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Julia Ducournau’s Titane wins Palme d'Or at 74th Cannes Film Festival

Ducournau became the first female director to win the award in 28 years.

Akshay Krishna
Jul 19, 2021
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French director Julia Ducournau becomes just the second woman in history to win the Cannes film festival’s Palme d'Or. Titane was given the festival's top prize after a decision taken by a jury headed by Spike Lee. Jane Campion was the last female director to win the prestigious award, Campion won in 1993 for “The Piano”. 

Titane is a horror drama that tells the story of a young girl who survives a car accident and has to put a titanium plate in her head. Titane shows the girl's distinctive relationships with cars as she grows up. A film that can produce a few yelps and create an uncomfortable viewing experience, is a beautifully crafted gruesome thriller.

The 74th Cannes film festival saw a jury in which the women outnumbered the men five to four. Mati Diop, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mylene Farmer, Melanie Laurent and Jessica Hausner were the women members of the jury.


Ducournau was thrust into fame with her 2016 film, Raw, which screened in the International Critics’ Week at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. 

The Grand Prix, the runners up prize at the festival, was shared by two films- Finish director Juho Kuosmanen’s Compartment No. 6 and Iranian Asghar Farhadi’s A Hero.

Leos Carax won the best director award for Annette, a musical starring Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard and Simon Helberg.

The best actor prize went to Caleb Landry Jones for his portrayal of a mass killer in Australian director Justin Kurzel’s Nitram. Norwegian actress Renate Reinsve took home the best actress award for her role in The Worst Persona in the World, directed by Joachim Trier.  

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