British director Ken Loach wins his second Palme d’Or at Cannes
23rd May, 2016
British director Ken Loach was yesterday awarded the second
Palme d’Or of his career – the much-coveted top prize at the Cannes Film
The Cannes Film Festival is perhaps one of the world’s most
important festivals, attracting a wealth of stars and showcasing a number of
major and independent films from around the world, both in and out of
competition, with many making their premiere here.
After winning his first Palme d’Or (best picture award) in
2006 for The Wind That Shakes The Barley, Loach enjoyed another victory this
year with his newest picture I, Daniel Blake. The film centres on a middle-aged
widower and his relationship with the UK welfare system after suffering from a
heart attack. It stars stand-up comedian Dave Johns in the title role, in what
is his first film role. Written by long-time collaborator Paul Laverty, the
film was shot by Irish cinematographer Robbie Ryan, who also shot the film
winning the Jury Prize, American Honey.
Upon receiving his award from actor Mel Gibson, Loach, who
previously directed films such as Kes, said about his film: “We must give a
message of hope, we must say another world is possible.” In a press conference
after the ceremony, he told journalists he was “quietly stunned” to win the
award, working with largely the same team he worked with on his first win in
The actors’ depictions of the characters were praised by the
judges, who said the characters “find
themselves in no-man's land, caught on the barbed wire of welfare bureaucracy
as played out against the rhetoric of 'striver and skiver' in modern day
Britain". Among the other directors in contention for the award were Paul
Verhoeven, Sean Penn and Spanish Oscar-winner Pedro Almodovar.
There was also another
British success story with the competition’s Jury Prize for Kent-born director
Andrea Arnold and her film American Honey. Starring Shia LaBeouf, the film
follows a group of youths who travel through the US states selling magazine
subscriptions and hard luck stories. Among the jury who helped to decide on the
winner was Kirsten Dunst, Vanessa Paradis, Mads Mikkelsen, Donald Sutherland
and George Miller, who was the jury’s president.
One film also picked
up two awards on the night: Forushande (The Salesman), an Iranian film by
Asghar Farhadi. It picked up the best screenplay award as well as the best
actor award, won by Shahab Hosseini. Philippine soap star Jaclyn Jose also made
history as the first Philippine to win an acting award at Cannes, winning the
best actress award for her role in Ma’ Rosa by Brillante Mendoza. Another prestigious
prize, the Grand Prix, was awarded to Juste la Fin du Monde (It’s Just the End
of the World), by Canadian director Xavier Dolan.
Commenting on the
success of I, Daniel Blake and American Honey, Ben Roberts, director of the BFI
Film Fund, said: "What a moment for British cinema, and for two important
and humane films with so much to say.
"Bravo to Ken and
to Andrea and their collaborators - including the unstoppable Robbie Ryan who
shot both films."
If you’re looking to
enjoy the glitz and glamour of this French Riviera city, or book ahead for next
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