Entertainment News

‘Shoplifters’, ‘BlacKkKlansman’, ‘Girl’ among top winners at Cannes Film Festival

Directing legend Jean-Luc Godard gets a special Palme d’Or for ‘The Image Book’.

Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters, about a family’s struggle to survive on the margins of the economy, won the Palme d’Or, the highest award at the Cannes Film Festival, on Saturday.

Kore-eda has been steadily wooing the arthouse circuit over the past few years with his films Nobody Knows, Our Little Sister, After the Storm, and The Third Murder. The official synopsis for his latest movie to explore the strains on the Japanese family is as follows: “After one of their shoplifting sessions, Osamu and his son come across a little girl in the freezing cold. At first reluctant to shelter the girl, Osamu’s wife agrees to take care of her after learning of the hardships she faces. Although the family is poor, barely making enough money to survive through petty crime, they seem to live happily together until an unforeseen incident reveals hidden secrets, testing the bonds that unite them…”


Shoplifters upset the other big Asian title at the festival, Korean director Lee Chang-dong’s Burning. Based on Haraki Murakami’s short story Barn Burning, Lee’s film was widely tipped to win the top honour. Lee has previously won a best screenplay award at Cannes for Poetry in 2010, and his Oasis was nominated for the top award at the Venice Film Festival in 2003.


The Competition section comprised 21 titles. The jury, headed by Cate Blanchett, handed over the second most important prize of the festival, the Grand Prix, to another favourite, Spike Lee’s comedy BlacKkKlansman. This is Lee’s first win at the prestigious festival.

In BlacKkKlansman, based on Ron Stallworth’s 2014 memoir Black Klansman, an African American detective (John David Washington) infiltrates a Ku Klux Klan group and becomes its leader. The cast includes Adam Driver and Topher Grace. The premiere at Cannes reportedly received a 10-minute standing ovation. The movie will be released on August 10 in the United States of America, to coincide with the first anniversary of the riots triggered by a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.


A Special Palme d’Or was awarded to the legendary Jean-Luc Godard for The Image Book, his first film since Goodbye to Language (2014). The Image Book is “an essay film examining the role of cinema in world history”, Screen International reported, and will be the 87-year-old director’s “first UK theatrical roll-out in seven years”.

The best director award went to Pawel Pawlikowski (Ida, 2013) for Cold War, which explores the tempestuous relationship between a pianist and a singer between the 1940s and the ’60s.

Cold War.

The best first feature award, the Camera d’Or, went to Lukas Dhont’s Girl, about an aspiring 15-year-old ballerina who is trapped in a male body. The Belgian movie also won its 16-year-old male lead Victor Polster the best actor award in the Un Certain Regard section. “Victor showed that the most important tool for any artist is empathy,” Dhont said while accepting the award on behalf of Polster.

Girl won the Queer Palm, or the top award for queer-themed films, making it the most decorated title of the festival.


The Jury Prize went to Lebanese director Nadine Labaki’s warmly received third feature Capernaum, about a 12-year-old boy who sues his parents for bringing him into the world.

Alice Rohrwacher and Nader Saeivar shared the best screenplay for Happy As Lazarro (a magic realist fable revolving around a staged kidnapping) and 3 Faces (a road movie involving three generations of actresses). 3 Faces is Jafar Panahi’s fourth production since he was banned from filmmaking by the Iranian government.

The best actress award went to Samal Yeslyamova from Sergey Dvortsevoy’s Ayka. The Russian-Kazakhstani drama follows an illegal worker in Moscow who sets out to find her illegitimate son, whom she abandoned at birth.

Marcello Fonte won the best actor prize for Italian director Matteo Garrone’s Dogman, based on the true story of a dog groomer who is also a cocaine dealer.

Charles Williams’s All These Creatures was named the Best Short Film.


Un Certain Regard awards

Awards in the Un Certain Regard section were handed out on Friday. One Indian production was selected for the second most important category of films at Cannes – Nandita Das’s biopic Manto. Ali Abbasi’s Border won the top prize in the category. Variety described the “classification-defying film” as centring on “a Swedish customs officer with an uncanny sense of smell” who is “thrown into a moral and personal quandary over a suspicious traveler that upends the world as she knows it”.

The Best Director award was won by Ukrainian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa’s Donbass. Loznitsa, the director of 2016’s acclaimed A Gentle Creature, explores the impact of propaganda and fake news in eastern Ukraine.

The best screenplay prize in this section went to Moroccan director Meryem Benm’Barek’s Sofia, about a 20-year-old woman who faces prosecution for bearing a child out of wedlock. The Special Jury Prize went to Joao Salaviza and Renee Nader Messora’s The Dead and the Others, which explores mythology and indigenous traditions in north Brazil.

The Un Certain Regard jury was headed by Benicio Del Toro.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.


Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.