British directors among Cannes winners as French thriller takes top prize

Two British directors are among the winners at this year’s star-studded Cannes Film Festival, winning the second prize in the main competition and the main prize in the second competition.

Molly Manning Walker’s How To Have Sex won the Un Certain Regard strand of the CAnnes Film Festival

Jonathan Glazer took the runner-up Grand Prix for The Zone of Interest, about a family living next door to Auschwitz, based on the novel of the same name, by Martin Amis, who died on the very day, last week, that the film premiered on the Croisette.

The Un Certain Regard strand of more arthouse features was won by the BFI-backed How To Have Sex, from first-time director Molly Manning Walker.

The top award of the festival, the Palme d’Or, went to the French director Justine Triet, for her thriller Anatomy of a Fall, about a writer, accused of murdering her husband. Triet used her acceptance speech to criticise the way the President Macron’s government has dealt with protests against his plans to increase the age at which the French will qualify for pensions.

Last year’s Palme d’Or winner, Sweden’s Ruben Östlund, chaired the jury that selected the winners from the Official competition. Their third prize went to the Finnish veteran, Aki Kaurismaki, for Fallen Leaves. They also named the Vietnamese-French director Tran Anh Hùng as the best director for the 19th century love story, Pot-au-Feu. Japan’s Yuji Sakamoto won the best screenplay award for Monster, Merve Disdar was named the best actress for About Dry Grasses, while the best actor prize went to Kōji Yakusho for Wim Wenders’ Perfect Days.

This year’s event saw some of the higher profile premieres than recent years, with Harrison Ford receiving an honorary Palme d’Or ahead of the first public screening of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, while Robert De Niro and Leonardo Di Caprio were there to promote Martin Scorsese’s 3 and a half hour long epic, Killers of the Flower Moon.