CANNES, France – Productions from Brazil and Spain took honors on Friday in the “Un Certain Regard” sidebar of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.
The jury, comprising Oscar-nominated Lebanese director Nadine Labaki, French actress Marina Foïs, German producer Nurhan Sekerci-Porst, Argentine director Lisandro Alonso and Belgian director Lukas Dhont, evaluated 18 films.
They bestowed the top prize, the Un Certain Regard Award, on the latest project from Brazilian filmmaker Karim Aïnouz, “The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmão.”
“O que arde” (“The Fire Will Come”), by Spain’s Oliver Laxe, received the Jury Prize, while the Special Jury Prize went to “Liberte,” a film by Spaniard Albert Serra.
Aïnouz, whose first screening at Cannes was in 2002, told EFE that he was dedicating the award “to the future of Brazil” and to actress Fernanda Montenegro’s “impressive” performance in the film.
Laxe said he was confident that the recognition for his “little film” about a pyromaniac returning home from prison, would legitimate “fringe” directors like himself and create space for the “many filmmakers trying to make cinema that is a little more essential, more affirmative.”
The prize for “Liberte,” an unfiltered depiction of 18th-century libertines indulging their appetites, constitutes recognition of his way of making films, Serra said in comments to EFE.
“You have to treat it with joy the day it happens and forget it quickly, because what matters is to fulfill the duty of the next film,” he said.
The jury selected Kantemir Balagov (“Beanpole”) as best director and gave the Best Performance prize to Chiara Mastroianni for her work in “Chambre 212” (“On a Magical Night”).
The Un Certain Regard Heart Prize was shared by “The Climb” and “La femme de mon frere” (“A Brother’s Love”).
Bruno Lamont’s “Joan of Arc” was chosen for Special Jury Mention.
“We would like to express the great pleasure we had diving into the diversity of this selection,” the jury said in a statement accompanying the list of Winners. “This on many levels: on the subjects, on the way cinematic tools were used and on the portrayal of its characters.