US film Carol wins Queer Palm at Cannes

A lesbian love story starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara won the independently sponsored 2015 Queer Palm award at the Cannes Film Festival Saturday night.

Cate Blanchett, Todd Haynes and Rooney Mara before the screening of Carol at Cannes
Cate Blanchett, Todd Haynes and Rooney Mara before the screening of Carol at Cannes Reuters/Eric Gaillard

Carol, directed by Todd Haynes, is adapted from the Patricia Highsmith novel The Price of Salt that tells the story of two women who fall in love in 1950s New York.

Click here for our coverage of Cannes Film Festival 2015

The Queer Palm jury also gave a special mention to The Lobster. Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, the film in the main competition is set in the near future where people are forced to find a mating partner or be turned into an animal and turned out into the woods.

Desiree Akhavan, chair of the Queer Palm Jury, and director herself of the film Appropriate Behavior, told RFI’s Rosslyn Hyams that the criteria for the Queer Palm, now in its sixth year, have broadened to fit the name.

“The themes in the films selected for the Queer Palm from the different Cannes sections, especially according to French filmmakers, stretch to anything that goes against the mainstream. That’s why this year for example we decided to include The Lobster,” she said.

On Sunday night a select few out of the 19 films in the competition this year will receive the iconic palm awards, decided by a jury of top actors and filmmakers and headed by US directing duo the Coen brothers.

The top prize is the coveted 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.

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