"Despues de Lucia," a drama from Mexican director Michel Franco, was named the best film of Cannes' Un Certain Regard section at a ceremony on Saturday night.
The film deals with a young woman and her father who move to a new town, leaving their old lives behind.
Actresses Emile Dequenne and Suzanne Clement were honored for their roles in "A Perdre La Raison" and "Laurence Anyways," respectively.
A special jury prize went to "Le Grand Soir" by Gustave de Kervern and Benoir Delepine, and a special jury mention to "Djeca" ("Children of Sarajevo") by Aida Begic.
Actor Tim Roth headed the Un Certain Regard jury, and said in announcing the prizes, “This was an extraordinarily strong group of films and our deliberations were passionate. The film makers never once failed us! Incredible!”
The jury also included French actresses Leila Bekhti and Tonie Marshall and Argentine film critic Luciano Monteagudo.
Other films in competition this year included Gilles Bourdos' "Renoir," Brandon Cronenberg's "Antiviral," Pablo Trapero's "White Elephant" and two Sundance prize-winners, Adam Leon's "Gimme the Loot" and Benh Zeitlin's "Beasts of the Southern Wild."
Un Certain Regard was launched at Cannes in 1978 by Gilles Jacob. It typically programs more experimental films than the main competition, often by young directors, and is considered a stop along the way to inclusion in the main section.
Past Un Certain Regard winners include such acclaimed filmmakers as Rodrigo Garcia, Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Hong Sang-soo, and the films "Dogtooth" and "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu."
The Palme d'Or, and other prizes in Cannes main competition, will be announced on Sunday.
Prize of Un Certain Regard: "Despues de Lucia," Michel Franco
Special Jury Prize: "Le Grand Soir," Gustave de Kervern and Benoir Delepine
Best Actress: Emile Dequenne, "A perdre la raison," and Suzanne Clement, "Laurence Anyways"
Special Distinction of the Jury: "Djeca" ("Children of Sarajevo") Aida Begic