Cannes: 'Lerd' Wins Un Certain Regard Prize

A Man of Integrity 3 - Cannes Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

Uma Thurman led the jury for the Cannes sidebar, which also gave awards to 'Wind River' and 'Barbara.'

The Un Certain Regard sidebar of the 70th Cannes Film Festival announced its winners on Saturday, with the jury awarding the top prize to A Man of Integrity (Lerd) by Mohammad Rasoulof.

The film is a drama about endemic corruption in provincial Iran and shows how it’s an uphill climb for a righteous man.

"We are proud to present an aesthetically diverse and beautiful palmares," said Uma Thurman, Un Certain Regard jury president, to open the ceremony. 

April's Daughter by Michel Franco won the jury prize. Tim Roth executive produced the Spanish-language film from his Chronic director, which stars Julieta lead Emma Suarez. Franco said Cannes is the "best place to premiere a movie," and added, "A jury of many directors is always tricky, it's like a magician watching another magician — they know all the tricks." 

Wind River's Taylor Sheridan won the best direction award. Harvey Weinstein accepted the prize for Sheridan, who made his debut behind the camera with the Wyoming-set mystery starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen. Sheridan in absentia thanked Renner, Olsen and his "mentor Peter Berg."

"Lastly, I want to thank the tribal council of the northern Arapahoe and eastern Shoshone nations, for not only allowing me to tell this story but embracing me and lending me their assistance in every way asked," Weinstein continued in relating Sheridan's remarks. "It is the great shame of my nation the manner in which it has treated the native inhabitants of North America. Sadly, my government continues that shame with an insidious mixture of apathy and exploitation.

"There is nothing I can do to change the issues afflicting Indian country, but what we can do as artists — and must do — is scream about them with fists clenched. What we can do is make sure these issues aren't ignored. Then the people who can effect change will be forced to."

Weinstein continued with his own speech: "I would like to thank the jury for putting a spotlight on this issue. We get it. We will light the fuse and we will win the war. Barack Obama saw the pipeline and the issues that are going on in our country, most notably to native Americans, but our new administration thinks the opposite. This spotlight that you put on will change things."

Jasmine Trinca of Sergio Castellito's Fortunata (Lucky) won the best acting prize, and Mathieu Amalric took best screenwriting honors for Barbara.

Other jury members included helmers Joachim Lafosse and Mohamed Diab, actor Reda Kateb and Karlovy Vary festival director Karel Och.

The top prizes for the main competition selection will be awarded Sunday night during the closing ceremony at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes.