The top prize at the 65th Cannes International Film Festival, the Palme d'Or, was awarded on May 27 to Michael Haneke's Amour (Love), starring revered French actors Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, who received a rousing standing ovation.
The Cannes jury, led by Nanni Moretti, agreed with the critical praise for Haneke's story about love for an octogenarian couple facing the end of life. This is the second Cannes prize for the Austrian director, who won in 2009 for The White Ribbon.
Most of the films from Cannes head into cinemas this fall. Amour will be released in Germany on September 20, then opens in France, Belgium and the Netherlands October 24-25, and is scheduled to arrive in Sweden on November 23, with other markets to follow.
Films winning the prestigious prize will be scheduled for distribution soon if not determined yet. Cannes Film Market head Jerome Paillard said that after a few slow years, the 2012 market was a record year.
The Best Actor award was presented to Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale, Clash of the Titans) for his role in The Hunt, a drama directed by Thomas Vinterberg, which was also selected by the Ecumenical Jury for its top trophy. The Hunt is so far scheduled to release across Europe in early 2013.
Best Actress went to both Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur for Beyond the Hills, directed by Cristian Mungiu, who also won best screenplay for the Romanian drama based on a true story. The director had won the Palme d'Or for 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 3 Days in 2007. Release dates are to be announced.
Reality by Matteo Garrone won the second-place Grand Prix and releases October in France, with other markets to follow. Best Director winner was Mexican Carlos Reygadas for Post Tenebras Lux, whose initial release in expected in 2012.
The Camera d'Or prize for best first film was awarded to Beasts of the Southern Wild. Screened as part of the Un Certain Regard selections, the drama was also selected by FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics and received a special mention from the Ecumenical Jury.
Beasts, which had also won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, will open in North America June 27, then heads to Russia July 5, Australia July 12 and European territories in the fall. Directed and co-written by Benh Zeitlin, the poetic tale follows a young girl, Hushpuppy, played by newcomer Quvenzhane Wallis, searching for her mother in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
The Cannes Jury Prize went to Ken Loach's The Angels' Share, which debuts this week in Europe. The dramedy opens in the UK and Ireland June 1, then France on June 27 and the Netherlands August 9, with more dates and places to follow.
These selections form the 22-strong competition lineup were determined by Nanni Moretti and fellow jurors Diane Kruger, Ewan McGregor, Hiam Abbass, Raoul Peck, Alexander Payne, Emmanuelle Devos, Andrea Arnold and Jean Paul Gaultier.
The critics of FIPRESCI also awarded In the Fog by Sergei Loznitsa, which was in the main competition. It is scheduled to open in France October 31 with more release dates to follow soon.
This weekend the Cannes jury for Un Certain Regard, led by actor Tim Roth, chose After Lucia as its best film, directed by Mexican writer-director Michel Franco (Daniel & Ana), a story about teenage bullying. Distribution is to be announced.
On Friday, the Directors' Fortnight delivered its Art Cinema Award to No, a historical drama set in the Pinochet era, starring Gael Garcia Bernal (Letters to Juliet) and directed by Chilean director Pablo Larrian. Sony Classics announced it just bought the North American rights.
Films from Cannes's main competition began releasing this weekend. Not among the award winners, Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom costarring Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton and Bruce Willis reached seventh place in the UK, eighth in France and tenth in Germany. The dramedy, which opened the festival, releases in June in Russia, Spain, and Scandinavian countries, with Australia and Argentina to open in August.
Director Jacques Audiard's Rust & Bone starring Marion Cotillard drew an estimated $1.3 million this weekend in Europe and On the Road, the screen adaptation of Jack Kerouac's iconic novel directed by Walter Salles, opened at fifth in France.