Iranian film won “Un Certain Regard” top prize at Cannes

A Man of Integrity (Lerd), a film that focuses on a goldfish farmer battling corporate oppression in Northern Iran, has won the top prize in the “Un Certain Regard” competition at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday.

Directed by Mohammad Rasoulof, the film stars Reza Akhlaghirad, Soudabeh Beizaee and Misagh Zare Zeinab. A Man of Integrity marks Rasoulof’s third attempt at the Un Certain Regard section, having previously had two of his other movies nominated including 2011’s Au revoir and 2013’s Manuscripts Don’t Burn, winning Best Director for the former.

Rasoulof’s win comes three months after another Iranian filmmaker, Asghar Farhadi, won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film for his film The Salesman.

“Un Certain Regard” is a section of the Cannes Film Festival’s official selection. It runs parallel to the competition for the Palme d’Or. Introduced in 1978 by Gilles Jacob, this section presents works that have an original aim and aesthetic. The name literally means “a certain glance” but is understood by French speakers to mean “from another point of view.” In 2017 this section presented in competition 18 films hailing from 22 different countries.

Under the presidency of Uma Thurman (actress – United States), the Jury was comprised of Mohamed Diab (director – Egypt), Reda Kateb (actor – France), Joachim Lafosse (director – Belgium) and Karel Och (artistic director of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival – Czech Republic).

Iranian short film “AniMal” (Heyvan), co-directed by Bahram and Bahman Ark, won the second prize of the 20th Cinéfondation Selection.  The Jury was headed by Cristian Mungiu (director – Romania) and included Clotilde Hesme (actress – France), Athina Rachel Tsangari (director, writer, producer – Greece), Barry Jenkins (director, script writer – United States) and Eric Khoo (director, writer, producer – Singapore).

La Cinéfondation, by the Cannes Film Festival, was created to inspire and support the next generation of international filmmakers. This year’s selection consisted of 16 student films, chosen out of 2.600 entries coming from 626 film schools around the world.

UN CERTAIN REGARD PRIZES
“Un Certain Regard” Prize: Lerd (A Man of Integrity) by Mohammad Rasoulof
Prize for Best Actress:  Jasmine Trinca for Fortunata by Sergio Castellitto
Prize for the Best Poetic Narrative: Barbara by Mathieu Amalric
Prize for the Best Direction: Taylor sheridan for Wind River
Jury Prize: Las Hijas de Abril (April’s Daughters) by Michel Franco

20th CINÉFONDATION PRIZES
First Prize: Paul est là (Paul is here) directed by Valentina Maurel / INSAS, Belgium
Second Prize: Heyvan (AniMal) directed by Bahram & Bahman Ark / Iranian National School of Cinema, Iran
Third Prize: Deux égarés sont morts (Two youths died) directed by Tommaso Usberti / La Fémis, France

Sources: Wikipedia, Festival de Cannes (Un Certain Regard), Festival de Cannes (Cinéfondation), silverscreen.in, instagram.com #lerd, purepeople.com

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