AceShowbiz - With the clock winding down on Cannes Festival this year, the winner of the top honor, Palme d'Or, was unveiled. An exploration of Nazi terror and from the hands of Austrian director Michael Haneke, "The White Ribbon" was lauded as the critics and journalists favorite throughout the festivals' 12-day run.
Haneke was present to receive the award from the Jury president Isabelle Huppert on Sunday, May 24 during the closing ceremony in the Palais des Festivals. This was particularly an honor, for the last time a jury president hands out a prize personally was way back when Clint Eastwood presented Quentin Tarantino with the same award for "Pulp Fiction" in 1994. "He goes so far into the human soul," Huppert said of Haneke in a post-ceremony press conference.
"White Ribbon" was shot in black and white, depicting the violence of Nazi regime as well as the fascism set in a small German town on the eve of the first world war. The movie has been picked up by Sony Pictures Classic to be distributed in the U.S. with a narration in English.
Receiving the second-most important award at Cannes, Grand Prix, was "A Prophet" which is a French film about a young Arab man sent to a French prison. Director Jacques Audiard received the award from Willem Dafoe who announced it. Similarly, the pic will be distributed in U.S. with date to be announced.
Best Director went to Filipino director Brillante Mendoza whose film "Kinatay" captures the incident when a police academy student witnesses a series of depraved acts committed against an exotic dancer. Other winners at the 2009 Cannes International Film Festival include Andrea Arnold's "Fish Tank" and Park Chan-Wook's vampire film "Thirst" that shared the Jury Prize, Charlotte Gainsbourg for Best Actress in "Antichrist", Christoph Waltz for Best Actor in "Inglourious Basterds", Warwick Thornton's "Samson and Delilah" for Camera d'Or (best first film), and Chinese director Lou Ye for Best Screenplay for "Spring Fever".