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  • Asians win Top Prizes at 68th Cannes Film Festival

    Asian directors and actors shone at the 68th Cannes Film Festival. Masaan won two top prizes, while a story about Sri Lankan refugees bagged the Palme d’Or.

    Asian directors and actors shone at the 68th Cannes Film Festival. Masaan won two top prizes, while a story about Sri Lankan refugees bagged the Palme d’Or.

    “It's seamless to watch three strangers forced to travel to a foreign land and learn to love each other.”

    The 68th Cannes Film Festival was a double victory for Asians as they took away film prizes and rocked the red carpet.

    While Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Vicky Kaushal showcased the best of Desi fashion, Asian filmmakers and actors were recognised for their artistry.

    First-time director Neeraj Ghaywan won the Joint Promising Future Prize for Masaan (2015). He is reportedly the first Indian director to bag the award.

    Masaan also won the FIPRESCI award given by the International Federation Of Film Critics, which was announced at Cannes.

    Neeraj, who received a standing ovation, was absolutely ecstatic to achieve this for himself and India:

    Dheepan (2015), a story that centres around a Sri Lankan refugee in France, scored the highest honour at Cannes.

    Starring Sri Lankan novelist and former child soldier, Jesuthasan Antonythasan, and theatre actress, Kalieaswari Srinivasan, Dheepan was awarded the Palme d’Or.

    The film is directed by Jacques Audiard, nicknamed the ‘French Martin Scorsese’. He thanked Michael Haneke ‘for not making a film this year’, as he previously lost the top prize twice to Michael.

    Chauthi Koot (2015) also joined the cut-throat competition. Though it did not walk away with any sparkly trophies, it is not every day that a Punjabi film is presented for an international jury.

    Asian directors and actors shone at the 68th Cannes Film Festival. Masaan won two top prizes, while a story about Sri Lankan refugees bagged the Palme d’Or.Asif Kapadia’s documentary about the late British singer Amy Winehouse was shown at a midnight screening session.

    But his attempt to depict the talented and controversial singer in AMY (2015) sparked an off-screen battle with her family.

    Speaking on behalf of the family, a spokesperson criticised the film as ‘a missed opportunity to celebrate her life and talent and that it is both misleading and contains some basic untruths’.

    In defence of his approach and research, Asif said: “The film had to be honest to her. And that’s what we’ve tried to do.

    “It wasn’t the intention to upset anyone, but just to show what was going on in her life.”

    Check out what the critics have to say about these remarkable films:

    DHEEPAN

    Director ~ Jacques Audiard
    Cast ~ Jesuthasan Antonythasan, Kalieaswari Srinivasan, Claudine Vinasithamby, Vincent Rottiers

    Jake Gyllenhaal (juror): “The idea that runs through was pretty invigorating for me. Over the course of two hours, it’s relatively seamless to watch three strangers forced to travel to a foreign land and learn to love each other.”

    MASAAN

    Director ~ Neeraj Ghaywan
    Cast ~ Vicky Kaushal, Richa Chadda, Sanjay Mishra, Shweta Tripathi

    The Hollywood Reporter: “Putting aside those exhilarating excesses, Varun Grover’s screenplay more modestly frames the rebellion of India’s Internet generation in a classically poignant drama of star-crossed love.”

    CHAUTHI KOOT

    Director ~ Gurvinder Singh
    Cast ~ Suvinder Vikky, Rajbir Kaur, Gurpreet Kaur Bhangu, Taranjit Singh

    The New York Times: “Mr. Singh’s work is very much within a distinct art-film idiom. His mentor was the Indian filmmaker Mani Kaul, whose films are, in the United States…best known in the academic, festival and museum worlds.”

    AMY

    Director ~ Asif Kapadia
    Cast ~ Amy Winehouse

    The Guardian: “It is an overwhelming story, and despite everyone knowing the ending, it is as gripping as a thriller: Kapadia has fashioned and shaped it with masterly flair.”

    Here is the full list of winners at the 68th Cannes Film Festival:

    FEATURE FILMS IN COMPETITION

    Palme d’Or
    Dheepan by Jacques Audiard

    Grand Prix
    Saul Fia (Son Of Saul) by László Nemes

    Best Director
    Hou Hsiao-Hsien for Nie Yinniang (The Assassin)

    Jury Prize
    The Lobster by Yorgos Lanthimos

    Best Actress
    Rooney Mara in Carol by Todd Haynes
    Emmanuelle Bercot in Mon Roi by Maïwenn

    Best Actor
    Vincent Lindon in La Loi Du Marché (A Simple Man) by Stéphane Brizé

    Best Screenplay
    Chronic by Michel Franco

    SHORT FILMS IN COMPETITION

    Palme d’Or
    Waves ’98 by Ely Dagher

    IN COMPETITION FOR UN CERTAIN REGARD

    Un Certain Regard
    Hrútar (Rams) by Grímur Hákonarson

    Jury Prize
    Zvizdan (The High Sun) by Dalibor Matani?

    Best Director
    Kiyoshi Kurosawa for Kishibe No Tabi (Journey To The Shore)

    Un Certain Talent Prize
    Comoara (The Treasure) by Corneliu Porumboiu

    Joint Promising Future Prize
    Masaan by Neeraj Ghaywan
    Nahid by Ida Panahandeh

    Caméra d’Or
    La Tierra Y La Sombra (Land And Shade) by César Augusto Acevedo

    CINÉFONDATION

    First Prize
    Share by Pippa Bianco
    AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women, USA

    Second Prize
    Locas Perdidas (Lost Queens) by Ignacio Juricic Merillán
    Carrera de Cine y TV Universidad de Chile, Chile

    Joint Third Prize
    The Return Of Erkin by Maria Guskova
    High Courses for Scriptwriters and Film Directors, Russia

    Joint Third Prize
    Victor XX by Ian Garrido López
    ESCAC, Spain

    VULCAN AWARD OF THE TECHNICAL ARTIST
    Tamas Zanyi (sound engineer) for Saul Fia (Son of Saul) by László Nemes

    DESIblitz congratulates all the winners and excitedly anticipates more Asian representation in international cinema for Cannes 2016!

    Scarlett is an avid writer and pianist. Originally from Hong Kong, egg tart is her cure for homesickness. She loves music and film, enjoys travelling and watching sports. Her motto is “Take a leap, chase your dream, eat more cream.”

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