'The Class' wins top prize in the 61st Festival de Cannes news
26 May 2008

A jury headed by Oscar award winner Sean Penn announced  the winners in the 61st Festival de Cannes, which came to an end on 25 May.

'The Class', directed by Laurent Cantet, bagged the prestigious Palme d'Or award. The French film was the unanimous choice of the jury for the best film. Italian film 'Gomorrah', directed by Matteo Garrone, won the grand prix award and .

The film, based on an autobiographical novel by young teacher Francois Begaudeau, is a tale about a year in classroom life played by real students and teachers

Benicio Del Toro won the best actor award for his portrayal of Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara in Steven Soderbergh's  'Che', a biopic four-hour-plus documentary. Del Toro had won the supporting-actor Oscar in 2000 in another Soderbergh directed film 'Traffic.'

Brazilian star Sandra Corveloni in her first feature film role won the best actress for ' Linha De Passe'  or in 'Line of Passage', in which she is playing a pregnant mother of four.

Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan was named best director for "Three Monkeys."

Clint Eastwood and Catherine Deneuve won lifetime achievement awards at the French festival's closing ceremony.

Barry Levinson's film 'What Just Happened?' starring Robert De Niro, Sean Penn and Bruce Willis, was the last film to be screened at the end of the ceremony.

The Festival de Cannes or the Cannes Film Festival, which began in 1946, is considered as one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. The event takes place annually  in the resort town of Cannes, in the south of France.

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'The Class' wins top prize in the 61st Festival de Cannes