French first-timers win top prize in Cannes’ arthouse Un Certain Regard strand

A French film about a group of film-makers, The Worst Ones, has picked up the top prize in the Un Certain Regard strand at Cannes, which generally features more arthouse features.

The Worst Ones was the surprise winner of the best film in the Un Certain Regard strand

It’s directed by Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret, a pair of French women, both making their first feature – one of four debuts to be honoured by the jury.

The runner-up Jury Prize went to the Pakistani film Joyland, Said Sadiq’s drama about a relationship between a married man and a transgender dancer.

Perhaps the highest profile winner was Vicky Krieps – best known internationally for her leading role in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread – who was shared the Best Actor prize, for Corsage, with Harka star Adam Bessa.

The prize for the best director went to the Romanian, Alexandru Belc, for the political drama Metronom.

The best screenplay prize went to the Israeli Arab Maha Haj, for her film Mediterranean Fever, which examines Palestinian-Israeli tensions in the city of Haifa.

And another French director, Lola Quivoron, was awarded the “Coup de Coeur” prize for Rodeo, about a young woman who joins a motorcycle gang.

The Italian actress Valeria Golino, who chaired the jury, said they wanted to see more work from all of the winners, without explaining their choices. “We could give you specifics,” she said, before concluding, “The films speak for themselves, and we don’t want to diminish them by giving reasons.

A day before the main competition prizes – including the Palme d’Or for best film – are handed out, here is the full list of Un Certain Regard winners:

Un Certain Regard Prize
directed by Lise Akoka & Romane Gueret

Jury Prize
directed by Saim Sadiq

Best Director Prize
Alexandru Belc for METRONOM

Best Actor Prize (jointly awarded)
Vicky Krieps in CORSAGE
Adam Bessa in HARKA

Best Screenplay Prize
directed by Maha Haj

« Coup de cœur » Prize
directed by Lola Quivoron