Source: Cannes


Sean Baker’s Anora has won the Palme d’Or at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival, which wrapped Saturday night (May 25).

The US comedy-drama stars Mikey Madison as the titular Anora, a sex worker who finds herself married to a Russian oligarch and must fend off his parents who are keen for an annulment. It marks Baker’s second time in Competition, following 2021’s Red Rocket.

Scroll down for full list of winners

In his speech, Baker devoted the award “to all sex workers past, present and future”, and voiced his support for theatrical distribution: “The future of cinema is where it started – in a movie theatre.”

Payal Kapadia’s All We Imagine As Light, the first Indian film to play in Cannes Competition in 30 years, earned the Grand Prix.

Kapadia said: “Women are often pitted against each other, this is the way society is designed which is very unfortunate. For me friendship can lead to greater inclusivity and empathy which are the values we should all be striving for.”

Set and shot in Mumbai, All We Imagine As Light follows two nurses living together who set off on a trip to a beach town.

The award for best screenplay went to Coralie Fargeat’s body horror The Substance, which juror Eva Green described as “bold and beautifully bonkers”.

French filmmaker Fargeat accepted the award in English, saying: “The movie is about women and what women can still experience in the world and how violence is still present… I think we need a revolution and I don’t think it has really started yet so let’s start it all together.”

Multiple Cannes prize-winner Jacques Audiard won the jury prize for his Spanish-language musical thriller Emilia Perez.

The best actress prize was shared by four of the film’s cast: Adriana Paz, Zoe Saldana, Karla Sofia Gascon and Selena Gomez.

Gascon, who took to the stage to accept the award, plays the head of a Mexican drug cartel who sets out to realise a dream of becoming a woman. She told the room: “This is not mine – it is for the 200 people who worked on this messy film.”

Jesse Plemons won the best actor award for his role in Yorgos Lanthimos’ Kinds Of Kindness.

Standing ovation

The jury presented a special prize to Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof for The Seed Of The Sacred Fig, which earned the top score on Screen’s jury grid.

The filmmaker, who was met with a standing ovation and cheers, said, “The people of Iran are taken hostage by the Iranian regime” and thanked the members of his team still in the country and unable to attend. The film also won the Fipresci award earlier in the day.

Rasoulof fled Iran after receiving an eight-year prison sentence from the country’s authorities for being critical of the regime.

Portuguese filmmaker Miguel Gomes was named best director for Grand Tour.

The Competition prizes were awarded by a jury presided over by Greta Gerwig and including Lily Gladstone, Eva Green, Omar Sy, Ebru Ceylan, Nadine Labaki, Juan Antonio Bayona, Pierfrancesco Favino and Hirokazu Kore-eda.

The Camera d’Or, which awards the best debut feature through all sections, went to Un Certain Regard title Armand from Norwegian writer-director Halfdan Ullmann Tønde. A special mention went to Directors’ Fortnight title Mongrel co-directed by Chiang Wei Liang and You Qiao Yin.

The prizes for the Un Certain Regard, the new Directors’ Fortnight audience award, and Critics’ Week strands were announced previously.

The L’Oeil d’Or for best documentary was awarded jointly on Friday to Raoul Peck’s Ernest Cole: Lost And Found and Nada Riyadh Ayman El Amir’s Les Filles Du Nil.

Other highlights

Despite a festival that was shadowed by potential strikes, #MeToo rumours and a tense geopolitical landscape, the closing ceremony stuck to protocol and was mostly subdued apart from a few references to the war in Gaza.

Lubna Azabal, president of the short film and Cinef jury, called for “the liberation of all hostages with no conditions and an immediate ceasefire in Gaza”. Labaki also cited a “divided world” and condemned the violence in the region when awarding the special jury prize to Rasoulof.

French actress Camille Cottin emceed the evening, which opened with a musical twist on the Star Wars opening sequence, a nod to George Lucas who received an honorary Palme d’Or for his career during the ceremony.

The filmmaker was met with a standing ovation before he was presented with the award by Francis Ford Coppola.

Lucas said: “I’m just a kid who grew up in a vineyard in Modesto, California and I make movies In San Francisco. I’ve actually never made a film in Hollywood as a director.”

Competition awards:

Palme d’Or: Anora, dir. Sean Baker

Grand Prix: All We Imagine As Light, dir. Payal Kapadia

Jury prize: Emilia Pérez, dir. Jacques Audiard

Best director: Miguel Gomes, Grand Tour

Special award: The Seed Of The Sacred Fig, dir. Mohammad Rasoulof 

Best actor: Jesse Plemons, Kinds Of Kindness

Best actress: Adriana Paz, Zoe Saldaña, Karla Sofía Gascón, Selena Gomez, Emilia Pérez

Best screenplay: Coralie Fargeat, The Substance

Camera d’Or: Armand, dir. Halfdan Ullmann Tøndel

Special mention: Mongrel, dir. Wei Liang Chiang & You Qiao Yin

Short film Palme d’Or: The Man Who Could Not Remain Silent, dir. Nebojša Slijepčević 

Special mention: Bad For A Moment, dir. Daniel Soares