Sunday, May 27, 2007

Cannes Winners Announced

The Cannes Jury, headed by Stephen Frears, awarded the Romanian film 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days the Palme d'Or of this 60th Cannes Festival. But our films and artists from our Sister Cities countries did very well!

The Grand Prize was awarded to Naomi Kawase (left) of Japan for The Mourning Forest.

Kawase said, "It's wonderful to have been able to make films and to continue making them. I'm happy. It's very difficult to make a film. I think it's as difficult as living; it is similar to life. In a life, you also encounter many difficulties, many things that make you suffer; there are many things that make you hesitate or stumble on your path. At those moments, I believe, you look for something deep within that can restore your confidence and strength. You try to find strengths – and I don't mean money, cars, or clothing – it's not necessarily something visible. It can be the wind, the light, the memory of the Ancients which gives us their strength. And when you find that foothold in the world, you can be all alone and go on. Thank you for appreciating my film, for recognizing what I wanted to say with it. Thank you very much! This is a wonderful world."

The Best Screenplay went to Fatih Akin (left) of Hungary for The Edge of Heaven.

“Thank you much, the Jury,” Akin said. “I have to write a new screenplay and that will inspire me a lot. I want to thank all the people who have worked on the film, everybody, whole crew. I want to thank my wife. I have one message for Turkey. All is one, united we stand, divided we fall.”

The prize for Best Director was awarded \to Julian Schnabel for Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly).

The prize for Best Leading Actor was awarded to Konstantin Lavronenko for his performance in The Banishment by Andreï Zyvagintsev.

The prize for Best Leading Actress was awarded \to South Korean actress Jeon Do-yeon for her performance in Secret Sunshine by Lee Chang-dong.

The Jury Prize, a tie, was awarded to Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and to Silent Light by Carlos Reygadas (far left).

Carlos Reygadas said: "Good evening. Thank you to Jaime, Natalia, Jean Labadie, the Festival, and the jurors."

Awarded by the Cinéfondation-Short Film Jury presided by Jia Zhangke along with actress Marina Hands, the Palme d'Or for Best Short film was awarded to Ver Llover (Watching it Rain) by Elisa Miller.

Elisa Miller: "Thank you very much! Gracias! I'm very, very happy. I thank the Festival. It was incredible to be here. I thank Mexico. Thank you!"

Additionally in the Directors' Fortnight sidebar recognition was given to Gegenüber (Counterparts) by Jan Bonny, of Germany and The Edge of Heaven by Fatih Akin of Hungary was presented the Ecumenical Jury Prize.

The Jury mentioned: "This film skillfully tells the story of the intersecting destinies in Germany and Turkey of men and women from different backgrounds. It makes the viewer aware of the pain and complexity of the loss of cultural identity and relationships, as well as the valuable cultural exchanges, transitions, and cohabitations possible between these two worlds. Two other major themes are parent-child relationships, sacrifice, and reconciliation." Established in 1974, the Ecumenical Jury designates works of artistic quality, film testimonials to the depth of human feeling and its mystery, through human preoccupations, hopes, and despairs.