×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘A Man of Integrity,’ ‘Wind River,’ ‘Barbara’ Take Un Certain Regard Awards at Cannes

Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof took the top prize from a jury headed by actress Uma Thurman.

Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof’s “A Man of Integrity” won the top prize in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival this evening, beating a diverse international selection of 17 other titles to the honor.

It was a popular win for one of the most critically lauded films in the strand, traditionally reserved for art films of lower profile or more specialist appeal than those contending in the festival’s premier Competition. Rasoulof’s sixth feature, “A Man of Integrity” centers on a politically liberal goldfish farmer battling corporate oppression in Northern Iran. Variety critic Alissa Simon praised the film as a “tense, enraging drama about corruption and injustice,” noting strong international distribution prospects despite an inevitable ban in its home country.

The award was presented by this year’s Un Certain Regard jury president Uma Thurman, heading a panel that also included filmmakers Joachim Lafosse and Mohamed Diab, actor Reda Kateb and Karlovy Vary festival director Karel Och.

For Rasoulof, a leading figure in Iran’s independent cinema currently laboring under a suspended prison sentence, the third time in Un Certain Regard proved the charm: He previously competed there with 2011’s “Au revoir” and 2013’s “Manuscripts Don’t Burn,” winning Best Director for the former.

That prize this year went to Taylor Sheridan, the Oscar-nominated American screenwriter of “Hell or High Water,” for his sophomore directorial effort “Wind River.” A taut murder mystery set on the eponymous Native American reservation in Wyoming, starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen, the film premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival, and will be released Stateside in August through The Weinstein Company.

Accepting the award from the jury in Sheridan’s absence, Harvey Weinstein made the most rousing speech of the ceremony, first reading a statement from the director paying tribute to the Arapaho and Shoshone tribespeople, before making his own protest against recently proposed cuts to Native American healthcare and housing in the Trump budget.

Sheridan’s statement, in part, read: “The Tribal Councils of the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Nations not only allowed me to tell this story, but embraced me and lent me their assistance in every way asked. It is a great shame of my nation the manner it has treated the original inhabitants of North America. Sadly, my government continues that shame through an insidious mixture of apathy and exploitation. There is nothing I can do to change the issues afflicting Indian Country, but what we can all do as artists — and must do — is scream about them with fists clenched. What we can do is make sure these issues aren’t ignored. Then the people who can effect change will be forced to.”

Weinstein himself went on to thank the jury for highlighting the matter through honoring the film. “We’ll light the fuse and we’ll win the war,” he said, adding, “This spotlight that you’ve put on this issue will change things.”

Though Un Certain Regard is traditionally dominated by lesser-known filmmakers on the rise, two awards were presented to directors who have previously been in Competition. Mexican provocateur Michel Franco took the Jury Prize for “April’s Daughter,” a dark drama of teenage pregnancy and mother-daughter relations. It’s the third time he’s taken a prize at the festival: He won Un Certain Regard outright in 2012 with “After Lucia,” before moving up to Competition and winning Best Screenplay in 2015 for his first English-language outing, the Tim Roth starrer “Chronic.”

French actor-filmmaker Mathieu Amalric, meanwhile, was presented a special award for “poetry of cinema” for “Barbara,” this year’s Un Certain Regard opener. Centered on the mononymous French chanteuse of the same name, “Barbara” is less a traditional biopic than a layered, dream-like tribute, starring Jeanne Balibar as an actress playing the singer in an imaginary film of her life.

Finally, Italian actress Jasmine Trinca received a jury award for her performance as a gritty, poverty-stricken single mother in Sergio Castellitto’s social melodrama “Fortunata.”

Unrewarded by the jury, on the other hand, was Russian filmmaker Kantemir Balagov’s debut feature “Closeness,” which was named the section’s best film by the FIPRESCI critics’ jury earlier today. The film has caused controversy at the festival for its incorporation of real-life execution videos into its narrative.

