Second time a woman wins the Palme d’Or (but Spike Lee almost ruined the party)


Second time a woman wins the Palme d’Or (but Spike Lee almost ruined the party)

A slip of the jury president made it clear in advance that the French director Julia Ducournau would be the big winner.

The slip didn’t spoil the party.

For the second time in history, the Palme d’Or, the main prize at the Cannes Film Festival, went to a director. The 37-year-old French Julia Ducournau received the award for her work “Titane”. Ducournau follows in the footsteps of Jane Campion, who was the first woman to win Cannes in 1993, with “The Piano”. The winner also joins the feat of being the youngest among the 24 nominees.

But also the night of Saturday, July 17th, in Cannes was marked by a strange slip. Spike Lee, the president of the jury, gave the ceremony some spoiler. When asked about one of the awards in French, the American filmmaker read a card and announced the winner in the Best Film category ahead of time.

The director later admitted the mistake at a press conference. “There are no excuses”. Nevertheless, the premature announcement did not dampen the applause of the French director. The Cannes jury praised Ducournau’s “beautiful, dark and distorted fantasy” and highlighted how this very own story of crime and violence combines originality and even some humor.

The prestigious film festival returned to the French Riviera after a break in 2020 due to the pandemic. This was considered to be one of the most unpredictable competitions in recent years. The ceremony took place in July, later than usual as the festival usually takes place in May.

In her acceptance speech for the award, the emotional French director thanked her for her commitment to greater diversity. “Thanks for letting the monsters in.”

The full list of Cannes winners can be found online. Below you can see the teaser for “Titane”.