Ken Loach scooped his second Palme d'Or with "I, Daniel Blake", a portrait of an ailing carpenter facing the bureaucracy of the healthcare system in today's Britain. Close to 100,000 euros were invested in the development and the distribution stages of this film. This is the 15th Palme d'Or awarded to a film supported by MEDIA since 1991, as the programme celebrates this year its 25 anniversary.

screenshot from the film "I, Daniel Blake" by Ken Loach

Cannes Film Festival competitions

"I, Daniel Blake" tells the story of a 59 year-old man from Newcastle fighting to hold on to his benefits despite a rigid system. The film was supported at the earliest stages of its development through €50,000 of financial support, and at the distribution stage through another €50,000. 

The Best Director Award (Prix de la mise en scène) was jointly awarded to former Palme d'Or winner Cristian Mungiu for Bacalaureat and to Olivier Assayas for Personal Shopper.

Besides the official selection of the main competition, two films supported by MEDIA received accolades at Un Certain Regard section: the Best Screenplay award was bestowed upon Delphine and Muriel Coulin's Voir du Pays, while Michael Dudok de Wit' The Red Turtle received the Special Prize of the section. 

Parallel competitions

Two other major parallel competitions took place during the Cannes Film Festival, which also saw success for works promoted by the MEDIA programme:

  • The Director's Fortnight rewarded Solveig Anspach's L'Effet Aquatique with the SACD Prize and Shahrbanoo Sadat's Wolf & Sheep with the Art Cinema Award.
  • In the Semaine de la Critique, the Grand Prix Nespresso went to Olivier Laxe's Mimosas

Independent awards

MEDIA-backed films also claimed various awards in some of Cannes's parallel events:

The FIPRESCI prize, awarded by representatives from national film critics' associations went to Maren Ade for her film Toni Erdmann in the official competition. In the Semaine de la Critique competition, it was Julia Ducournau who went home with the prize, for Grave.

Finally, the Special Mention of the Oecumenical Prize went to Ken Loach for I Daniel Blake, while both Cannes soundtrack awards went to films supported by MEDIA: Ma Loute, by Bruno Dumont, and The Neon Demon by Nicolas Winding Refn.

Altogether, €531,000 were invested in the 11 films awarded in Cannes events.

MEDIA Programme celebrating 25 years

This was the occasion for MEDIA to celebrate its 25th anniversary, and the many successes which paved the years since 1991. A number of events took place at the MEDIA stands in Cannes, which welcomed Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Günther H. Oettinger and renowned filmmakers such as Pawel Pawlikowski and Costa-Gavras. 

Video material was produced on this occasion to showcase the best of European works