Palme d’Or Goes to a Ken Loach Film at Cannes


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The director Ken Loach, won the Palme d’Or for his film “I, Daniel Blake” the Cannes Film Festival.

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Yves Herman/Reuters

CANNES, France — The 69th Cannes Film Festival, an event this year defined by peerless highs and embarrassing lows, ended on Sunday when the Palme d’Or was awarded to “I, Daniel Blake,” a film about a carpenter with a heart condition up against the heartlessness of bureaucracy, from the veteran British director Ken Loach. The award was presented by Mel Gibson.

Mr. Loach, a previous winner for “The Wind That Shakes the Barley,” accepted his prize first in French before switching to English. “We’re in the grip of a project of austerity,” he said, invoking the “catastrophe” of neoliberalism. He talked of cinema’s tradition of speaking to the “powerful and the mighty” and the need to show that “another world is possible and necessary.”

This year’s jury for the feature competition was led by George Miller (here in 2015 with “Mad Max: Fury Road”), who lauded “the feast of cinema,” and also included the directors Arnaud Desplechin and Laszlo Nemes (his “Son of Saul” won the Grand Prize last year); a producer, Katayoon Shahabi; and a clutch of internationally recognizable names: Kirsten Dunst, Valeria Golino, Mads Mikkelsen, Vanessa Paradis and Donald Sutherland.

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Jaclyn Jose, center, with Katayoon Shahabi, left, a member of the jury, after being awarded with the best actress prize for her work in “Ma’ Rosa.”

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Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

The ceremony included a brief tribute to Jean-Pierre Léaud, the screen immortal who played Antoine Doinel for François Truffaut, beginning with “The 400 Blows”; Mr. Léaud received an honorary Palme d’Or presented by a visibly moved Mr. Desplechin. The best actor award went to Shahab Hosseini, one of the stars of the Iranian movie “Forushande” (“The Salesman”), from the director Asghar Farhadi. This smooth, schematic drama turns on a married couple who are performing in a production of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” and whose lives are upended when the wife is attacked. Mr. Farhadi also won for best screenplay.

The best actress prize was given to Jaclyn Jose, the star of “‘Ma’ Rosa,” a slice of naturalism from the Philippine director Brillante Mendoza. Ms. Jose plays a tough, low-level drug dealer who peddles dope out of her small Manila store and, with her addict husband, is swept up in police corruption. The best director prize was, surprisingly, split between the Romanian director Cristian Mungiu, for “Graduation,” and to the French director Olivier Assayas, for “Personal Shopper.” The Jury Prize (effectively third place) went to “American Honey,” from the British director Andrea Arnold. “When I’m happy, I want to dance,” Ms. Arnold said, swaying to the accompanying music.

The Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan won the Grand Prix prize, second only to the Palme d’Or, for “It’s Only the End of the World,” a decision booed by the press, who watched the ceremony in a live feed from a theater in the same building. “Thank you for feeling the emotion of the film,” Mr. Dolan said, choking up as booing continued from critics across the hallway. “The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki,” a black-and-white movie about a boxer, from the Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen, was awarded the prize for Un Certain Regard, a section reserved for younger and sometimes more adventurous filmmakers.

The Caméra d’Or, for best first feature, went to “Divines,” from the French director Houda Benyamina; it screened in La Quinzaine des Realisateurs, a program that runs parallel with the official selection. The Palme for the best short film was presented to “Timecode,” from the Spanish director Juanjo Giménez.

Information about other winners is at festival-cannes.fr.

Correction: May 22, 2016

An earlier version of this article misstated the award given to Xavier Dolan. It was the Grand Prix prize, not the best director award.

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