The Worst Ones, from French directors Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret, has won the top prize in the Un Certain Regard section of this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Also awarded honours by the section’s jury were Joyland, Metronom and Mediterranean Fever.
The Worst Ones (Les Pires) is the debut feature from Akoka and Gueret, who also wrote the script with Elénore Gurrey. The story of a group of young people recruited for a film shoot, the film was produced by Frédéric Jouve and Marine Alaric for Les Films Velvet.
The Un Certain Regard Jury Prize went to Joyland, director Saim Sadiq’s debut feature and the first Pakistani feature in official selection at Cannes. Telling the story of a young man from a patriarchal family who secretly joins an erotic dance theatre and falls in love with a trans starlet, the film had backers including US-based All Caps and Pakistan’s Khoosat Films.
The Un Certain Regard best director prize went to Alexandru Belc for Metronom. Belc’s debut feature focuses on a group of music-loving Bucharest teenagers caught up in the crackdown that followed the end of Romania’s cultural liberalisation period in the early seventies.
The section’s best actor prize was jointly awarded to Vicky Krieps for Corsage, Marie Kreutzer’s period piece in which Krieps plays Empress Sisi of Austria, one of Europe’s first celebrity royals, and Adam Bessa for Harka, with Bessa as an impoverished young man in post-revolutionary Tunisia.
The best screenplay prize went to Mediterranean Fever, a Haifa-set, Arabic-language drama written and directed by Maha Haj.
The Coup de coeur prize went to Rodeo, Lola Quivoron’s French film about a young woman determined to infiltrate the male world of dirt-bike racing.
This year’s Un Certain Regard included 20 feature films, seven of them first features also competing for the Caméra d’or. The section’s jury was chaired by actress-director-producer Valeria Golino and also included director Debra Granik, actress Joanna Kulig, actor-singer Benjamin Biolay and actor-producer Edgar Ramírez.