Director Sean Baker surprises at the Cannes Festival and wins the Palme d'Or for 'Anora'

Established as "the most important film festival" in the film industry, it attracts filmmakers, producers and journalists from all over the world year after year.

The Cannes Festival celebrated a new edition, the 77th, of what is known as “the most important” event in the film industry. In this edition, presented by the actress Camille Cottin, a total of 13 awards were given out, although the most important one went to the American director Sean Baker.

Baker celebrated winning the event’s most coveted award for the film “Anora,” although one of the most emotional moments of the European night occurred later. Francis Ford Coppola was in charge of receiving his friend and colleague George Lucas on stage to present the lifetime achievement award, the Honorary Palme d’Or.

“I came here today to thank you all. I’m just a kid who grew up in Modesto, California, surrounded by vineyards, and who made movies in San Francisco with my friend Francis Coppola. We both spent our careers in parallel, and, in fact, I never made a Hollywood film as a director, so it is a real honor to receive this award,” expressed Lucas.

Another highlight of the night was “Emilia Perez,” a film by Jacques Audiard that won both the Grand Jury Prize and the award for best female performance. The story is about a cartel boss who asks for the help of Rita, an important lawyer from a prominent law firm. In an entertaining plotline, she helps him retire from the drug business and disappear forever.

In turn, the Portuguese Michael Gomes won the award for best director for “Grand Tour,” a film that mixes timelines, fiction and even colors to create a story that takes place in Asia at the beginning of the 20th century and then moves a few years later.

“The See of the Sacred Fig,” directed by the Iranian Mohammad Rasoulof, was crowned with awards from the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) for international critics and the Ecumenical Jury. The director had been sentenced by the Iranian regime to eight years in prison and lashes by a court but managed to escape the country and settle in Eastern Europe.

The members of FIPRESCI highlighted the film as “a brave story set in today’s Iran that addresses the conflict between tradition and progress in a very powerful and imaginative way.”

This year’s jury was chaired by Greta Gerwig, director of “Barbie,” who was accompanied by prominent figures from world cinema: Juan Antonio Bayona, Ebru Ceylan, Pierfrancesco Favino, Lily Gladstone, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Nadine Labaki, Eva Green, and Omar Sy.

“There was something that reminded us of the classics. The film has elements of the cinema of Lubitsch and Howard Hawks. Sean Baker did something unexpected. He invited us to go on a journey. We loved every performance, we could feel the faces of the characters,” said Gerwig, about the most important award of the night.

“Anora” was acquired by Netflix and already has a confirmed release for the United States and Europe, although it is still not known for sure if it will also reach Latin America.

One by one, all the awards at the Cannes Film Festival

Palme d'Or : "Anora" by Sean Baker

Palme d'Or of Honor : George Lucas

Grand Prize: “All We Imagine As Light” by Payal Kapadia

Director’s Award: Miguel Gomes for “Grand Tour”

Best Actor: Jesse Plemons for “Kinds of Kindness”

Best Actress : Award shared by Karla Sofía Gascón, Selena Gomez, Zoe Saldana and Ariadna Paz for "Emilia Pérez"

Screenplay: Coralie Fargeat for “The Substance”

Special Prize: “The Seeds of the Wild Fig Tree” by Mohammad Rasoulof

Jury Prize: "Emilia Pérez" by Jacques Audiard

Camera d'Or: "Armand" by Halfdan Ullmann Tøndel

Camera d’Or Special Mention: “Mongrel” by Wei Liang and You Qiao Yin

Short Film Palme d’Or: “The Man Who Could Not Remain Silent” by Nebojša Slijepčević

Special mention for Short Film Special Mention: “Bad For A Moment” by Daniel Soares