I, Daniel Blake is the biggest winner of this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
This year’s Palme d’Or was Ken Loach’s second award for best picture at the festival after 2006’s The Wind That Shakes the Barley.
Ken Loach, 79, attacked the “dangerous project of austerity” as he accepted the award for his movie about a middle-aged widower and the UK welfare system.
Andrea Arnold won the competition’s Jury Prize for her road movie American Honey.
It was the 13th time that Ken Loach, a social campaigner for most of his career and the director of more than 50 movies, has competed at the event.
I, Daniel Blake, which stars stand-up comedian Dave Johns in the title role, was written by Ken Loach’s long-time collaborator Paul Laverty.
The movie documents what happens when an older man living in Newcastle has a heart attack and can no longer do his job.
He is declared fit for work, meaning his benefits are stopped, and he begins to go hungry.
Accepting the festival’s top prize from Mel Gibson, Ken Loach said: “We must give a message of hope, we must say another world is possible.
“The world we live in is at a dangerous point right now. We are in the grip of a dangerous project of austerity driven by ideas that we call neo-liberalism that have brought us to near catastrophe.”
In the movie, Dave Johns meets single-mother of two Katie, who moves to Newcastle from London.
Cannes judges praised the actors’ depictions of the characters who “find themselves in no-man’s land, caught on the barbed wire of welfare bureaucracy as played out against the rhetoric of ‘striver and skiver’ in modern day Britain”.
It was the first movie role for Dave Johns, who said he was delighted by the French film prize.
Dave Johns said: “Ken made a film 50 years ago called Cathy, Come Home and this is actually in the same vein, saying that people who are on the bottom rung of life, you know are struggling.
“I’m a stand-up comic. Working with Ken was just absolutely the most amazing thing and this news that we’ve won the Palme D’Or – I’m just blown away with it. “
Ken Loach was up against directors including Spanish Oscar-winner Pedro Almodovar, Sean Penn and Paul Verhoeven.
Iranian movie Forushande (The Salesman) by Asghar Farhadi won two awards at the 69th staging of Cannes – best screenplay, and best actor, won by Shahab Hosseini.
The Grand Prix went to Juste la Fin du Monde (It’s Just the End of the World), directed by Canada’s Xavier Dolan, while Philippines’ Jaclyn Jose won best actress for her role in Brillante Mendoza’s Ma’ Rosa.
Andrea Arnold won the competition’s Prix du Jury (Jury Prize) for American Honey.
American Honey, starring Shia LaBeouf, follows a group of wild youths as they travel through US states selling hard luck stories and magazine subscriptions.
This year’s Cannes Film Festival lineups have been announced at a press conference in Paris.
The festival begins on May 13 and ends on May 24 with a jury chaired by Joel and Ethan Coen.
Festival director Thierry Fremaux announced the lineup in Paris on April 16, simultaneously launching a campaign to stem the tide of “selfies” on the red carpet.
“We don’t want to prohibit it, but we want to slow down the process of selfies on the steps,” said Thierry Fremaux.
“We think it’s ridiculous and grotesque and really slows things down.”
“You never look as ugly as you do in a selfie,” he added.
Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey, Marion Cotillard and Michael Caine are among those with films competing at this year’s festival.
The lineup sees many returning auteurs including new films from Gus Van Sant, Nanni Moretti and Jacques Audiard.
Films from Woody Allen and new Pixar animation Inside Out will play out of competition, alongside Asif Kapadia’s Amy Winehouse documentary.
Today’s press conference follows earlier announcements regarding the opening film – La Tete Haute (Standing Tall), by French actress-director Emmanuelle Bercot – and the worldwide premiere of Fury Road, the latest chapter in the revived Mad Max franchise.
Seventeen films were unveiled in competition and 14 in Un Certain Regard, although Thierry Fremaux noted there would be more films added to the lineup in the coming days.
Cate Blanchett will star alongside Rooney Mara in Carol, based on a novel by The Talented Mr. Ripley author Patricia Highsmith. The 1950s New York-set drama is directed by Todd Haynes of Far From Heaven fame.
In Gus Van Sant’s The Sea of Trees, Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe play two men who meet by chance in Japan’s Suicide Forest, where both have gone to end their lives; Naomi Watts also stars.
Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard will co-star in a new adaptation of Macbeth, from up-and-coming Australian director Justin Kurzel, while Italy’s Paolo Sorrentino follows up 2013’s The Great Beauty with the English-language drama Youth starring Michael Caine as a retired orchestra conductor who receives an invitation to perform for the Queen.
This year’s lineups also include two other Italian directors, Gomorrah‘s Matteo Garrone – premiering his The Tale of Tales – and Cannes regular Nanni Moretti, with My Mother.
As tradition dictates, France is represented by four directors – including Jacques Audiard, Maiwenn Le Besco, Valerie Donzelli and first-timer Stephane Brize.
Asia is represented by The Assassin, from Taiwan’s Hou Hsiao-hsien, China’s Jia Zhangke whose Mountains May Depart marks his fourth film at Cannes and Our Little Sister, from Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda.
Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario – a crime drama starring Emily Blunt and Benecio Del Toro – rounds out the trio of directors from the US, alongside Gus Van Sant and Todd Haynes.
Screening out of competition, Woody Allen’s 45th film, Irrational Man, sees Joaquin Phoenix star as a college professor who starts a relationship with one of his students (Emma Stone).
In 2014, the Palme d’Or was won by Winter Sleep, from Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan.
Blue is the Warmest Colour (La vie d’Adèle), a love story about two young French women, has won the Palme d’Or for best film at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
The film has attracted attention for its s** scenes as well as the acclaimed performances of actresses Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux.
Hollywood veteran Bruce Dern won best actor for his performance in Nebraska.
French star Berenice Bejo, known for silent film The Artist, won best actress for her role in The Past.
The winners were picked from the 20 films in competition and were named at the festival’s closing ceremony on Sunday.
Blue is the Warmest Colour is a three-hour coming-of-age movie in which Adele Exarchopoulos plays a 15-year-old who falls in love with an older woman, played by Lea Seydoux.
Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, the film won rave reviews in Cannes, being described as “epic yet intimate” by The Guardian.
The film also shocked some critics. The Hollywood Reporter said the “sprawling drama” would “raise eyebrows” as it crossed the barrier “between performance and the real deal”.
Some had questioned whether the s** scenes may make it too e**licit for the top prize.
But director Steven Spielberg, who chaired the jury, told reporters: “I think it will get a lot of play… I think this film carries a very strong message, a very positive message.”
In an unusual move, Steven Spielberg awarded the prize to the two lead actresses as well as the director.
Blue is the Warmest Colour ( La vie d’Adèle) has won the Palme d’Or for best film at Cannes Film Festival 2013
Accepting the prize, Abdellatif Kechiche said: “I should like to dedicate this film to the wonderful youth of France whom I met during the long period while making this film.
“Those young people taught me a lot about the spirit of freedom and living together.”
Blue is the Warmest Colour prevented US film-makers the Coen brothers from repeating their Palme d’Or success of 1991, when they won for Barton Fink.
Their latest film Inside Llewyn Davis, about the 1960s New York folk scene, won this year’s Grand Prix, effectively the runners-up prize.
The best actor award marks a return to the critical bosom for Bruce Dern, who is best known for roles in 1970s films including Coming Home, The Cowboys and The Great Gatsby.
Now 76, Bruce dern has won for playing an ageing, alcoholic father on a road trip to collect a lottery prize. The film, titled Nebraska, was directed by Sideways and The Descendants film-maker Alexander Payne.
Berenice Bejo’s best actress prize has proved that her performance in The Artist was not a one-off. Her film The Past is a family drama made by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi as the follow-up to his Oscar-nominated 2011 drama A Separation.
Mexico’s Amat Escalante, who made brutal drama Heli about the country’s drugs war, was something of a surprise choice for best director.
China’s Jia Zhangke won best screenplay for A Touch of Sin, an examination of rampant corruption in his country.
The Jury Prize went to Like Father, Like Son, about two families who discover that their six-year-old boys were switched at birth, directed by Japan’s Hirokazu Kore-eda.
Films that missed out included Behind the Candelabra, in which Michael Douglas plays the legendarily flamboyant entertainer Liberace, and Italian director Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty, a sumptuous story about an ageing novelist.
Steven Spielberg was joined on the jury by Life of Pi director Ang Lee, actress Nicole Kidman and Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz.
The other judges were We Need To Talk About Kevin film-maker Lynne Ramsay, French actor Daniel Auteuil, Romanian director Cristian Mungiu, Japanese director Naomi Kawase and Bollywood star Vidya Balan.