The 59th Cannes Film Festival (May 17-28, 2006) officially ended on Sunday, awarding Ken Loach's Irish drama with its top prize, the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm).
Other films and filmmakers awarded prestigious prizes were -
"The Wind That Shakes the Barley"(UK/Ireland) by Ken Loach
"In earlier interviews during the festival, the 69-year-old filmmaker, known for his politically charged works, eagerly told all that the Irish fight for independence against an empire imposing its will on a foreign people had resonances with the U.S. occupation of Iraq today."
Grand Prix (runner up prize):
"Flandres" by France's Bruno Dumont
A movie brutally examining the effects of war on a young man in an unspecified locale. While Dumont does not define the conflict, the conflicts' enemies reveal obvious references to Afghanistan and Iraq, especially with its Arab snipers and executions of soldiers caught by the enemy.
"Volver" by Spain's Pedro Almodóvar
The Cannes vet, earlier rumored to be the Palme d'Or fave this year, brought a bitter-sweet tale of abuse, abandonment and reconciliation. The cast featured a talented ensemble cast of ladies who shared the Best Actress prize.
"Babel" by Mexico's Alejandro González Iñárritu
The film which completes Inarritu's self proclaimed trilogy - began with "Amores Perros", continued with "21 Grams", and now, finishes with "Babel". The film, which was shot on three continents and stars Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt, deals with - personal, cultural, and national barriers.
the Ensemble Cast of "Days of Glory"
A film about the role North African troops played defending France in World War Two. The cast includes Jamel Debbouze, Samy Naceri and Sami Bouajila.
the Ensemble Cast of "Volver"
The ensemble cast includes Penelope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Duenas, Blanca Portillo, Yohana Cobo and Chus Lampreave.
"Red Road" by Britain's Andrea Arnold
The tale concerns a woman whose job is to monitor the streets of Glasgow through a network of surveillance cameras.
Palme d'Or for Best Short Film:
"Sniffer" by Bobbie Peers
Camera d'Or Prize to First Film:
"A Fost sau n-a fost?" by Corneliu Porumboiu
The esteemed Juries were as followed:
Feature film Jury -
Wong Kar Wai, President, Chinese director
Monica Bellucci, Italian actress
Helena Bonham Carter, English actress
Lucrecia Martel, Argentinean director
Ziyi Zhang, Chinese actress
Samuel L. Jackson, American actor
Patrice LeConte, French director
Tim Roth, English director and actor
Elia Suleiman, Palestinian director
Cinefondation and Short Films Jury -
Andrei Konchalovsky, President, Russian director
Tim Burton, American director
Sandrine Bonnaire, French actress
Daniel Bruhl, German actor
Souleymane Cisse, Malian director
Zbigniew Preisner, Polish composer