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Molly Manning Walker’s ‘How To Have Sex’ Wins Top Prize In Cannes Un Certain Regard; Jury President John C. Reilly Serenades Audience After Director Arrives Late For Ceremony

UK director Molly Manning Walker’s first film How To Have Sex won the top prize in Cannes Un Certain Regard on Friday evening.

The tale of a group of teenagers on a rite of passage clubbing holiday was described by Deadline reviewer Damon Wise as “a visceral and sensory experience” and an “exceptional debut”. Read the review here and a Deadline interview with the director here.

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The Jury Prize went to Moroccan filmmaker Kamal Lazraq’s Hounds about a father and son who find themselves caught up in a kidnapping plot that goes wrong.

Best Director went to Moroccan director Asmae El Moudir’s documentary The Mother Of All Lies about the bread riots that shook a working-class Casablanca neighborhood in 1981.

She follows in the footsteps of Alain Guiraudie, Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Sergei Loznitsa who also won the prize early in their careers.

In other awards, the Ensemble Prize went to the cast of Brazilian rainforest drama The Buriti Flower by Joao Salaviza and Renée Nader Messoera; the New Voice Award was clinched by Belgian rapper and MC Baloji for Omen.

The Freedom Prize went to Sudanese drama Goodbye Julia! by Mohamed Kordofani. Read Deadline’s interview with the director here.

Launched in 1978 by former Cannes delegate general Gilles Jacob, Un Certain Regard showcases 20 films by emerging filmmakers as well as more established directors pushing cinematic and geographical boundaries.

Eight of this year’s entries are first-time films making them also eligible for the Caméra d’Or for best debut feature, which will be announced tomorrow alongside the prizes for the main Competition including the Palme d’Or.

John C. Reilly presided over this year’s Un Certain Regard jury, joined by French director and screenwriter Alice Winocour, German actress Paula Beer, French-Cambodian director and producer Davy Chou and Belgian actress Émilie Dequenne.

The ceremony took an unexpected turn after Walker turned up late and Reilly decided to serenade the audience while they waited for her arrival. Walker sprinted into the hall a few minutes later.

The Un Certain Regard closes with the world premiere of Alex Lutz’s Strangers By Night, which screens Out of Competition after the UCR awards ceremony.

The Closing Ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 27, at 8:30 pm CET and will be followed by Peter Sohn’s Elemental as the official “last screening” of the festival.

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