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Justine Triet Makes History as Third Female Director to Win at Cannes Film Festival 2023

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The 2023 Cannes Film Festival concluded with a momentous announcement as Justine Triet, a French director, claimed the prestigious prize, marking the third time a female director has achieved this honor. The closing ceremony, broadcasted live on a French network and streamed worldwide, was followed by the world premiere screening of Disney/Pixar’s Elemental, directed by Peter Sohn.

Variety reported that Justine Triet won the esteemed award for her courtroom drama, Anatomy of a Fall. The prize was presented by Jane Fonda, who commended the progress Cannes has made since her initial participation, noting that in the past, there were no women directors competing. Fonda expressed her satisfaction with the industry’s evolution, stating, “We’ve come a long way.”

Triet utilized the opportunity to draw attention to the French government’s austerity programs, which have triggered nationwide protests due to major cuts to cultural programs and pension reforms. In her acceptance speech, she dedicated the award to young women and men directors, highlighting the challenges they face in the current filmmaking landscape. Triet emphasized the importance of creating space and opportunities for emerging talents, reminiscing about a time when she had the freedom to make mistakes and begin anew in a less-hostile world.

In addition to Triet’s win, Japanese acting legend Koji Yakusho secured the Best Actor prize for his role in Wim Wenders’ Perfect Days, while Merve Dizdar, the star of the Turkish drama About Dry Grasses directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, received the Best Actress honors.

The Cannes Film Festival 2023 also recognized other remarkable films and talents across various categories. Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest was awarded the Grand Prix, Tran Anh Hung won the Best Director accolade for The Pot au Feu, and Aki Kaurismaki’s Fallen Leaves received the Jury Prize. Sakamoto Yûji was recognized for the screenplay of Monster.

Additional awards included the Camera d’Or, which was bestowed upon Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell by Thien An Pham, and the Short Films Palme d’Or, which went to 27 by Flóra Anna Buda. The Queer Palm was awarded to Monster, and the UN CERTAIN REGARD category honored How to Have Sex by Molly Manning Walker with the Un Certain Regard Award.

The festival also recognized outstanding achievements in the Directors’ Fortnight and Critics’ Week sections, with notable films such as Europa Cinemas Label winner Creatura by Elena Martín and Grand Prize recipient Tiger Stripes by Amanda Nell Eu.

As Cannes Film Festival 2023 concluded, the event served as a platform to celebrate exceptional filmmakers and their contributions to the cinematic world. Justine Triet’s victory as the third female director to win the prestigious prize underscores the progress made in promoting diversity and female representation in the industry.

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