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French movie Dheepan wins Palme d'Or, Best Director Award given to Hou Hsiao-Hsien at Cannes

Updated: 05 25 , 2015 09:27
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CANNES, France -- French movie Dheepan, directed by Jacques Audiard, won the Palme d'Or for the Best Film at the 68th Festival de Cannes on Sunday, while the Best Director Award was given to Hou Hsiao-Hsien.

Dheepan is about the story of a former soldier, a young woman and a little girl pose as a family in order to escape the civil war in Sri Lanka. They end up settling in a housing project outside Paris. They barely know one another, but try to build a life together.

This is the fourth time that Audiard's movies enter the main competition of the Festival de Cannes. He won the Best Screenplay Award for A Self-Made Hero in 1996, and Grand Prize of the Jury for A Prophet in 2009.

Another important award, the Best Director Award was given to Hou Hsiao-Hsien of China's Taiwan, for directing the movie Nie Yinniang.

During the press conference after the closing ceremony, Hou said he was not disappointed not to win the Palme d'Or.

"Only a certain number of films can get a prize," Hou said, adding that "if you believe in what you're doing, it really doesn't matter if you get a prize or not."

Asked about why he wanted to make this film during a press conference after the screening of Nie Yinniang, Hou said: "the story took place in Tang Dynasty which was a very glamorous dynasty in Chinese history. Women had an even higher place than men at that time. So I thought it would be very interesting."

During an exclusive interview with Xinhua recently at the festival, the famous director revealed how he directed the movie Nie Yinniang.

"I didn't direct at all! I just gave them the script and they will have to read it. Then we didn't have rehearsals and they all played according to what they read," he explained.

This is the seventh time that Hou Hsiao-Hsien's movie is competing for the Palme d'Or. He won the Jury Prize in 1993 and the Technical Grand Prize in 2001, respectively for his movies The Puppetmaster and Millenium Mambo.

France is the biggest winner of this year's Festival de Cannes, as French actor and actress won the Best Actor and Actress Awards.

French actor Vincent Lindon won his very first prize in his career for portraying a middleaged man fighting with unemployment.

French actress Emmanuelle Berco, whose directing movie was the opening film of the festival, won the Best Actress for her role in Mon Roi, a movie of the passionate and destructive love between a couple in their forties during a 10-year period.

But she had to share the honor with American actress Rooney Mara who played in a lesbian theme movie Carol as a department store clerk.

Also, for the first time in the history of the Festival de Cannes, the Palme d'honneur was given to a woman, French director Agnes Varda.

Yorgos Lanthimos, who competed for the first time this year in the main competition at Cannes, won the Jury Prize for his movie The Lobster, while the Grand Prize was given to Hungarian director Laszlo Nemes' Saul Fia (Son of Saul).

Mexican director and screenplay writer Michel Franco won, for his movie Chronic, the Best Screenplay Award, which Chinese director Jia Zhangke won in 2013.

A total of 19 films were selected this year to compete for the top prize Palme d'Or.