Cristian Mungiu's "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days" from Romania won the Palme d'Or as the 60th Cannes Film Festival came to a close on Sunday night with winners taking their bows. The prizes were presented prior to the closing night screening of Denys Arcand's "L'Age Des Tenebres," marking the end of the 2007 festival. Selecting the winners in the '07 Cannes competition were jury president Stephen Frears, along with fellow jurors: actress Maggie Cheung, actress Toni Collette, director and actress Maria de Medeiros, director and actress Sarah Polley, director Marco Bellocchio, writer Orhan Pamuk, director and actor Michel Piccoli, and director Abderramane Sissako.
"This is the best event that has happened to a wave of Romanian cinema that (already) began a few years ago," director Cristian Mungiu said after winning the Palme d'Or for "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," thanking his fellow Romanian filmmakers and adding, "Without (them) I wouldn't be here." Mungiu said that the prize in Cannes was even more important to him than winning an Oscar, saying that it validates his work as a filmmaker. A fellow Romanian, Christian Nemescu, won the award for best film in the Un Certain Regard section for "California Dreamin'."
This year, the jury awarded a special prize to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Festival de Cannes, presenting a special award to Gus Van Sant for "Paranoid Park." "We wanted to give the prize to someone whose film we admired in this particular festival and also (to someone) whose body of work was incredible," explained juror Toni Collette during a post-ceremony press conference. On the same topic, Abderramane Sissako reiterated, "We also gave the prize for the whole of his cinema."
Naomi Kawase, winner of the Grand Prix runner-up prize this year for "The Mourning Forest" (Mogari No Mori), won the Camera d'Or at Cannes in 1997 for "Suzaku." During a post-ceremony press conference she said she had struggled for ten years to make movies in Japan.
Asked what sort of message she hopes to send to filmmakers and audiences back home, she said, "The mesage that I try to get across is that the invisible is as important as the visible and I'd like this message to be perceived across the whole world, and I hope that this (award) will help this message get across."
"I didn't make this movie to get a prize," Schnabel said, after winning his award for best director, explaining that he was hardly disappointed at not winning the Palme d'Or. "I am very happy that everybody included me in this club...before I ever directed a movie, I was a movie fan. I love movies and there are a lot of people that I have a lot of respect for who have walked up these stairs and showed their movies here..."
Talking with journalists inside the Palais des Festivals after the ceremony, Mexican director Carlos Reygadas, director of "Stellet Licht," said his Jury Prize (shared with "Persepolis") supports a particular type of cinema and admitted that his film may not be for everyone. "It will help us to open up the path for Mexican cinema, for Mexican authors and for my colleagues throughout the world who are interestegd in cinema which doesn't necessarily follow the laws of total clarity in cinema [and] to use resources and means which are not usual in the cinema."
Expressing excitement at winning their Camera d'Or prize for best first feature, Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen called the experience "a dream." The directing duo also won the SACD prize in the festival's International Critics Week section. Playwright, theater director and actress Geffen summed up the excitement in Cannes Sunday, "It's like a dream...like in a movie."
