Cannes’ Un Certain Regard Prizes Led By ‘The Invisible Life Of Euridice Gusmao’; ‘Beanpole’s Kantemir Balagov Named Best Director

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The Cannes Film Festival’s companion competition section, Un Certain Regard, unveiled its winners Friday night with the top prize going to tropical melodrama The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao from director Karim Ainouz.

Set in 1950 Rio de Janeiro, it centers on inseparable sisters Euridice and Guida who each have a dream: becoming a renowned pianist, or finding true love. Separated, they take control of their destiny, while never giving up on their hope of being reunited.

The Best Director Prize went to Kantemir Balagov for Beanpole which follows two young women as they search for meaning and hope in the struggle to rebuild their lives among the post-siege ruins of World War II-devastated Leningrad. Balagov previously won a FIPRESCI Prize with 2017’s Closeness.

The Jury Prize was awarded to Fire Will Come by Oliver Laxe. The Spanish film is about a man who is released from prison after a sentence for having provoked a fire. He returns to his small Galicia village where life goes on calmly until the night when a fire devastates the region.

Chiara Mastroianni took Best Performance for her role in Christophe Honoré’s On A Magical Night as a woman who decides to leave her husband after 20 years. She moves into room 212 at the hotel across the street, with a bird’s-eye view of her apartment, her husband and the life she shared with him.

Also picking up nods were Liberté by Albert Serra for the Special Jury Prize while the presiding panel gave its love for particular favorites to A Brother’s Love by Monia Chokri and The Climb from Michael Angelo Covino. Special Mention went to Bruno Dumont’s Joan Of Arc.

Bicycling buddy comedy The Climb on Friday scored a deal from Sony Pictures Classics meaning it will get a U.S. release down the road.

The Un Certain Regard jury, led by Oscar-nominated director Nadine Labaki (whose Capernaum has now crossed an incredible $50M in China), said it “would like to express the great pleasure we had diving into the diversity of this selection. This on many levels: on the subjects, on the way cinematic tools were used and on the portayal of its characters. It was very stimulating to have seen, side by side, filmmakers that master their language so well and others still finding their way to mastery. It was a nice surprise to see 9 first features in the Un Certain Regard Official Selection. We were honored to be transported into all these different universes. World cinema remains very much alive and in good shape!”

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