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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 May, 2005, 18:37 GMT 19:37 UK
Belgian drama awarded Palme d'Or
L'Enfant directors Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne
The Dardenne brothers repeated their success of six years ago
Belgian drama L'Enfant (The Child) has won the Palme d'Or, the top prize at the Cannes film festival.

It beat 20 other films to the prestigious award at the annual event.

L'Enfant is a gritty urban tale of a young couple living on the breadline in France, directed by brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne.

Hollywood star Tommy Lee Jones won the best actor prize for his performance in The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, a Western he directed.

Family turmoil

It was the second Palme d'Or for the Dardenne brothers, having previously been awarded the prize in 1999 for controversial drama Rosetta.

US director Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers, starring Bill Murray as an aging Don Juan searching for a son he did not know he had, won the Grand Prix award - the runner-up for best film.

Israel's Hanna Laslo won the best actress prize for her performance in Free Zone, a drama envisioning a Middle East freed of its borders.

Tommy Lee Jones
Hollywood star Tommy Lee Jones won the best actor prize
Laslo, who accepted the prize from actor Ralph Fiennes at a gala ceremony, dedicated the prize to her mother, a Holocaust survivor.

The special jury prize went to Chinese director Wang Xiaoshuai's Shanghai Dreams, which tells of a family's turmoil as it tries to leave the backwater town it was sent to in a state program to develop rural areas.

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada was also named best screenplay, Michael Haneke was best director for Hidden and Wayfarers by Ukraine's Igor Strembitskyy was named best short film.

US director Miranda July and Sri Lanka's Vimukthi Jayasundara shared the Golden Camera award for first-time directors.

Arthouse veterans

This year's Palme d'Or competition was dominated by arthouse veterans - in contrast to last year, when Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 won.

The 21 movies in competition included works by Gus Van Sant, Lars von Trier and Wim Wenders.

The Palme d'Or was presented by Oscar winners Morgan Freeman and Hilary Swank on Saturday, the final day of the festival.

Broken Flowers
Grand Prix winner Broken Flowers stars Bill Murray and Sharon Stone
Before the announcement, Cannes jury head Emir Kusturica said the contenders would be judged on "aesthetics".

Mexican actress Salma Hayek and Spanish actor Javier Bardem were on the nine-person panel alongside Bosnian director Kusturica.

The Cannes film festival is the world's most prestigious film industry gathering, attracting more than 40,000 movie industry workers every year.

It opened on 11 May with a gala showing of movie Lemming starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and British actress Charlotte Rampling.

Out of competition, Revenge of the Sith - the final instalment of George Lucas' Star Wars series - was given its world premiere during the festival.


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Watch the Dardennes brothers receive the Palme d'Or



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