Seven MIFF Alumni Directors Take Home Awards at Cannes

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Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan with Palme d’Or prize; Winter Sleep poster
We are proud to extend a massive round of applause to an international array of masterful MIFF alumni directors (from Turkey, Italy, Germany, Spain, Canada, Hungary and Argentina) who took home awards at Cannes this past weekend.  Standing O for Turkish filmmaker and writer Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Three Monkeys, MIFF 2009) who came away with the coveted Palme d’Or, for his 196-minute deeply engrossing drama, Winter Sleep (Kis uykusu), and dedicated this top prize to “the young people in Turkey and those who lost their lives in the last year.” Winter Sleep delves into the everyday existence of Ayudin (Haluk Bilginer), a middle-aged former actor turned comfortably situated mountaintop hotel owner, developing into a multidimensional character study with moral implications resonating far beyond its remote Turkish setting.
The Wonders (Le meraviglie) poster; scene from Alice Rorwacher’s The Wonders
Italian director and screenwriter Alice Rohrwacher (Corpo celeste, MIFF 2012) took home Cannes’ Grand Prix in the main competition section as well as a Palme d’Or nomination for her latest dramatic feature, The Wonders (Le meraviglie), a coming of age story set in the northern Italian countryside which follows a part-German, part-Italian family and their beekeeping / honey business, as a change in health and safety laws begin to threaten their future. 
Director Wim Wenders on stage at Olympia Theater (MIFF 2006); photographer Sebastião Salgado (The Salt of the Earth)
Oscar-nominated German filmmaker Wim Wenders (MIFF 2006 Career Achievement Tributee, Don’t Come Knocking, and special screening of Buena Vista Social Club) won the Un Certain Regard Special Prize for his new doc-biopic The Salt of the Earth, an impressive ode to photographer Sebastião Salgado, that results in a stunning visual odyssey through his career. The film was co-directed by the shutterbug’s son, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, and also won a Special Commendation from the SIGNIS Ecumenical Jury, as did Barcelona-born filmmaker Jaime Rosales (Bullet in the Head (Tiro en la cabeza), MIFF 2009) for his new film Beautiful Youth (Hermosa juventud), where a couple of 20-year-olds, struggling to earn a living in today’s Spain, decide to shoot an amateur porn film, and the birth of their daughter becomes a catalyst for change.
Posters & film stills l to r: Beautiful Youth, Mommy, White God, Jauja
Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan’s (MIFF 2013 with Laurence Anyways) 2014 film, Mommy (view clip), won the Jury Prize in the main competition section, in a shared win with Jean-Luc Godard’s latest, Goodbye to Language (Adieu au langage). In Mommy, a widowed single mother, raising her violent son alone, encounters new hope when a mysterious neighbor insinuates herself into their household.

Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó (Delta, MIFF 2009) won the Un Certain Regard Grand Prize for his sixth feature film White God (Fehér isten), an emotionally stirring, technically masterful man vs. dog escapade where a lost mutt’s astonishing journey to sanctuary evolves into a full-fledged man vs. beast revolution. This is the tale of an eternal friendship between a girl and a dog in a world where ancestry can decide on life or death.

Argentinian director and writer Lisandro Alonso (Liverpool, MIFF 2008) won the FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) prize in the Un Certain Regard section for his new film Jauja, a father (MIFF alum Viggo Mortensen) and daughter journey from Denmark to an unrevealed desert that exists in a realm beyond the boundaries of civilization.  Congratulations!!  —Tatyana Chiocchetti

Jaie Laplante

Jaie Laplante is the Miami Film Festival's executive director and director of programming. Learn more about Jaie on Programmers.