Dheepan won the Palme d’Or at the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival on Sunday night.

The French film stars Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan, a former soldier from Sri Lanka who left his country in the midst of a civil war to escape to France. With him are a young woman, Yalini (Kalieaswari Srinivasan), and a young girl, Illayaal (Claudine Vinasithamby) – the three passed as a family and used false passports to flee the country. Dheepan follows their struggle adjusting to life in the outskirts of Paris, as violence and conflict surround the makeshift family.

Dheepan is French writer-director Jacques Audiard’s seventh feature film, but his first in competition at the Festival. Audiard was awarded the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Festival’s awards ceremony, where he received a standing ovation.

The Grand Prix, awarded to the runner-up, was awarded to Son of Saul, the debut film from Hungarian director Laszlo Nemes. Son of Saul, a Holocaust drama, received strong reviews at Cannes and also took home an International Federation of Film Critics (Fipresci) award.

Rooney Mara took home an award for best actress for her role in Carol, directed by Todd Haynes, as did Emmanuelle Bercot for her role in Mon Roi. The best actor award went to The Measure of a Man’s Vincent Lindon, while Hou Hsiao-Hsien won best director for his martial arts film, The Assassin.

Michel Franco took home the award for best screenplay for his film, Chronic, about a home care nurse who specializes in patients with terminal illnesses. Cesar Augusto Acevedo won the Camera d’Or – the prize given to the best debut feature film – for his film Land and Shade (La Tierra y La Sombra), and Ely Dager won the short film award for Waves ’98.

Finally, the Jury Prize went to Yorgos LanthimosThe Lobster, the surreal, dystopian drama starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz about a world in which people must find a mate within 45 days or be turned into animals.

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