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31/05/2006

Double victory for British filmmakers at Cannes

British film talent has taken the international film world by storm by winning two of the industry’s most prestigious prizes at the Cannes Film Festival.
British director Ken Loach was awarded the Cannes Palme d’Or for his portrayal of the beginning of Republicanism in early 20th century Ireland in 'The Wind that Shakes the Barley', awarded £545,000 of Lottery coin by the UK Film Council’s New Cinema Fund. Loach is no stranger to Cannes success with nine of his previous films screened in the official Cannes selections including 'Land and Freedom' and 'Riff-Raff' (both previous winners of the FIPRESCI prize), 'Raining Stones' and 'Hidden Agenda' (winner of the 1993 Jury Prize).
First-time feature film director Andrea Arnold was awarded the Prix du Jury prize for her powerful tale of obsession and forgiveness, 'Red Road'. Funded by the UK Film Council’s New Cinema and Development Funds, the Glasgow Film Office and Scottish Screen, the film was produced by Glasgow-based Sigma Films in collaboration with Lars Von Trier’s Zentropa Films. The film which stars Katie Dickie, Tony Curran, Martin Compston and Nathalie Press echoes Arnold’s award-winning skill of delivering powerfully realist narrative previously seen by the film industry with her Oscar-winning short film, 'Wasp', which came out of the UK Film Council/Film Four Cinema Extreme Programme.
Paul Trijbits, Head of the New Cinema Fund said: "To have two British Lottery funded films in Competition in Cannes was in itself a tremendous achievement, but now to have one film win the Palme d’Or and the other win the Prix du Jury is an outstanding testament to the talent, creativity and vision of Ken Loach and Andrea Arnold."
(GB)
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