Cannes to award Palme d’Or as selected by Spike Lee jury

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The 74th Cannes Film Festival on Saturday will hand out its top honor, the Palme d’Or, as selected by a jury headed by Spike Lee

The 74th Cannes Film Festival will on Saturday award its top honor, the Palme d’Or, as selected by a jury headed by Spike Lee.

Cannes’ closing ceremony caps 12 days of red-carpet premieres, regular COVID-19 testing for many attendees and the first major film festival to be held since the pandemic began in almost its usual form. With smaller crowds and mandated mask-wearing in theaters, Cannes pushed forward with an ambitious slate of global cinema. Last year’s Cannes was completely canceled by the pandemic.

Twenty-four movies are in contention for the Palme. The jury’s deliberations are private and unknown, but that never stops a wide spectrum of predictions, guesses and betting odds. This year featured a strong slate of many top international filmmakers, but no movie was viewed as the clear favorite.

Among the best-received films at the festival were: Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s portrait of honor and social media “A Hero”; Chadian filmmaker Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s abortion drama “Lingui”; Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s meditative, Tilda Swinton-led “Memoria”; French director Julia Ducournau’s wild, high-octane serial-killer odyssey “Titane”; Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project” follow-up, “Red Rocket”; Japan’s Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Haruki Murakami adaptation, “Drive My Car”; and Russian director Kirill Serebennikov’s influenza tale “Petrov’s Flu.”

Lee is the first Black jury president at Cannes. His fellow jury members are: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Song Kang-ho, Tahar Rahim, Mati Diop, Jessica Hausner, Kleber Mendonça Filho and Mylène Farmer.

——— Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

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