Cannes: Neon's Horror Film 'Border' Wins Un Certain Regard Prize

Cannes_UN CERTAIN REGARD_ BORDER  GRÄNS Still 1 - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

The jury of three women and two men, headed by Benicio Del Toro, tapped Ukraine’s Sergei Loznitsa as best director and Joao Salaviza and Renee Nader Messora’s 'The Dead and the Others' as the jury prize winner.

The Un Certain Regard sidebar of the 71st Cannes Film Festival unveiled its winners on Friday afternoon, with the jury awarding the top prize to Ali Abbasi's Border.

The Swedish film, which already landed U.S. distribution with Neon, centers on a customs officer who develops a strange attraction to the suspect she's investigating. The horror film has been dubbed a troll love story.

"We as a jury feel that out of the 2,000 films that were considered by the fest, that the 18 films that we saw were in their own way big winners," said jury president Benicio Del Toro at the ceremony, held at the Debussy Theatre. "But we had to pick the five movies that moved us as a group."

Joao Salaviza and Renee Nader Messora’s The Dead and the Others won the jury prize. Salaviza dedicated the prize to the "Indigenous people who live under threat" and brought two people from the film, who live in Brazil's Amazon rainforest, to the stage.

Ukraine’s Sergei Loznitsa won the best direction award for Donbass, which was Un Certain Regard’s opening-night film.

Meryem Benm'Barek-Aloisi took best screenwriting honors for Sofia, and Victor Polster, who plays a transgender teen in Girl, won the best acting prize. "He's not here. He's in school. He's only 16," the film's director, Lukas Dhont, joked while accepting the award on behalf of Polster.

The jury of three women and two men also included Palestinian writer and director Annemarie Jacir, Russian helmer Kantemir Balagov, French actress Virginie Ledoyen and Telluride Film Festival executive director Julie Huntsinger.

Though Cannes 2018 was poised to be the year of the woman, so far the biggest trophies have gone to men, including Gaspar Noe, who took home the Directors Fortnight top prize for Climax last night.