Cannes 2021: Julia Ducournau becomes the second woman to win the Palme d’Or

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The Cannes 2021 edition has announced its winners and this time the Palme d’Or makes history: at 37 years of age, the French filmmaker Julia Ducournau becomes the second woman to win the top prize, after Jane campion triumph in the contest in 1993 with the tape The piano. She is also the first to win the prestigious solo award, as Campion shared it with another work.

Ducournau, whose debut feature Voracious won the FIPRESCI award five years ago at the Directors’ Fortnight, received the Palme d’Or for the film Titane, which has been described as “controversial” and “shocking”, as it has aroused strong reactions for its fantastic, extreme and radical cut. Tape, whose distribution rights were acquired by MUBI, includes an exotic dancer who has a carnal relationship with a car, as well as a story that encompasses slasher, body horror and elements of explicit violence.

cannes 2021 golden palm
Julia Ducournau’s film Titane won the Palme d’Or at Cannes 2021.

During the award ceremony, Spike Lee, president of the jury, he eliminated any kind of suspense from the beginning by prematurely revealing the winner of the Palme d’Or by mistake, instead of waiting – as is usual – for the end. Even so, the filmmaker was very moved and surprised when it came time to sustain the award. “I know my film is not perfect,” he said, “but no film is perfect in the eyes of its director, you could say that mine is even monstrous.”

Julia Ducournau won the Palme d’Or at Cannes 2021.

Among the triumphs announced, the recognition of Mexican talent and efforts also stood out. Fire night, by the director Tatiana Huezo, obtained the Special Mention in the section A certain look, while Civil, starring Arcelia Ramirez –Inspired by the case of Miriam Rodríguez and her fight to find her daughter’s murderers– she won the Prize for Courage. Likewise, two Mexican co-productions entered the top podium: Annette, by Leos Carax, won the Best Director award, while Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Memoria won the Jury Award ex aequo (in a tie). Both are co-produced by Piano, a company founded by Julio Chavezmontes and Sebastian Hoffman.

It should be noted that, regarding the purchase of rights, the MUBI platform managed to acquire several of the most awarded and commented films, including the top winners of the main competition and the Una Cierta Mirada section, as well as works such as the shocking Cow, by Andrea Arnold, for certain countries.

Meet the rest of the winners:

Golden palm

Titaneby Julia Ducournau (MUBI)

Grand prix (tie)

 To heroby Asghar Farhadi (Amazon)

Compartment No. 6by Juho Kuosmanen (Sony Pictures Classics)

Best director

Annetteby Leos Carax (Amazon)

best Actor

 Caleb Landry Jones by Nitram

Best actress

 Renate Reinsve by The Worst Person in the World (Neon for the United States, MUBI for the United Kingdom)

Jury award (tie)

 Ahed’s kneeby Nadav Lapid

Memory, by Apichatpong Weerasethakul (MUBI, for several countries in LATAM, but does not include Mexico)

Best screenplay:

Drive My Carby Ryûsuke Hamaguchi

A certain look

Prize Un Certain Regard:

Unclenching the Fistsby Kira Kovalenko (MUBI)

Jury Prize: 

Great Freedom, by Sebastian Meise (MUBI, except in Mexico)

Ensemble Award:

Bonne Mere, by Hafsia Herzi

Courage Award:

Civilby Teodora Ana Mihai

Originality Award: 

Lamb, by Valdimar Johannsson (MUBI, but does not include Mexico)

Special mention: 

Fire nightby Tatiana Huezo

The entry Cannes 2021: Julia Ducournau becomes the second woman to win the Palme d’Or was published first in Cinema PREMIERE.



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