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CANNES FILM FESTIVAL 2015

Desplechin's My Golden Years gets next best to Golden Palm at Director's Fortnight

The Critics' Week jury opted for Argentinian Santiago Mitre’s second feature Paulina, awarding it the Grand Prix Nespresso
The Critics' Week jury opted for Argentinian Santiago Mitre’s second feature Paulina, awarding it the Grand Prix Nespresso DR

The end of the Cannes Film Festival is signalled each year by the gradual transition from high heels and sequins on the Croisette to sunoil and flipflops. The Palm award ceremony on Sunday night is heralded by prize-giving at the Critic’s Week, the Director’s Fortnight and on Saturday, at the official Un certain regard. That's not to forget the foreign press and ecumenical prizes as well as the now five-year-old independent, Queer Palm. Films from Latin America shine.

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French director Arnaud Desplechin got his just rewards at Cannes this year, albeit not in the Film Festival competition strictly speaking.

On Saturday evening his film, Trois souvenirs de ma Jeunesse - My Golden Years, about troubled youth in late 20th-century France, and co-written with Julie Peyr, won the French Authors Society award at the Director’s Fortnight.

Mustang by Turkish director Daniz Gamze Ergüven, about five young sisters fighting imposed domesticity, won the Label Europa Cinema. Other prize winners include El Abrazo de la Serpiente directed by Ciro Guerra. The Colombian’s film is about the ethnological, anthropological, environmental encounter of an Amazonian shaman and a Western explorer.

The Critics' Week jury opted for Argentinian Santiago Mitre’s second feature Paulina, awarding it the Grand Prix Nespresso. Colombian first-feature director César Augusto Acevedo won a double for his La Tierra y la Sombra.

Short films are an important part of the Cannes set-up and Fyzal Boulifa, from the UK’s Rate Me, about a teenage escort girl won the Illy Prize. Austrian-origin veteran avant-gardist filmmaker Peter Tscherkassky got a special mention under the Illy Prize banner for his The Exquisite Corpus, fashioned of erotic clips and film extracts.

At the Critics' Week, two short films were singled out: Varicella by Fulvio Risuelo and Ramona by Andrei Cretulescu, which overcomes language barriers because it’s 20 minutes of dialogue-free cinema.

The Cannes Film Festival’s Cinéfondation selection of 18 student films from different film schools around the world gave its prize this year to a film from the US called Share directed by Pippa Bianco.

On Sunday night a select few out of the 19 films in the competition this year will receive the iconic palm awards. The top prize is the Golden Palm. The second prize is the Grand Prix and then there’s the Jury Prize, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Female and Best Male Actors. A special lifetime achievement goes to French filmmaker Agnès Varda.

The nine-member jury this year is co-chaired by the Coen brothers, Ethan and Joel. The brothers from the US are regulars at Cannes. They won the Golden Palm in 1991 with Barton Fink. Joel won Best Director in 1996 for Fargo as well as in 2001 for The Man Who Wasn't There, and they won the Grand Prix, the second prize for Inside Llewyn Davis in 2013.

The seven jury members are actress Rossy de Palma, director Guillermo del Toro, director Xavier Dolan, actor Jake Gyllenhaal, actresses Sophie Marceau and Sienna Miller, and last alphabetically in the jury list is songwriter, composer and singer, Rokia Traoré.

On being a judge she told RFI, “I’m taking this very seriously. I’m just as serious about judging as I am when I am in competition myself. That said, I don’t think it’s a matter of life and death.”

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