The Palme d’Or goes to I, Daniel Blake

This evening, 79-year-old British filmmaker Ken Loach gained legendary status at the Cannes Film Festival by winning the second Palme d’Or of his career with the moving and cutting I, Daniel Blake. Having already won in 2006 with The Wind That Shakes the Barley, Loach has now become the eighth filmmaker to win two Palme d’Ors, joining the likes of Francis Ford Coppola, Michael Haneke, Shohei Imamura, Bille August, Emir Kusturica, and brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.

European cinema also held its own very well on the winners’ list of the 69th edition, with the Best Director Award going ex-aequo to Personal Shopper by French director Olivier Assayas and Graduation by Romania’s Cristian Mungiu, and the Jury Prize (the third in her career on the Croisette) being pocketed by British director Andrea Arnold with the vibrant American Honey.

Following a very stiff competition this year by all accounts, the jury chaired by Australian filmmaker George Miller awarded the Grand Prix to one of the films that most dramatically divided the critics, It’s Only the End of the World by Canada’s Xavier Dolan, overlooking the press’ clear favourite, Toni Erdmann by German director Maren Ade.

Asia was also in the limelight on the winners’ list, with the Best Actress Award snagged by Jaclyn Jose for Ma’ Rosa by Filipino director Brillante Mendoza and with the two prizes garnered by the extremely understated The Salesman by Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi: the Best Actor Award for Shahab Hosseni and the Best Screenplay Award for the director himself.

Lastly, the future of the seventh art in Europe is looking rosy, as the Caméra d’Or was handed to the magnificent Divines by French director Houda Benyamina (presented in the Directors’ Fortnight), and the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film went to Timecode by Spaniard Juanjo Giménez.

Here is the complete list of winners:

Palme d’Or
I, Daniel Blake  – Ken Loach

Grand Prix
It’s Only the End of the World  – Xavier Dolan

Best Director
Cristian Mungiu – Graduation, Olivier Assayas – Personal Shopper

Best Actress
Jaclyn Jose – Ma’ Rosa

Best Actor
Shahab Hosseini – The Salesman

Best Screenplay
Asghar Farhadi – The Salesman

Jury Prize
American Honey  – Andrea Arnold

Caméra d’Or
Divines  – Houda Benyamina

Palme d’Or for Best Short Film
Timecode – Juanjo Giménez
Special Mention
A moça que dançou com o diabo – João Paulo Miranda Maria