Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-Duk's "Arirang" and German director Andreas Dresen's "Stopped on Track" ("Halt Auf Freier") were named co-recipients of the top prize in the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes on Saturday.
The jury, which was headed by Serbian director Emir Kusturica, gave a Special Jury Prize to Andrey Zvyagintsev's "Elena," and honored imprisoned Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof as best director for "Au Revoir" (Good Bye"). Rasoulof''s award was accepted by his wife.
"Arirang" (left) is a minimalist self-portrait of sorts from a filmmaker who has averaged one feature per year over the last 15 years, while "Stopped on Track" (below) is Dresen's chronicle of a dying man facing his mortality.
Un Certain Regard is typically devoted to films from young directors, and ones that are often experimental in nature.
The 21 films in competition this year included Sean Durkin's Sundance favorite "Martha Marcy May Marlene," Gus Van Sant's "Restless," Gerardo Naranjo's "Miss Bala," Hong Sang-soo's "The Day He Arrives," Bruno Dumont's "Hors Satan" and Joachim Trier's "Oslo, August 31."
In indieWIRE's criticWIRE poll, Rasoulof's "Good Bye" drew the highest grade with an A-, followed by "Martha Marcy May Marlene" and "Miss Bala" with B+ grades. "Arirang" did not score well, with a C- grade. "Stopped on Track" screened too late in the competition to receive a score, though the Guardian called it "intimate and affecting."
In other Cannes awards announced on Saturday, the Fipresci International Federation of Film Critics honored Aki Kaurismaki's "Le Havre" as the top film in the main competition, Pierre Schoeller's "The Minister" as the best Un Certain Regard entry, and Jeff Nichols' "Take Shelter," which is slated for a U.S. release from Sony Classics, as the top Critics Week selection.
And the Ecumenical Jury gave its top honor to a film that has garnered wildly mixed reviews, Paolo Sorrentino's "This Must Be the Place," which stars Sean Penn as an aging rock star.
Special mentions from the Ecumenical Jury went to "Le Havre" and Nadine Labaki's "Where Do We Go Now."
Awards in the main competition, including the Palme d'Or, will be announced at a ceremony on Sunday.