CANNES (Reuters) -French director Justine Triet became the third female director to win the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or on Saturday, beating out 21 other films in competition for the top prize.
Triet used her award speech to criticize how the protest against pension reforms in France “has been denied and repressed in a shocking way” and also called for more room to be made for young filmmakers to make mistakes and start again.
Triet won the prize over veteran directors like Hirokazu Kore-eda, Ken Loach and Wim Wenders, all of whom have at least one Palme d’Or under their belts.
She joins New Zealand’s Jane Campion and France’s Julia Ducournau as only the third woman to have won the competition that this year included a record seven female directors.
The Grand Prix, the second-highest prize after the Palme d’Or, went to British director Jonathan Glazer’s “Zone of Interest,” about a family living next to Auschwitz.
Starring in both winning films was German actor Sandra Hueller, who in “Anatomy of a Fall” plays a writer who finds her husband dead and becomes the main suspect, while in “Zone of Interest,” she is the wife of the commandant of the Auschwitz death camp.
This year’s closing movie is Pixar’s “Elemental”, an animated feature about a city where the four elements live together, featuring the voices of Leah Lewis and Mamoudou Athie.
Swedish director Ruben Ostlund, one of only nine directors who has won the Palme d’Or twice, for “Triangle of Sadness” in 2022 and 2017’s “The Square”, was this year’s jury president.
He had promised there would be no leaks from his jury, whose members included Ducournau and actors Paul Dano (“The Fabelmans”) and Brie Larson (“Captain Marvel”).
This year’s festival was one of the biggest in years in terms of pure celebrity power, with Hollywood legends Harrison Ford, Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Isabella Rossellini and Sean Penn all hitting the red carpet.
There also was record attendance at its film market – a sales, distribution and financing event running in parallel with the competition, that counts as the world’s largest forum for buying and selling movie rights.
More than 14,000 participants from over 120 countries crowded the film market this year, surpassing 2019’s previous peak of 12,500.
(Reporting by Miranda Murray; Editing by Jan Harvey and Chizu Nomiyama)
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