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Satrapi's Persepolis wins "Prix du Jury" at Cannes




The Jury Prize, a tie, was awarded by Jamel Debbouze to Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi ( co-director Vincent Paronnaud) and to Silent Light by Carlos Reygadas. The Jury Prize is one where the Entire Jury unanimously agrees on the best film. It contrasts with the Palm D'Or for which the jury can disagree amongst themselves but the final choice will depend on the result of the vote amongst them.



Ridley Scott was discovered as a promising filmmaker by winning the Prix du Jury for his first feature film The Duelists ( after directing Advertisments for 20 years) now considered as a cult film and its director is one of the most respected craftsmen in Hollywood. And Costa Gavras' "Z" is another one that can be remembered by film historians of Cannes.


The film screening was a hit in Cannes with a 20 minutes Standing Ovation by the audience.


Marjane Satrapi, once on stage, said: "I'll speak for both directors. We want to express our thanks Gilles Jacob and Thierry Frémaux for having selected our film. We thank the Jury for having awarded the Prize to us. We thank the whole crew of ninety people who worked with us for two years. Personally, although this film is universal, I wish to dedicate the prize to all Iranians."


Carlos Reygadas said: "Good evening. Thank you to Jaime, Natalia, Jean Labadie, the Festival, and the jurors."


At the laureates' press conference, Carlos Reygadas took the microphone to add the following: "It's a very important prize, because it helps us blaze a trail for other Mexican filmmakers and, even more, for filmmakers all over the world who are interested in a cinema which sometimes departs from the laws of total identification and clarification, a cinema that likes temporary ambiguity, that likes expression using means that are not always the customary ones (...) I feel very comfortable. I didn't expect everyone to be extremely well-disposed towards the film, especially after three screenings the same day. But the reality is that many people loved it. I find that incredibly touching. (...) I think powerful films are not for everyone. (...) I wasn't expecting any particular prize. I was ready to win everything, or win nothing. It's a very special prize, which doesn't really indicate whether the screenplay or the acting is the main subject of the award. It's a global prize."


Reacting to a complaint from Iran, France's Foreign Ministry Tuesday defended the Cannes Film Festival's decision to screen a movie that paints a bleak portrait of life after the Iranian revolution.

"Persepolis" is an animated adaptation of Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel about growing up in Iran during and after the 1979 revolution.

"Iranian authorities must understand that France is very attached to freedom of expression and freedom of creation," French Foreign Ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei said in Paris.
"The festival chose the film ... It was nothing to do with politics."

Iran sent a letter to the French Embassy in Tehran protesting at the screening, Iran's semiofficial ISNA news agency reported this weekend.


Marjan Satrapi's movie was a critical and public success during the public screening last week which was applauded for more than 20 Minutes of Standing Ovation by the crew of Journalists and movie goers. It will be released in France in June and may well become a Summer Blockbuster.


VIVE LE CINEMA and ... Persepolis ;0)


Authors Notes:


Photo Credits: Cannes Film Festival website


Recommended Reading :


Satrapi Launches Official Website & Production Blog

            Persepolis Runs In Cannes Palme D'or Selection 2007




About the Author: Darius KADIVAR is a Freelance Journalist, Film Historian, and Media Consultant.


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