Director Sean Baker won the Palme d'Or with his dark yet funny movie at the 77th Cannes Film Festival after seeing off 21 other competitors for the event's top prize.The movie "Anora" won the Palme d'Or, the Cannes Film Festival's top prize, on Saturday.

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The dark, funny and touching drama about a young exotic dancer, who becomes involved with a Russian oligarch's son, took the plaudits after overcoming 21 competitors up for the top prize, including entries by established directors such as Francis Ford Coppola and David Cronenberg.

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The film by Sean Baker continues a streak of sex worker-focused films by the American director, including the 2021 Cannes entry "Red Rocket" and 2017's "The Florida Project" starring Willem Dafoe.

This win is dedicated "to all sex workers past, present and future," he said as he accepted the award, while also thanking the film's star, Mikey Madison, as well as his wife and producer.

Exiled Iranian recognized

The Grand Prix, the second-highest prize after the Palme d'Or, was awarded to "All We Imagine As Light," the first Indian film in competition in 30 years about two women sharing an apartment and the challenges they face in a male-dominated society.

Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof, who was in Cannes just about two weeks after announcing he had gone into exile, was given a special award for "The Seed of the Sacred Fig."

Rasoulof's movie explores Iran's authoritarian system from the inside. The dissident filmmaker managed to clandestinely direct his latest work and escape Iran to show it at the annual event held in southern France.

The ceremony also honored George Lucas, famous for "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones."

Lucas received his award from occasional collaborator Francis Ford Coppol, reuniting two of the most prominent figures in American moviemaking over the last half- century.

jsi/sri (AFP, Reuters, AP)

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 26, 2024 04:00 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website