Thu. Oct 22nd, 2020

2019 Cannes Film Festival Awards: Bong Joon-Ho’s ‘Parasite’ wins Palme d’Or

Director Bong Joon-ho accepts the Palme d’Or for Parasite at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival

Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite (South Korea), a piercing social class commentary, has won the 2019 Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or. Jury president Alejandro González Iñárritu called the film “funny, humorous, tender” and announced it was reached in a unanimous decision at the closing ceremony of the 72nd festival today. Joon-Ho is the first Korean director to win the festival’s top prize. The film will be distributed in the US by Neon.

Review: Joon-ho Bong delivers the best film of the Cannes Film Festival so far

Joon-ho succeeds last year’s winner, Shoplifters from Hirokazu Kore-eda, the Japanese film about the breakdown of families and class. The Dardenne brothers triumphed once again, this time at Best Director(s). The brothers are Cannes favorites with two Palme wins (Rosetta and The Son), a Screenplay win (The Silence of Lorna), a Grand Prize win (The Kid with a Bike) and two Ecumenical prizes (The Son; Two Days, One Night). Quentin Tarantino, who won the Palme in 1994 for Pulp Fiction, was invited to the closing ceremony but went home empty-handed (well, except for the Palm Dog). His Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood will be released by Sony/Columbia on July 26th.

Of the four women in competition this year, only two won prizes but once again were kept just underneath the Chopard crystal glass ceiling. Mati Diop, in her debut feature, came close, with a Grand Prize win for Atlantique. She was the first black woman to have a film the main Competition of the festival in its 72 years. She also became the first black female winner of the festival’s Grand Prize. The film is currently without US release. Celine Sciamma won the Screenplay prize for the huge critical favorite Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which also won the the Queer Palm. The film was purchased for US release by Neon.

The actor and actress prizes went to Antonio Banderas for Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory and Emily Beecham for Jessica Hausner’s Little Joe, respectively. Banderas dedicated his award to Almodóvar saying, “People think we live in a red carpet, but it’s not true. We suffer a lot, we sacrifice, and there is a lot of pain behind an actor of any kind. But there is also glory, and this is my night of glory,” before promising, “The best is still to come.”

First-time filmmaker Ladj Ly (Les Misérables) shared the Jury Prize with Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles (Bacurau). Les Misérables was bought by Amazon Studios for $1.5M. Keep an eye out for our interview with Ly next week.

The president of the jury for 72nd Cannes Film Festival is Alejandro González Iñárritu. The competition jury is comprised of Enki Bilal, French author, artist and filmmaker; Robin Campillo, French filmmaker; Maimouna N’Diaye, Senegalese actress and filmmaker; Elle Fanning, American actress; Yorgos Lanthimos, Greek filmmaker; Paweł Pawlikowski, Polish filmmaker; Kelly Reichardt, American filmmaker and Alice Rohrwacher, Italian filmmaker.

The Closing Ceremony was hosted once again by Édouard Baer. Here is the full list of winners.


Palme d’Or: “Parasite,” Bong Joon-ho

Grand Prix: “Atlantics,” Mati Diop

Director: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, “Young Ahmed”

Actor: Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”

Actress: Emily Beecham, “Little Joe”

Jury Prize — TIE: “Les Misérables,” Ladj Ly; “Bacurau,” Kleber Mendonça Filho

Screenplay: Céline Sciamma, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”

Special Mention: Elia Suleiman, “It Must Be Heaven”


Camera d’Or: “Our Mothers,” Cesar Diaz

Short Films Palme d’Or: “The Distance Between the Sky and Us,” Vasilis Kekatos

Short Films Special Mention: “Monster God,” Agustina San Martin

Golden Eye Documentary Prize: “For Sama”

Ecumenical Jury Prize: “Hidden Life,” Terrence Malick

Queer Palm: “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,”  Céline Sciamma


Un Certain Regard Award: “The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão,” Karim Aïnouz

Jury Prize: “Fire Will Come,” Oliver Laxe

Best Director: Kantemir Balagov, “Beanpole”

Best Performance: Chiara Mastroianni, “On a Magical Night”

Best Screenplay: Meryem Benm’Barek, “Sofia”

Special Jury Prize: Albert Serra, “Liberté”

Special Jury Mention “Joan of Arc,” Bruno Dumont

Coup de Coeur Award: “A Brother’s Love,” Monia Chokri; “The Climb,” Michael Angelo Covino


Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Prize: “An Easy Girl,” Rebecca Zlotowski

Europa Cinemas Label: “Alice and the Mayor,” Nicolas Parisier

Illy Short Film Award: “Skip Day” (Patrick Bresnan, Ivete Lucas)


Nespresso Grand Prize: “I Lost My Body,” Jérémy Clapin

Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Prize: César Díaz, “Our Mothers”

GAN Foundation Award for Distribution: The Jokers Films, French distributor for “Vivarium” by Lorcan Finnegan

Louis Roederer Foundation Rising Star Award: Ingvar E. Sigurðsson, “A White, White Day”

Leitz Cine Discovery Prize for Short Film: “She Runs,” Qiu Yang

Canal Plus Award for Short Film: “Ikki Illa Meint,” Andrias Høgenni


Competition: “It Must Be Heaven” (Elia Suleiman)

Un Certain Regard: “Beanpole” (Kantemir Balagov)

Directors’ Fortnight/Critics’ Week: “The Lighthouse” (Robert Eggers)


First Prize: “Mano a Mano,” Louise Courvoisier

Second Prize: “Hiéu,” Richard Van

Third Prize — TIE: “Ambience,” Wisam Al Jafari; “Duszyczka” (The Little Soul), Barbara Rupik


Brandy, “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” (Quentin Tarantino)

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