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Sunday, 21 May, 2000, 22:51 GMT 23:51 UK
Dancer's surprise win at Cannes
Björk and Lars von Trier
Golden moment: Trophies for Björk and von Trier
Danish film director Lars von Trier has won the 2000 Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival for his musical tragedy Dancer in the Dark.

Icelandic pop star Björk won the Best Actress award for her performance in the film.


Though I know Björk doesn't believe me, if you meet her, tell her I love her very much

Lars von Trier
Dancer in the Dark was popular with Cannes audiences, but its blend of musical and prison tear-jerker had deeply divided the critics.

Von Trier's film is about a Czech immigrant who saves her paltry factory wages to pay for an operation for her son who suffers the same disease that is making her go blind.

The director came close to winning the Palme d'Or in 1996 with Breaking the Waves.

Accepting the award, he mentioned the much-publicised tensions between himself and Björk.

"Though I know she doesn't believe me, if you meet her, tell her I love her very much," von Trier said.

Samira Makhmalbaf
Iranian director Samira Makhmalbaf took the Jury Prize
Asked how she felt at winning the top acting award in what was her screen debut, Björk asked jokingly if she could sing her answer.

But the singer, who also wrote the score for the film, said she had no intention of looking for further screen roles.

"I don't want to be an actress," she said.

"When I said yes (to the role) I knew that it would be not only my first role but also my last one, and I am very happy that this experience was the one."

Despite her comments, Dancer In The Dark is not Björk's film debut. She appeared in lcelandic film Juniper Tree in 1987, and also took a cameo part in 1994's Pret A Porter.

Click here for the award winners in full

Asian films secured the bulk of the rest of the awards at the annual film festival.

Tony Leung: Best Actor
The jury, headed by French director Luc Besson, awarded the Grand Prize, for the runner-up, to Chinese director Jiang Wen's Devils on the Doorstep.

Edward Yang from Taiwan won the Best Director award for his A One and a Two.

Hong Kong star Tony Leung won the Best Actor prize for his role in In the Mood for Love, directed by Chinese director Wong Kar-wai.

The Iranian prodigy Samira Makhmalbaf, just 20, was a festival favourite, and leaves Cannes with the Jury Prize.

Makhmalbaf, daughter of the veteran Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf, dedicated her award "to the heroic actions of the younger generation which is fighting for democracy in our country".

Out of competition

For many, the true winner at this year's festival was a film presented out of competition, Ang Lee's martial arts costume drama Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

The film, a blend of action movie and high culture, brought a much-needed dash of old-style Hollywood magic to the festival.

Previous winners of the Palme d'Or have included Pulp Fiction, Wild at Heart and Secrets and Lies.


The 2000 Cannes Film Festival awards in full:

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 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Jon Sopel in Cannes
"The festival has once again shown that it is much more than just a showcase for the Hollywood blockbuster"
See also:

22 May 00 | Entertainment
In pictures: Cannes awards
18 May 00 | Entertainment
Björk's Cannes surprise
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