French filmmaker tops Cannes Films Festival with Titane

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French filmmaker Julia Ducournau took home the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival for her film Titane on Saturday.

Ducournau was awarded the Palme d’Or, the festival’s highest honor, for the film that follows a woman who survives a car crash and goes on to become a serial killer, becoming just the second female director to claim the prize.

In her acceptance speech, Ducournau recalled watching the Cannes awards as a child.

“At that time, I was sure that all the films awarded must have been perfect because they were on the stage. And tonight, I’m on the same stage, but I know my film is not perfect — but I think no film is perfect in the eyes of the person who made it. You could even say mine is monstrous.”

Spike Lee, president of the awards show’s jury, accidentally announced Ducournau’s victory at the beginning of the show, instead of at the end when the Palme d’Or is traditionally awarded, after a miscommunication.

The jury, which also consisted of directors Mati Diop, Kleber Mendonca Filho, Jessica Hausner, actors Maggie Gyllenhaal, Melanie Laurent, Tahar Rahim, Song Kang-ho and singer-songwriter Mylen Farmer delivered additional surprises including two ties.

The Grand Prix — the second-highest honor after the Palme d’Or — was awarded to both Asghar Farhadi’s A Hero and Juho Kuosmanen’s Compartment No. 6, while special jury prizes were given to Nadav Lapid’s Ahed’s Knee and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Memoria.

Caleb Landry Jones was awarded best actor for his performance in Nitram, while Renate Reinsve was named best actress for her role in The Worst Person in the World.

Leos Carax nabbed best director for the film Annette and director Ryusuke Hamaguchi won best screenplay for his adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s Drive My Car.

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