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Chloe Zhao’s The Rider took the top prize Saturday at the Deauville Film Festival, but it’s safe to say that A Ghost Story was the big winner.
Zhao’s cowboy film, which earned the Directors’ Fortnight prize in Cannes, received Deauville’s best film honors, despite jury president and Oscar-winning filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) jokingly calling out La La Land.
“I fell in love with the heartland of America, which is a place that isn’t shown in the best light right now, which is unfair because these are some of the most amazing, kind and generous people I’ve ever met, and I think we have to remember that we are human beings at the end of the day and we share very similar hopes and dreams,” said Zhao in her acceptance speech.
But it was David Lowery’s A Ghost Story that captured the most awards, taking home the Jury prize from the main jury, the Revelation prize from a jury tasked with selecting the most innovative film and the Critics’ prize.
During his first acceptance speech, Lowery said he loves reading film reviews and that criticism “is an art form just as much as filmmaking, and I love reading reviews — except for my own films,” he joked.
During his second acceptance speech, Lowery reflected on the editing process for Ghost Story last year: “I kept thinking, ‘No one will like this except me.'”
By the third time he was called to the stage, Lowery shared a heartfelt message to his wife, saying that the otherworldly love story between the film’s stars Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara was a reflection of their relationship.
Menashe also won a Jury prize for director Joshua Z. Weinstein. The pic’s story centers around an Orthodox Jewish father who battles to gain custody of his son.
The Audience award went to Marc Webb’s Gifted, starring Chris Evans. As previously announced, Leonor Serraille’s Cannes winner Montparnasse Bienvenue took the Prix Michel D’Ornano for best first film.
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