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Romanian Film Wins Cannes Palme D'Or

Christian Mungiu with Jury President Stephen FrearsChristian Mungiu with Jury President Stephen Frears

Sunday, May 27-------The Romanian film 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS by director Cristian Mungiu (whose celebrated debut film THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU was cited by US film critics as one of the best of last year) has won the prestigious Palme D'Or at the 60th Cannes Film Festival. The film, which was picked up for US distribution by IFC First Take, is the first film from Romania so honored. The prizes in all categories were presented prior to the Closing Night screening of the Quebec film L'AGE DES TENEBRES by Festival favorite Denys Arcand.

PARANOID PARKPARANOID PARKA special Prize commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Festival was awarded to American director Gus Van Sant, for his effecting youth drama PARANOID PARK (which was just picked up for US distribution by IFC Films). In addition, the Jury selected the Japanese film THE MOURNIING FOREST (Morgari No Mori) as the Grand Jury Prize.  The Camera d'Or, given to the best first feature, was presented to Israeli directors Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen for their film MEDUZOT (Jellyfish). The film also won the SACD Prize in the International Critics Week section of the Festival, which is devoted to first or second works from international directors.

Julian SchnabelJulian SchnabelA surprise, but satisfying choice as Best Director was painter-turned-director Julian Schnabel, who won for his adaptation of the autobiography of a paralyzed French journalist, THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY.  Films that earlier in the Festival seemed likely to win awards, but came away emptyhanded, included Wong Kar Wai's opener MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS, the Coen Brothers' NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, Korean director Kim Di-Duk's BREATH, Austrian director Ulrich Siedel's IMPORT EXPORT, Festival favorite Emir Kusturica's PROMISE ME THIS and Quentin Tarantino's DEATH PROOF (his contribution to the doubled-billed GRINDHOUSE). 

The International Jury, presided over by director Stephen Frears, also included actresses Maggie CheungToni Collette, Maria de Medeiros, and Sarah Polley, Italian director Marco Bellocchio, Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk, French actor Michel Piccoli, and African director Abderramane Sissako.


  • Palme d'Or: "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," Cristian Mungiu (Romania)
  • Grand Prix: "The Mourning Forest" (Mogari No Mori), directed by Naomi Kawase (Japan) 
  • Best Director): Julian Schnabel for "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (USA/France)
  • Prix du 60th Anniversaire: Gus Van Sant, director of "Paranoid Park" (USA/France) 
  • Best Screenplay Award: Fatih Akin for "The Edge of Heaven" (Germany)
  • Camera d'Or (Best First Feature): "Meduzot" (Jellyfish), Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen (Israel) 
  • Camera d'Or Special Mention: "Control," Anton Corbijn (Hungary) Jury Prize (tie): "Persepolis," directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud; and "Stellet Licht," directed by Carlos Reygadas 
  • Best Actress: Jeon Do-yeon for "Secret Sunshine" (Korea) 
  • Best Actor: Constantine Lavronenko for "Izgnanie" (Russia)

Sandy Mandelberger, Awards Watch Editor

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