Cannes 2012: Un Certain Regard Top Prize Goes to Michel Franco's 'After Lucia'

11:00 AM PST 05/26/2012 by Rebecca Leffler

Tim Roth’s jury chose its favorite films from the official selection category.

Cannes’ Un Certain Regard jury gave its top prize on Saturday to Michel Franco’s After Lucia (Despues de Lucia) as the film festival headed into its final hours. Jury president Tim Roth chose the film from the 20-strong Un Certain Regard sidebar that was part of the official selection.

After Lucia is Mexican writer-director Franco's second feature after Daniel & Ana, which premiered in the Directors' Fortnight in 2009. The disturbing film focuses on bullying and adolescence and follows a father and daughter who move to Mexico City for a fresh start only to find that the girl is bullied in her new high school.

A Special Jury Prize went to Benoit Delepine and Gustave Kervern’s Le Grand Soir and a “Special Distinction of the Jury” award went to Aida Begic’s Children of Sarajevo.

The award for Best Actress was shared by Suzanne Clement for her role in Xavier Dolan’s crossdressing drama Laurence Anyways and Emilie Dequenne for her performance in Joachim Lafosse’s A Perdre la Raison.

“This was an extraordinarily strong group of films and our deliberations were passionate. The film makers never once failed us! Incredible!," Roth said of his tough decision in choosing the winners.

Un Certain Regard kicked off on May 17 with Chinese director Lou Ye's Mystery and wrapped Saturday with Gilles Bourdos' French film Renoir.

Roth was joined on the jury by French actress Leïla Bekhti, French director and producer Tonie Marshall, film critic Luciano Monteagudo from Buenos Aires, and Sylvie Pras, who serves as both head of Cinemas at Centre Pompidou in Paris and artistic director of La Rochelle Film Festival.

Sundance sensation Beasts of the Southern Wild earned the FIPRESCI International Film Critics award for best film in Un Certain Regard. Benh Zeitlin’s critically-applauded film won the top dramatic prize at Sundance in January. It follows a 6-year-old girl who leaves poverty-stricken Louisiana to search for her mother. The film wowed Cannes audiences when it screened earlier in the week to a loud standing ovation. 

FIPRESCI critics also named Sergei Loznitsa's In the Fog the best Competition title and Rachid Djaidani's Hold Back the best film in the Directors' Fortnight sidebar.

The Cannes Film Festival will announce its top prizes chosen by Nanni Moretti and his jury at its closing ceremonies on Sunday night.

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