The Cannes Film Festival is the most prestigious film gathering in the world. It's more important than Sundance, Tribeca, and even the Oscars when it comes to bragging rights. Each year, a jury made up of film industry giants from around the world gathers to select which movies that year will win the famed Palm D'Or (or Golden Palm), the festival's top prize. Joel and Ethan Coen, Sienna Miller, Guillermo Del Toro, and Jake Gyllenhaal, among others, were on the jury this year. On May 24, it was announced that the French film "Dheepan" won the 2015 Palm D'Or. After receiving this honor, the film and its creator are sure to be awards contenders. Get a jump on one of 2015's best movies, by reading everything you need to know about "Dheepan."
It tells a story that needs to be heard.
"Dheepan" centers around the struggles of three Sri Lankan refugees, including the main character, Dheepan, who was a forced child soldier in the Tamil Tigers militia group. He and the other central characters, a woman and young girl, pretend to be a family in order to obtain political asylum in France. Once they enter the country, they must deal with the harsh realities of their new lives as immigrants with limited resources in an unfamiliar place.
The star has a personal connection to the film.
For Antonythasan Jesuthasan, the actor who plays Dheepan, the movie hit close to home. Jesuthasan himself was a child soldier in the Tamil Tiger army and, like his character, he escaped the violence in Sri Lanka by seeking political asylum in France. Jesuthasan, who is best known as a writer and novelist, has only had one bit part in a film prior to this. He says the character Dheepan is "50 percent autobiographical," according to Malay Mail Online.
The director is already a Cannes favorite.
Jacques Audiard, the French writer-director who is the auteur behind "Dheepan" is not a newcomer to the illustrious festival. His films have been nominated for the Palm D'Or on three previous occasions, and he won the Grand Jury Prize (Cannes' third highest honor, after the Palm D'Or and the Grand Prix) in 2009, for "The Prophet."