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Cannes 2019 Winners: Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” wins Palme d’Or

Cannes 2019 Winners: Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” wins Palme d’Or

Bong Joon-ho's "Parasite" wins Palme d'Or at Cannes 2019

The 72nd Cannes International Film Festival concluded with a choral uproar with a Palme d’Or win for Bong Joon-ho’s film, “Parasite”. The thriller, as ever in Bong Joon’s films, is a sly, engrossing, and deeply affecting film that accentuates a rich dynamic of social class and stature—at least it’s a consensus that many critics seem to have agreed on.

If true, it’s in line with last year’s winner, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “Shoplifters”, a drama centered around a down-on-their-luck family of hustlers trying to navigate life below the poverty line in Tokyo.

“We all shared the mystery of the unexpected way this film took us through different genres and spoke in a funny, humorous, tender way—with no judgment—of something so relevant and urgent, so global in such a local film, with such a beautiful efficiency of media, and an understanding of what film really is. We were all fascinated when we saw it, and it kept growing and growing: that’s why it was a unanimous decision,” said Jury President Alejandro González Iñárritu of the jury’s decision.

Bong Joon-ho poses with his Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) for the movie ‘Parasite’ / Photo via Ian Langsdon

Mati Diop’s “Atlantics” won the Grand Prix awards—a truly historic feat, making Diop the first black female filmmaker to have been in competition and won. With this win, Netflix has bagged the film’s international rights. This means we’ll get to watch it in our own little screens soon, but I’m holding out hope for the big screen (*ahem, QCinema!)

The Best Director award went to directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne for their work on “Young Ahmed”. Antonio Banderas (“Pain and Glory”) and Emily Beecham (“Little Joe”) won the Best Actor and Best Actress awards, respectively. Céline Sciamma’s screenplay of “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (which she directed herself) bagged the Best Screenplay award, adding her to the growing list of female filmmaker Cannes winners. The Jury Prize is a tie between Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles’ “Bacurau” and Ladj Ly’s “Les Misérables”.

Here’s the full list of Cannes 2019 winners.


  • Palme d’Or: “Parasite,” Bong Joon-ho
  • Grand Prix: “Atlantics,” Mati Diop
  • Director: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, “Young Ahmed”
  • Actor: Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”
  • Actress: Emily Beecham, “Little Joe”
  • Jury Prize — TIE: “Les Misérables,” Ladj Ly; “Bacurau,” Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles
  • Screenplay: Céline Sciamma, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”
  • Special Mention: “It Must Be Heaven,” Elia Suleiman


  • Camera d’Or: “Our Mothers,” Cesar Diaz
  • Short Films Palme d’Or: “The Distance Between the Sky and Us,” Vasilis Kekatos
  • Short Films Special Mention: “Monster God,” Agustina San Martin
  • Golden Eye Documentary Prize: “For Sama”
  • Ecumenical Jury Prize: “Hidden Life,” Terrence Malick
  • Queer Palm: “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,”  Céline Sciamma


  • Un Certain Regard Award: “The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão,” Karim Aïnouz
  • Jury Prize: “Fire Will Come,” Oliver Laxe
  • Best Director: Kantemir Balagov, “Beanpole”
  • Best Performance: Chiara Mastroianni, “On a Magical Night”
  • Special Jury Prize: Albert Serra, “Liberté”
  • Special Jury Mention “Joan of Arc,” Bruno Dumont
  • Coup de Coeur Award: “A Brother’s Love,” Monia Chokri; “The Climb,” Michael Angelo Covino


  • Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Prize: “An Easy Girl,” Rebecca Zlotowski
  • Europa Cinemas Label: “Alice and the Mayor,” Nicolas Parisier
  • Illy Short Film Award: “Stay Awake, Be Ready,” An Pham Thien


  • Nespresso Grand Prize: “I Lost My Body,” Jérémy Clapin
  • Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Prize: César Díaz, “Our Mothers”
  • GAN Foundation Award for Distribution: The Jokers Films, French distributor for “Vivarium” by Lorcan Finnegan
  • Louis Roederer Foundation Rising Star Award: Ingvar E. Sigurðsson, “A White, White Day”
  • Leitz Cine Discovery Prize for Short Film: “She Runs,” Qiu Yang
  • Canal Plus Award for Short Film: “Ikki Illa Meint,” Andrias Høgenni


  • Competition: “It Must Be Heaven” (Elia Suleiman)
  • Un Certain Regard: “Beanpole” (Kantemir Balagov)
  • Directors’ Fortnight/Critics’ Week: “The Lighthouse” (Robert Eggers)


  • First Prize: “Mano a Mano,” Louise Courvoisier
  • Second Prize: “Hiéu,” Richard Van
  • Third Prize — TIE: “Ambience,” Wisam Al Jafari; “Duszyczka” (The Little Soul), Barbara Rupik