Swedish film "The Square" has been awarded the Cannes Film Festival's top honor, the Palme d'Or. There was also success for German actress Diane Kruger for her part in the revenge drama "In the Fade."
'The Square' wins Palme d'Or: Film journalist Toby Ashraf speaks to DW
The 70th annual Cannes Film Festival has come to a close, with Sweden's Ruben Ostlund winning the 2017 Palme d'Or for best film with "The Square."
A satire about the art world, "The Square" tells the story of a successful art curator who second-guesses himself and his motivation to be part of the bourgeois art industry - after losing his cellphone. A total of 19 films were in the running for the top award of international film.
It was a surprise win for the film which was awarded by the nine-member jury led by Spanish director Pedro Almodovar and including Hollywood stars Jessica Chastain and Will Smith. "Oh my God, oh my God!" Ostlund shouted from the stage.
Meanwhile 40-year-old German actress Diane Kruger was named best actress for her performance in Fatih Akin's "In the Fade." The film deals with the real-life series of racially motivated far-right terror attacks in Germany during the 2000s by the so-called NSU group (National Socialist Underground).
"I cannot accept this award without thinking of everyone who has been touched by an act of terrorism... you have not been forgotten," said Kruger as she accepted the award.
Kruger is best known from Hollywood blockbusters such as "Troy" and "Inglourious Basterds" as well as for having had a previous career as a catwalk model.
American movie star Joaquin Phoenix clinched the award for best actor for his role in Lynne Ramsay's thriller "You Were Never Really Here," which also starred Nicole Kidman who was awarded a special prize by the Cannes jury.
Phoenix said the prize was "totally unexpected."
Strong showing for French film
The evening held a number of surprises, as there were no obvious frontrunners in the days leading up to the award ceremony. France took home two awards:
The French AIDS drama "120 Beats Per Minute" won the Grand Prize from the jury. The award recognizes a strong film that missed out on achieving the Palme d'Or.
The Golden Camera (Camera d'Or) award, which is given to first-time directors competing at the festival, also went to France and Leonor Serraille for her movie "Young Woman." A total of 26 films were vying for the coveted prize this year.
Sofia Coppola, the daughter of veteran film director Francis Ford Coppola, was recognized with the best director prize for "The Beguiled," a remake of Don Siegel's 1971 drama about the American Civil War.
The Cannes Film Festival jury meanwhile awarded two - not one - screenplay awards this year - for Yorgos Lanthimos' "The Killing of a Sacred Deer" and Lynne Ramsay who wrote and directed "You Were Never Really Here."