Cannes Film Festival Award Winners 2007
by Alex Billington
May 27, 2007
The Cannes Film Festival happening over in France is just about wrapping up and the awards have been announced. In its 60th year, the Cannes Film Fest is the "granddaddy of all film festivals" and tends to debut a number of internationally recognized independent films. Although I can't speak much for this year's selection since I wasn't in attendance, we'll take a quick look at the winners which I'm sure will be making an impact when they finally make their way across the ocean to America.
Palme d'Or (Golden Palm):
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days directed by Cristian Mungiu
A low-budget, naturalistic film about a student who goes through horrors to ensure that her friend can have a secret, illegal abortion in Communist-era Romania.
Special 60th Anniversary Award:
Gus Van Sant for Paranoid Park
Focuses on a teenage skateboarder whose life turns upside down when he accidentally kills a security guard.
Naomi Kawase for The Mourning Forest
A film about two people - a retirement home resident and a caretaker at the center - struggling to overcome loss.
Julian Schnabel for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
American filmmaker Schnabel directed this French-language film based on a memoir by a French magazine editor who became paralyzed after a stroke and learned to write again by blinking his eyelid into a sensor.
Fatih Akin for The Edge of Heaven
Written and directed by Akin, the film is a German-Turkish cross-cultural tale of loss, mourning and forgiveness.
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
A moving and funny adaptation of Satrapi's graphic novel about growing up during and after Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Silent Light by Carlos Reygadas
A tale of forbidden love set among Mennonite farmers of northern Mexico.
Camera d'Or (First-Time Filmmakers):
Meduzot (Jellyfish) by Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen
An Israeli ensemble dramatic comedy with themes including the need for affection and the struggle to communicate.
Best Leading Actor:
Konstantin Lavronenko in The Banishment
Lavronenko plays a troubled husband in a Russian drama about a couple whose marriage disintegrates during a stay in the country.
Best Leading Actress:
Jeon Do-yeon in Secret Sunshine
Do-yeon plays a widow struggling to cope with her husband's death.
I know I'm personally looking forward to seeing a few of these, as I'm sure they're some of the finest films we'll see all year. For those of you who enjoy all the independent and film festival coverage, stay tuned after the summer when the season picks up again at the Toronto and Telluride film festivals.