The complete list the 2007 Festival de Cannes winners:
Palme d'Or: "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," directed by Cristian Mungiu
Grand Prix (runner-up): "The Mourning Forest" (Mogari No Mori), directed by Naomi Kawase
Prix de la Mise en Scene (Best Director): Julian Schnabel for "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Le Scaphandre et Le Papillon)
Prix du 60th Anniversaire: Gus Van Sant, director of "Paranoid Park"
Prix du Scenario (Best Screenplay Award): Fatih Akin for "The Edge of Heaven" (Auf Der Anderen Siete)
Camera d'Or (For best first feature): "Meduzot" (Jellyfish), directed by Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen
Camera d'Or Special Mention: "Control," directed by Anton Corbijn
Prix du Jury (Jury Prize) (tie): "Persepolis," directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud; and "Stellet Licht," directed by Carlos Reygadas
Prix d'interpretation feminine (Best Actress): Jeon Do-yeon for "Secret Sunshine" directed by Lee Chang-dong
Prix d'interpretation masculine (Best Actor): Constantine Lavronenko for "Izgnanie," directed by Andrei Zviaguintsev
Palme d'Or (short film): "Ver Llover," directed by Elisa Miller
Special Mention (short): "Run," directed by Mark Albiston
Special Mention (short): "Ah Ma," directed by Anthony Chen
Winners of main prizes were selected from the 21 film competition that includes: "My Blueberry Nights," directed by Wong Kar-Wai (opening film), "Auf Der Anderen Siete," directed by Fatih Akin, "Un Veille Maitresse," directed by Catherine Breillat, "No Country For Old Men," directed by Joel & Ethan Coen, "Zodiac," directed by David Fincher, "We Own The Night," directed by James Gray, "Les Chansons D'Amour," directed by Christophe Honore, "Mogari No Mori," directed by Naomi Kawase, "Breath," directed by Kim Ki Duk, "Promise Me This," directed by Emir Kusturica, "Secret Sunshine," directed by Lee Chang-dong, "4 Luni, 3 Saptamini Si 2 Zile," directed by Christian Mungiu, "Tehilim," directed by Raphael Nadjari, "Stellet Licht," directed by Carlos Reygadas, "Persepolis," directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, "Le Scaphandre et le Papillon," directed by Julian Schnabel, "Import Export," directed by Ulrich Seidl, "Alexandra," directed by Alexandre Sokourov, "Death Proof," directed by Quentin Tarantino, "The Man From London," directed by Bela Tarr, "Paranoid Park," directed by Gus Van Sant, and "Izgnanie" (The Banishment), directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev
Also taking prizes at the 60th Festival de Cannes:
UN CERTAIN REGARD
Prix Un Certain Regard - Fondation Gan Pour le Cinema: "California Dreamin'" (Nesfarsit), directed by Christian Nemescu
Prix Special du Jury Un Certain Regard: "Actresses," directed by Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi
Jury Coup de Coeur: "Bikur Hatizmoret" (The Band's Visit) directed by Eran Kolirin
Premier Prix: "Ahora Todos Parecen Contentos" (Now Everybody Seems to Be Happy), directed by Gonzalo Tobal (Universidad del Cine, Argentina)
Second Prize: "Ru Dao" (Way Out), directed by Chen Tao (Beijing Film Academy, China)
Third Prize (shared): "A Reunion," directed by Hong Sung-Hoon (The Korean Academy of Film Arts (KAFA), South Korea) and "Minus," directed by Pavle Vuckovic (Fakultet Dramskih Umetnosti, Serbia)
Prix Regards Jeunes (Young Eyes Prize): "Control," directed by Anton Corbijn
Prix Art et Essai: "Garage," directed by Lenny Abrahamson
Label Europa Cinema Prize: "Control," directed by Anton Corbijn
SACD Prize for Best Short Film: "Meme pas Mort," directed by Claudine Natkin
International Critics' Week:
Grand Prize: "XXY," directed by Lucia Puenzo
The SACD French Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Award: "Meduzot," directed by Etgar Keret Shira Geffen
The Canal + Grand Prize - Best Short Film: "Madame Tutli-Putli," directed by Chris Lavis and Maciek Sczerbowski
FIPRESCI - Official Selection Prize: "4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days," directed by Cristian Mungiu
FIPRESCI - Critics' Week and Directors' Fortnight Prize: "Elle s'appelle Sabine," directed by Sandrine Bonnaire
Ecumenical Jury Prize: "The Edge of Heaven," directed by Fatih Akin
Youth Prize: "The Band's Visit," directed by Eran Kolirin
French National Education Administration Prize: "4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days," directed by Cristian Mungiu
Prix France-Culture (career achievement): Rithy Panh
The latest from the 2007 Festival de Cannes is available anytime in indieWIRE's special section.