Cannes 2016: all the awards, and reaction

Ken Loach wins his second Palme d’Or, Andrea Arnold wins her third Jury Prize and Iran’s Asghar Farhadi wins two awards for best actor and screenplay – but Maren Ade’s widely admired Toni Erdmann leaves empty-handed. So do juries shun comedies? Do actors always lean to theatre stories?

Web exclusive

Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake, winner of this year’s Palme d’Or

Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake, winner of this year’s Palme d’Or

What UK newspaper arts editors have wanted for years to happen in Cannes finally did. It was ‘a great night for the Brits’, with Ken Loach picking up his second Palme d’Or for I, Daniel Blake, his deeply moving indictment of the destruction of the welfare state, and Andrea Arnold winning her third Jury Prize for American Honey, her evocative, energised road movie following youth out to find themselves in the USA.

But it was also a great night for theatre-based films and it could be that the tendency in major festivals to have the majority of jurors be actors may have tipped it in favour of giving the Grand Prix to Xavier Dolan’s OTT stage adaptation It’s Only the End of the World and both the Best Screenplay and Best Actor prizes to Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman, which combines real-life drama with Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman. I say that not to take any glory away from Farhadi’s winners. I don’t think the film works but the screenplay and acting were good.

I am more puzzled by Dolan’s win, though, since the film is histrionic to the nth degree. But it can be difficult for a jury to come to agreement, and sometimes the best films lose out because of strong objections from just one or two jurors. I guessed Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann wouldn’t win the Palme d’Or because comedies don’t, but I’m surprised by the total shutout. Having said that, Toni Erdmann is all about surprises, so we’ll put this down to another one.

I’m pleased for Cristian Mungiu and Olivier Assayas, who had to split the Best Director prize (respectively for Graduation and Personal Shopper), and I don’t mind Jaclyn Jose winning the Best Actress prize (for her role in Brillante Mendoza’s Ma’ Rosa) because the field was so tight. Cristi Puiu’s Sieranevada is not the kind of film that wins prizes and the Dardennes have enough on the shelf without getting another. Others elsewhere will complain that this set of awards are some kind of catastrophe, but I leave that to them.


The awards

Official Competition

Competition: feature films

Pal​me d’Or

I, Daniel Blake directed by Ken Loach

Grand Prix

It’s Only the End of the World (Juste la fin du monde) directed by Xavier Dolan

Best Director ex-aequo

Olivier Assayas for Personal Shopper
and Cristian Mungiu for Graduation (Bacalaureat)

Best Screenplay

Asghar Farhadi for Salesman (Forushande)

Best Actress

Jaclyn Jose in Ma’ Rosa, directed by Brillante Mendoza

Best Actor

Shahab Hosseini in Salesman (Forushande) directed by Asghar Farhadi

Jury Prize

American Honey directed by Andrea Arnold


Palme d’Or — Short Film

Timecode directed by Juanjo Gimenez

Palme d’Or — Short Film

The Girl Who Danced with the Devil (A Moça que Dançou com au Diabo, directed by João Paolo Miranda Maria


Caméra d’Or (first feature prize)

Divines directed by Houda Benyamina


Un Certain Regard

Best Film

The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki (Hymyilevä Mies) directed by Juho Kuosmanen

Jury prize

Harmonium (Fuchi Ni Tatsu) directed by Kôji Fukada

Best Director

Matt Ross for Captain Fantastic

Best Screenplay

The Stopover (Voir du pays) directed by Delphine and Muriel Coulin

Special Prize

The Red Turtle directed by Michael Dudok de Wit)


Directors’ Fortnight

Art Cinema Award

Wolf & Sheep directed by Shahrbanoo Sadat

Best French-language feature

The Together Project (L’Effet Aquatique) directed by Solveig Anspach

Special mention 

Divines directed Houda Benyamina

Europa Cinemas award to a European feature film 

Mercenary (Mercenaire) directed Sacha Wolff

Best Short Film

Chasse Royal directed by Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret

Special mention

The Beast (Zvir) directed by Miroslav Sikavica


Critics’ Week

Grand Prize

Mimosas directed by Oliver Laxe

Visionary Award

Albüm directed by Mehmet Can Mertoğlu

Discovery Prize for short films

Prenjak directed by Wregas Bhanuteja

See all our coverage

Access the digital edition

Back to the top

See something different

Subscribe now for exclusive offers and the best of cinema.