film festivals

‘I, Daniel Blake’ by Ken Loach wins top honours at the Cannes Film Festival

Also feted were ‘Personal Shopper’, ‘Graduation’, ‘It’s Only the End of the World’ and ‘The Salesman’.

An old dog can teach the world new tricks, as has been proven by Ken Loach’s scooping of the top honour at the Cannes Film Festival. The jury of the 69th edition, which was headed by Mad Max director George Miller and comprised Kirsten Dunst, Mads Mikkelsen, Vanessa Paradis and Donald Sutherland, awarded the Palme d’Or to Loach’s I, Daniel Blake, which is rumoured to be the 79-year-old British director’s last movie. The Competition comprised 21 films.

I, Daniel Blake is a critique of austerity policies, told through a single mother and a middle-aged carpenter who team up to apply for state welfare for medical treatment. Loach has previously won the Palme d’Or in 2006 for his period film about the Irish war of independence, titled The Wind That Shakes the Barley. Loach also won the Jury Prize in 2013 for The Angels’ Share, about a young criminal who tries to stay out of prison.

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‘I, Daniel Blake’.

The Grand Prix, or the second highest honour, went to Canadian enfant terrible Xavier Dolan’s It’s Only the End of the World, a dysfunctional family drama centred on a terminally ill writer and starring Vincent Cassel, Marion Cotillard, Lea Seydoux and Nathalie Baye.

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‘It’s Only the End of the World.’

The Best Director gong was split between French filmmaker Oliver Assayas and Romanian auteur Cristian Mungiu. Assayas won for Personal Shopper, a ghost story featuring Kristen Stewart in search of her dead twin brother.

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‘Personal Shopper’.

Mungiu shared the award for Graduation, which examines corruption in Romanian society through the efforts of a doctor trying to arrange for a British university seat for his daughter. Mungiu previously won the Palme d’Or for his gritty abortion drama 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days in 2007.

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‘Graduation’.

Asghar Farhadi from Iran went home with two gongs. The best actor award was given to Shahab Hosseini from Farhadi’s The Salesman, in which a middle-class couple is torn apart by a sudden event. Farhadi, director of About Elly and A Separation, also won the Best Screenplay award.

Filipino director Brillante Mendoza’s Ma Rosa, a hostage drama about a face-off between low-level drug dealers and corrupt police officials, won Jaclyn Jose the best actress award.

Andrea Arnold’s acclaimed American Honey, featuring newcomer Sasha Lee as a teenager on a road trip through the American Midwest, won the Jury Prize. The award for the best first feature film, called the Camera d’Or, went to Houda Benyamina’s Divines, a coming of age story about a French-Arab teenager.

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‘The Salesman’.

The winners in the Un Certain Regard section had previously been announced. The best film was named The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki by Juho Kuosmanen. The Finnish production is a biopic of the boxer Olli Mäki and his championship match against American featherweight champion Davey Moore in 1962.

Matt Ross was named Best Director in the Un Certain Regard section for Captain Fantastic, about a family that has to assimilate into society after years of living in isolation.

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‘The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki’.

Juanjo Gimenez’s Timecode, about two security guards at a parking lot, won the short film award. Les Vies de Thérèse, Sébastien Lifshitz’s documentary about the last weeks in the life of feminist Thérèse Clerc, was awarded the Queer Palm.

Legendary French actor Jean-Pierre Leaud, who was introduced to the world in François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows (1959), was given the honorary Palme d’Or. For the complete list of winners, see here.

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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.

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2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.