Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda won the Palme d'Or at the 71st Cannes Film Festival for his film Shoplifters, marking just the second time this century an Asian film has claimed the festival's top prize after Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives in 2010.
A moving portrait of a self-made family whose secret ultimately jeopardises their ability to stay together, the widely praised drama represents Hore-eda's fifth time in competition, making him one of the few veterans in a lineup weighted toward less established directors.
American director Spike Lee won the Grand Prix for his blaxploitation-styled anti-racism satire BlacKkKlansman, one of just two American films in the official competition. The other, David Robert Mitchell's poorly received Under the Silver Lake, went home empty-handed.
After accepting the prize "on behalf of the People's Republic of Brooklyn, New York," Lee told the press, "Cannes was the perfect launchpad for this film. I hope the film can globally get us out of our mental slumber, and start to get back to truth, goodness, love and not hate."
Lebanese director Nadine Labaki earned the Jury Prize for her film Capernaum, a wrenching neorealist portrait of a Beirut street urchin who sues his parents for bringing him into the world. She accepted the award on-stage with child actor Zain Al Rafeea, one of many young performers responsible for carrying films in this year's festival Palme d'Or winner "Shoplifters" also hinges on a pair of child performances.
Best actor honours went to Dogman actor Marcello Fonte, who plays a shrimpy small-town dog washer bullied to the point of breaking by a local thug. Considering the sheer number of strong female performances at this year's festival, many were surprised to see best actress awarded to Ayka star Samal Yeslyamova, whose character -- an illegal alien who abandons her newborn baby in sub-zero Moscow -- certainly endures the most on-screen hardship.
Jury president Cate Blanchett announced an exceptional Special Palme d'Or to Jean-Luc Godard, who has not attended Cannes since 2004 and was therefore not present, The Image Book producers Mitra Farahani and Fabrice Aragno accepted on his behalf.
On-stage, Blanchett described Godard as "a cinematic artist who is continually striving to define and re-define what cinema can be," later elaborating his film "lingered with us, confused, confounded, provoked, angered, excited us [and ultimately] influenced our perspective on the rest of the festival."
Best director honours went to Ida helmer Pawel Pawlikowski for Cold War, a black-and-white relationship drama set against the backdrop of the Iron Curtain. The best screenplay prize was shared by Italian writer-director Alice Rohrwacher for Happy as Lazzaro and Iranian collaborators Jafar Panahi and Nader Saeivar for their film 3 Faces. The jury also went out of its way to acknowledge two filmmakers, Panahi and Leto director Kirill Serebrennikov, who were unable to attend the festival on account of legal woes in their home countries.
From the post-awards interview, it was clear that BlacKkKlansman was a close contender for the top prize. "Spike Lee has made a film about a quintessentially American crisis, but we all on the jury connected to it," said Blanchett, while DuVernay enthused, "As a person who has imbibed every Spike Lee film, this had an exuberance to it that wowed me, but I went into the jury room to listen to others. I learned so much from all these folks."
Palme d'Or: "Shoplifters," Hirokazu Kore-eda
Grand Prix: "BlacKkKlansman," Spike Lee
Director: Pawel Pawlikowski, "Cold War"
Actor: Marcello Fonte, "Dogman"
Actress: Samal Yeslyamova, "Ayka"
Jury Prize: Nadine Labaki, "Capernaum"
Screenplay -- TIE: Alice Rohrwacher, "Happy as Lazzaro" AND Jafar Panahi, Nader Saeivar, "3 Faces"
Special Palme d'Or: Jean-Luc Godard
Camera d'Or: "Girl," Lukas Dhont
Short Films Palme d'Or: "All These Creatures," Charles Williams
Short Films Special Mention: "On the Border," Shujun Wei
Golden Eye Documentary Prize: TBA
Ecumenical Jury Prize: "Capernaum," Nadine Labaki
Ecumenical Jury Special Mention: "BlacKkKlansman," Spike Lee
Queer Palm: "Girl," Lukas Dhont
UN CERTAIN REGARD
Un Certain Regard Award: Ali Abbasi, "Border"
Best Director: Sergei Loznitsa, "Donbass"
Best Performance: Victor Polster, "Girl"
Best Screenplay: Meryem Benm'Barek, "Sofia"
Special Jury Prize: Joao Salaviza & Renee Nader Messora, "The Dead and the Others"
DIRECTORS' FORTNIGHT Art Cinema Award: "Climax" (Gaspar Noe)
Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Prize: "The Trouble With You" (Pierre Salvadori)
Europa Cinemas Label: "Lucia's Grace (Gianni Zanasi)
Illy Short Film Award: "Skip Day" (Patrick Bresnan, Ivete Lucas)
CRITICS' WEEK Grand Prize: "Diamantino" (Gabriel Abrantes, Daniel Schmidt)
Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Prize: "Woman at War" (Benedikt Erlingsson)
GAN Foundation Award for Distribution: "Sir"
Louis Roederer Foundation Rising Star Award: Felix Maritaud, "Sauvage."
Short Film: "Hector Malot - The Last Day Of The Year" (Jacqueline Lentzou)
FIPRESCI Competition: "Burning," (Lee Chang-dong)
Un Certain Regard: "Girl," (Lukas Dhont)
Directors' Fortnight/Critics' Week: "One Day" (Zsofa Szilagyi)
CINEFONDATION First Prize: "The Summer of the Electric Lion," Diego Cespedes
Second Prize -- TIE: "Calendar," Igor Poplauhin AND "The Storms in Our Blood," Shen Di
Third Prize: "Inanimate," Lucia Bulgheroni