Xavier Dolan wins Grand prix at Cannes Film Festival for "Juste la fin du monde" | iNFOnews

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Xavier Dolan wins Grand prix at Cannes Film Festival for "Juste la fin du monde"

Director Xavier Dolan poses for photographers after being awarded the Grand Prix award for the film It's only the end of the world, during the awards ceremony at the 69th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)
May 22, 2016 - 3:24 PM

CANNES, France - Quebec director Xavier Dolan took one of the Cannes Film Festival's top prizes on Sunday as he was awarded the Grand prix for his film "Juste la fin du monde."

The prize is considered the French festival's second-highest honour after the Palme d'Or, which was won by veteran British director Ken Loach for "I, Daniel Blake."

The only other Canadian filmmaker to have won a Grand prix in Cannes is Atom Egoyan for "The Sweet Hereafter" in 1997.

"Juste la fin du monde" ("It's Only the End of the World") tells the story of a man who returns to his hometown to tell his family he's dying.

In an emotional acceptance speech, Dolan said he hoped "so much to have not disappointed" with his adaptation of Jean-Luc Lagarce's stage play.

"I tried my best to extract a movie and to tell the story and the emotions of characters that were sometimes mean, sometimes garish but especially wounded and who live like so many of us -- as so many mothers, brothers and sisters -- in fear, in lack of trust, in the uncertainty of being loved," he said.

"Everything we do in life, we do to be loved," he continued.

Earlier in the week the film also won the independent Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, which honours a film that displays "a human and spiritual quality."

The 27-year-old director tied for the Jury prize in 2014 for "Mommy."

No Canadian filmmaker has ever won the Palme d'Or.

Dolan, who was a jury member at Cannes last year, also paid tribute to film's cast, which includes highly-regarded French actors Gaspard Ulliel, Nathalie Baye, Vincent Cassel, Lea Seydoux and Marion Cotillard.

After thanking the jury, he finished his speech by quoting French novelist Anatole France: "I have always preferred the madness of passion to the wisdom of indifference."

The award can be seen as some vindication for Dolan after his film was met with mixed reviews from journalists and the public earlier in the festival.

Speaking after the ceremony, Dolan said he was "surprised and shocked" that his message hadn't been understood by some critics.

"After a testimony like tonight's, what it tells us -- the people on the team -- is that the characters we drew for them and the story we told found its mark," he said at a news conference.

Dolan's father, Manuel Tadros, said his son had a difficult week in Cannes following the lukewarm critical reception.

"He was scared," Tadros told The Canadian Press in a phone interview. "In his heart, it's best film, so it's very disappointing to see that it was attacked by critics. But he also had great reviews, so he knew anything was possible."

Tadros said he was still absorbing his son's win.

"He is so close to the truth that child, and he keeps getting closer and closer," he said.

The film will be released in theatres in September.

--by Magdaline Boutros in Montreal

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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