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Cannes Winners ’09: On Stage and Backstage on Closing Night

Cannes Winners '09: On Stage and Backstage on Closing Night

Cannes, France — The list of winners is available here at indieWIRE.

Dispatches from tonight’s arrivals, ceremony and backstage press conferences as the 2009 Cannes Film Festival comes to a close.

9:51 p.m. — Jacques Audiard, and then Michael Haneke, make very brief appearances in the press conference room as the night comes to a close. Audiard tips his hat to the crowd, while Haneke offers words of thanks to jury president Isabelle Huppert.

9:41 p.m. — A key question for Gainsbourg and Waltz was their reaction to buzz that both of their films, “Antichrist” and “Inglourious Basterds,” will be edited in the wake of reactions here in Cannes.

“I don’t know what the film would be like without those shots,” Gainsbourg said tonight, saying she just heard this news.

“I think they are planning to cut them together,” Waltz quipped, picking up from Gainsbourgh, stirring a round of laughther and applause.

9:35 p.m. — “I admire his work, I admire everything he did,” Gainsbourg said tonight, “I know people have different opinions about the film,” she added, “He’s a great artist.”

Jacques Audiard tonight in Cannes. Photo by Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE

9:26 p.m. — After Brillante Mendoza’s remarks, filmmaker Andrea Arnold, who shared the Prix du Jury with Park Chan Wook, said that she really liked Lars Von Trier’s remarks earlier this week in which he called audiences guests.

“Everyone that comes to see a film is a guest. You are guests and you decide whether you want to be nice guests or bad guests,” Arnold said, pausing, “That’s fine, you can be angry or have feelings about that, reaction is good.”

9:23 p.m. — “I was kind of prepared,” Brillante Mendoza, director of “Kinatay” said, when asked how he handled the divided audience reactions to his film. He said that given the debate he generated with “Serbis” last year, he was ready. And asked whether he was expecting an award, he added, “Did I expect it? Of course, I always expect for the best.”

9:03 p.m. — A journalist just asked the jury to defend their choice of Brillante Mendoza for the best director award, a choice that stirred some boos tonight from critics and writers.

“Because the jury liked it,” juror and filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan said directly, with juror Hanif Kureishi added, “Sometimes good art is hard,” but he qualified, “It’s not something I want to see again, I have to say.”

9:00 p.m. — “Some of [the movies] are very very long,” juror Hanif Kureishi said, stirring laughter in the press room. “And some of them are very weird, I have to say. I saw things that I’ve never seen in my life in these films.”

I have to assume he was referring to Lars Von Trier’s “Antichrist”.

8:55 p.m. — “I always loved him as a director,” Isabelle Huppert said tonight of “White Ribbon” director Michael Haneke.

I asked her what it meant to present this award to Haneke eight years after the two of them had such success here in Cannes with “The Piano Teacher.” “My love for his work was in a sense for his humanity,” she continued, “A humanity that takes a strange path, which makes it even more interesting, an even more fascinating [look] into the human soul.”

8:39 p.m. — Press backstage awaiting the arrival of the jury.

Jurors Lee Chang Dong, Isabelle Huppert, Hanif Kureishi, Robin Wright Penn and Nuri Bilge Ceylan tonight in Cannes. Photo by Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE

8:28 p.m. — Warwick Thornton, winner of the Camera d’Or said, moments ago, “My life has been a Cinderella story.” Talking about his outback story, the first Aboriginal film to play in Cannes, said just now, “Cinema in a sense saves my life.”

“I’ve only just begun,” Thornton added, “I’ve got so many stories to tell. Cannes and the Camera d’Or is the beginning of a cinderalla story. A journey thrugh cinema.”

8:26 p.m. — The winners, on stage in the press room, chatting about how they alerted their friends back home.

8:23 p.m. — Backstage now, the press conference room is filling up as the media await the arrival of the winners of the Camera d’Or.

8:18 p.m. — A big embrace between filmmaker Michael Haneke and jury President Isabelle Huppert, on stage at the Palais. The two famously worked together 8 years ago on “The Piano Teacher” which won three prizes here in Cannes in 2001, the best actress prize for Huppert, best actor for Benoit Magimel and the Grand Prix runner-up award for the film.

8:09 p.m. — Haneke stands, along with the rest of the audience, to applaud Jacques Audiard, who is also wearing dark sunglasses, on his Grand Prix. Does the Palme belong to Haneke?

8:08 p.m. — Willem Dafoe arrives on stage to present the Grand Prix, the festival’s runner-up award, presented before the final prize of the night, the Palme d’Or.

8:04 p.m. — An extended standing ovation for Alain Resnais, named to receive a special jury prize. He takes the stage wearing a bright red tuxedo shirt and dark sunglasses.

8:01 p.m. — Two major competition filmmakers are in the audience: Jacques Audiard (“A Prophet”) & Michael Haneke (“The White Ribbon”) and there are two awards left to present…

Palme d’Or for best short film, winner Joao Salaviza . Photo by Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE

7:59 p.m. — A huge ovation in the Palais as Christoph Waltz is named best actor.

7:55 p.m. — A loud gasp of shock in the press room backstage as the winner of the best actress award is announced: Charlotte Gainsbourg

7:50 p.m. — Terry Gilliams on stage to present the best director award, pretends to present the prize to himself, then starts to fake cry when he is told it’s not for him. Across the stage, Isabelle Huppert, not laughing, remarks simply, “OK?”

7:47 p.m. — Whistles greet the star of “Coco & Chanel” as she takes the stage to present the screenplay prize. Backstage, in the press room, a round of slight boos when the winners is announced as the Chinese film, “Spring Fever.”

7:39 p.m. — Isabelle Huppert takes the stage, to introduce the jury, after the presentation of the Camera d’Or for best first feature and the Palme d’Or for best short film.

7:13 p.m. — With minutes to go before the Cannes Film Festival awards ceremony is set to begin, massive crowds are swarming the streets outside the Palais des Festivals now. Observers and fans are watching the arrivals to try to get a hint at who might win a prize this year.

Typically, many filmmakers and actors, especially those whose films screened early on, leave the event. Winners are apparently called back for closing night and urged to attend the ceremony, unaware what prize they will win.

Among those spotted arriving on the red carpet this evening include “The White Ribbon” director Michael Haneke, “A Prophet” director Jacques Audiard, as well as the film’s lead actor Tahar Rahim, and a team from the film. Also, a large group representing “Kinatay,” including director Brillante Mendoza.

Others spotted moments ago include “Thirst” director Park Chan Wook, “Antichrist” stars Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe and “Inglourious Basterds” star Christopher Waltz.

The complete list of winners is also available here at indieWIRE.

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