Ken Loach wins second Palme D’or at Cannes 2016 for “I, Daniel Blake”

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The jury of the 69th Festival de Cannes presided over by Australian director George Miller announced the names of the 2016 prize-winners during the Awards Ceremony, this Sunday.

‘I, Daniel Blake‘ by British veteran film director Ken Loach, took the second Palme d’Or in the 69 Cannes Film Festival closing ceremony.

Loach, 79, previously won in 2006 for “The Wind That Shakes the Barley”. Only nine directors have won the award twice at Cannes, which include the Dardenne brothers, who had “La Fille Inconnue” film in competition this year.

The political drama “I Daniel Blake”, exposes the bureaucracy of Britain’s healthcare system that can drive a joiner and a single mother of two, into poverty.

The film tells the story of Daniel Blake, 59, that has worked as a carpenter most of his life in Newcastle. After a heart attack and nearly falling from a scaffold, he needs help from the State for the first time in his life. He crosses paths with a single mother Katie and her two young children, Daisy and Dylan. Katie’s only chance to escape a one-roomed homeless hostel in London has been to accept a flat in a city she doesn’t know some 300 miles away.

British director receives the award, handed out by actor and director Mel Gibson. Loach thanked the jury and the festival in French saying ”Thanks also to the workers of the Cannes Festival who make this event possible”. Switching to English, he adds “We live in a period of austerity driven by ideas that risk to bring us to catastrophe… Film has many traditions and one of them is to present protest against those more powerful and mighty… We must give a message of hope and say that another world is possible and necessary.”

The Grand Prix winner went to Quebec’s 27-year-old director Xavier Dolan for “Juste la fin du monde / It’s only the end of the world” based on a play by Jean-Luc Lagarce about a man who returns home after a long absence, only to tell his family that he is about to die. “Juste la fin du monde” also won the prize of Ecumenical Jury on Saturday, for its “human qualities that deal with the spiritual dimension.” 

This year Best Director Prize was shared with Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu for “Bacalaureat / Graduation” and French director Olivier Assayas, for “Personal Shopper”. Mungiu, who won the Palme d’Or in 2007, receives recognition for “Graduation” about a father’s dilemma of what to tell his daughter about a corrupt world. Assayas’s psychological thriller “Personal Shopper”,  starring Kristen Stewart, plays the titular personal shopper who communicates with spirits.

‘The Salesman’ by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi receives two prizes: for screenplay and lead actor Shahab Hosseini.

Best Actress went to Filipino Jaclyn Jose for her role in “Ma’Rosa”. It’s the first for the country. Jose shared her victory with director Mendoza and costar, daughter Andi Eigenmann, who both went up the stage with her.

The jury prize was given to ‘American Honey‘ by Andrea Arnold. This is the director’s third time winning the Jury prize, after “Fish Tank” and “Red Road”.

Presented during The Directors’ Fortnight, first time director Uda Benyamina wins the Camera d’Or prize, which was probably the longest acceptance speech at Cannes for her film “Divines”.

Here is the complete list of winners:

Palme d’Or: “I, Daniel Blake” (Ken Loach, U.K.)

Grand Prix: “It’s Only the End of the World” (Xavier Dolan, Canada-France)

Jury Prize: Andrea Arnold, “American Honey” (U.K.-U.S.)

Best Director (tie): Cristian Mungiu, “Graduation” (Romania) and Olivier Assayas, “Personal Shopper” (France),

Best Screenplay: Asghar Farhadi, “The Salesman” (Iran)

Best Actress: Jaclyn Jose, “Ma ‘Rosa” (Philippines)

Best Actor: Shahab Hosseini, “The Salesman” (Iran)

Camera d’Or: “Divines” (Houda Benyamina, France-Qatar)

Palme d’Honneur: Jean-Pierre Léaud

Short Films Palme d’Or: “Timecode” (Juanjo Jimenez, Spain)

Special Distinction – Short Films Palme d’Or: “The Girl Who Danced With the Devil” (Joao Paulo Miranda Maria, Brazil)

Un Certain Regard Prize: “The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki” (Juho Kuosmanen, Finland)

Jury prize: “Harmonium” (Koji Fukada, Japan)

Director: Matt Ross, “Captain Fantastic” (United States)

Screenplay: Delphine and Muriel Coulin, “The Stopover” (France)

Special Jury Prize: Michael Dudok de Wit, “The Red Turtle” (France-Japan)

— by Lia Fietz

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