The Competition awards, determined by a jury headed by Spanish auteur Pedro Almodovar, will be presented at the festival’s closing ceremony tomorrow evening.

The full list of Un Certain Regard winners is as follows:

Un Certain Regard Award: “A Man of Integrity,” Mohammad Rasoulof

Best Director: Taylor Sheridan, “Wind River

Jury Prize: Michel Franco, “April’s Daughter”

Best Performance: Jasmine Trinca, “Fortunata”

Award for Poetry of Cinema: Mathieu Amalric, “Barbara”

 

More Film

  • Bertrand Tavernier Hosts Night of Cinema

    Bertrand Tavernier Hosts Night of Cinema Inspired Orchestra in Paris

    Flanked by UniFrance president Serge Toubiana and the National Orchestra of France, filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier stood before a rapt crowd at Paris’ Maison de la Radio this past Saturday to introduce an evening dedicated to French film scores called “May the Music Begin!” That moniker – a reference to the original French title of his [...]

  • Orange Studio Sells Out 'Serial (Bad)

    Orange Studio Sells Out 'Serial (Bad) Weddings 2,' 'City Hunter' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Paris-based Orange Studio has nearly sold out its two French comedy highlights, Philippe de Chauveron’s “Serial (Bad) Weddings 2” and Philippe Lacheau’s “City Hunter.” “Serial (Bad) Weddings 2,” which opened the UniFrance Rendez-Vous in Paris last week, is the sequel of the smash hit film which grossed over $148 million worldwide. The movie has been [...]

  • Danmarks Sønner, en film af Ulaa

    Trailer for Rotterdam Competition Opener 'Sons of Denmark' Released (EXCLUSIVE)

    Variety has been given exclusive access to the trailer for the opening film of Rotterdam Film Festival’s Tiger Competition, “Sons of Denmark.” The film is a political thriller set in Denmark in 2025, a year after a bomb attack in Copenhagen, when ethnic tensions are running high. An ultra-nationalist politician, Martin Nordahl, and his National [...]

  • Operation Red Sea review

    Chinese Entertainment Industry Braces for a 'Cold Winter' in 2019

    Winter is here for the Chinese entertainment industry, a half-dozen top-tier industry professionals concurred in Beijing at the launch last week of Tencent Entertainment’s annual data-filled white paper. China’s box office hit new heights in 2018, raking in about $9 billion, but it was also a year of drastic regulatory changes and a government tax [...]

  • Indie Sales Acquires Martin Lund's Nordic

    Indie Sales Acquires Nordic Coming-Of-Age 'Psychobitch' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Paris-based company Indie Sales has acquired Martin Lund’s Norwegian coming-of-age drama “Psychobitch” which is headlined by Elli Rhiannon Müller Osbourne (“Utoya: July 22”). “Psychobitch” marks the first feature film of Martin Lund, who made his debut with “Twigson Ties the Knot,” a local box office hit, and followed up with “The Almost Man,” which won [...]

  • Studiocanal has sold Jean Paul Gaultier's

    Jean Paul Gaultier's 'Freak And Chic' Documentary Sells For Studiocanal (EXCLUSIVE)

    Underscoring the strength and scope of French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier’s legacy around the world, the documentary “Jean Paul Gaultier Freak And Chic,” which chronicles the making of Gaultier’s ongoing popular show in Paris, has been luring distributors in key markets. Sold by Studiocanal and produced by Capa, the documentary has already been picked [...]

  • Korea Box Office: 'MAL·MO·E' and 'Inside

    Korea Box Office: 'MAL·MO·E' and 'Inside Me' Remain on Top

    There was no change at the top of the Korean box office, as local titles “MAL·MO·E: The Secret Mission” and “Inside Me (a.k.a. The Dude in Me)” dominated a second weekend. Lotte’s “MAL·MO·E” earned $4.79 million from 618,000 admissions between Friday and Sunday for a total of $16.7 million from 2.23 million admissions after two [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content