White God FEHÉR ISTEN Cannes 2014

'Party Girl,' 'Charlie's Country' win acting prizes in festival sidebar

CANNES — “White God,” Hungarian helmer Kornel Mundruczo’s audacious drama about how a young girl’s separation from her dog leads to a full-blown canine uprising, won the Un Certain Regard Prize at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday.

Although Mundruczo was previously in competition at Cannes with 2008’s “Delta” and 2010’s “Tender Son: The Frankenstein Project,” this marks the first time he has won a prize at the festival. The Match Factory is handling international sales on “White God,” a Hungarian-German-Swedish co-production.

The jury prize was given to “Force majeure,” Scandinavian helmer Ruben Ostlund’s sharply comic tale of a family weathering a crisis while on vacation at a ski lodge. One of the most roundly acclaimed titles in Un Certain Regard, or indeed the festival overall, the film is being sold internationally by the Coproduction Office. Like Mundruczo, Ostlund is making his third appearance at Cannes, having previously appeared in Un Certain Regard with 2011’s “Play” and 2008’s “Involuntary.”

The jury awarded a special prize to “The Salt of the Earth,” Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado’s documentary about Salgado’s photographer father, Sebastiao.

Ensemble acting honors were awarded to the cast of Un Certain Regard opener “Party Girl,” the debut feature of French helmers Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger and Samuel Theis; notably, several of Theis’ family members play themselves in the film.

The actor prize went to Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil for his performance as the title character in Rolf de Heer’s “Charlie’s Country,” a drama set in Australia’s Northern Territory.

Argentinean helmer Pablo Trapero, president of the Certain Regard jury, praised “the force and originality of the films presented this year.”

Twenty films representing 23 countries screened in Un Certain Regard. In addition to Trapero, the jury included Criterion Collection president Peter Becker; Norway-based actress Maria Bonnevie; French actress Geraldine Pailhas; and Senegalese filmmaker Moussa Toure.

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