors’ Fortnight or Critics’ Week, for a first or second film)
The Nothing Factory (A Fabrica de Nada), Pedro Pinho

Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
Radiance, Naomi Kawase

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