Cannes Film Festival 2010 Award Winners Announced

>> Thai film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul won the Palme d'Or top prize at the Cannes film festival on Sunday
>> Javier Bardem and Elio Germano share best actor award
>> Best actress is Juliette Binoche.

CANNES: Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul won the Palme d'Or top prize at the Cannes film festival on Sunday for a surreal reincarnation tale, Uncle Boonmee who can recall his past lives.


Spanish actor Javier Bardem, who plays a terminally-ill hustler in Biutiful by Mexico's Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, shared the best actor award with Italy's Elio Germano.

Javier Bardem and Elio Germano winners of the Best Actor Award

Best actress Juliette Binoche.

And France's Juliette Binoche was named best actress for her role as an unhappy antiques dealer in Certified copy by Iran's Abbas Kiarostami.

Surprise win

Mr. Weerasethakul was a surprise best film winner after critics strongly tipped French director Xavier Beauvois, who took the runner-up Grand Prix for Of gods and men, about Catholic monks threatened by Islamists in Algeria.

“This is like another world for me... this is surreal,” Mr. Weerasethakul told a packed festival hall after receiving the Palme d'Or from the head of the festival jury, U.S. film-maker Tim Burton.

The 39-year-old director thanked “the spirits... in Thailand that surrounded us” while making the film, a hypnotic tale featuring a humanoid monkey ghost and a disfigured princess having sex with a catfish.

Best director

Frenchman Mathieu Amalric won the best director prize for On tour, about a troupe of buxom American stripteasers touring French seaside towns, while South Korean director Lee Chang-Dong's Poetry scooped best screenplay.

Hundreds of celebrity-spotters lined the waterfront around the festival hall ahead of Sunday night's gala ceremony.

Critics have widely pegged this year's edition of the world's biggest film festival as more low-key than usual, with fewer big stars and hit movies.

But the main competition still drew some big names, including three former Palme winners: Britons Mike Leigh and Ken Loach plus Kiarostami.

Five Asian works were competing on Sunday, including another South Korean film, The housemaid.

Cannes had asked Iranian film-maker Jafar Panahi to sit on the jury but he was prevented from attending. He has been in jail in Tehran since March, accused by authorities of planning a film against the country's Islamic leaders.

The French government and the festival demanded Panahi's release and the film-maker himself spoke out against his detention in a letter to Cannes organisers.

Controversy too

Controversy also erupted over Outside the Law, a violent thriller about Algeria's independence struggle, which sparked rowdy demonstrations by protesters who accused director Rachid Bouchareb of rewriting history.

Also at the ceremony was Charlotte Gainsbourg, who won the prize for best actress last year for her role in Lars Von Trier's erotic shocker, Antichrist.

The French actress was presenting the last film of this year's festival — The tree, a Franco-Australian movie directed by Julie Bertuccelli which screens out of competition.

Last year, the Palme went to Austrian director Michael Haneke for The white ribbon.

CANNES WINNERS:

Palme d'Or (For Best Film) - Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Best director - Mathieu Amalric for On Tour
Best actress - Juliette Binoche for Certified Copy
Best actor- Shared by Javier Bardem for Biutiful and Elio Germano for Our Life
Best screenplay - Lee Chang-Dong for Poetry
Grand Prix - Of Gods and Men directed by Xavier Beauvois
Jury Prize - A Screaming Man directed by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun

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