UPDATE: Sean Baker’s New York-set romantic dramedy Anora has scooped the Cannes Film Festival’s top prize, the Palme d’Or. This marked Baker’s second time in the competition after 2021’s Red Rocket, and tonight’s win amounted to the realization of what Baker said has been his “singular goal as a filmmaker for the past 30 years.”

Anora stars Mikey Madison as a stripper from Brooklyn who transforms into a modern Cinderella when she meets the son of a Russian oligarch. Complications arise when his parents find out and try to get the marriage annulled.

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In his review, Deadline’s Damon Wise called it “a high-decibel screwball comedy… that accelerates at speed, cruises at high altitude for a surprisingly long time, then comes back down to Earth with a deeply affecting and almost unbearably melancholy coda that sends the audience out in silence.”

Announcing the Palme d’Or this evening, Cannes jury president Greta Gerwig said, “This particular film, this incredibly human and humane film that captured our hearts, made us laugh, let us hope beyond hope and then broke our hearts and never lost sight of the truth.”

Baker in his acceptance said he was “shaken” and “still in disbelief” that the festival “invited our little baby to the ball.”

He continued, “I’m going to fight for cinema because right now as filmmakers we need to fight to keep cinema alive. This means making feature films intended for theatrical exhibition. The world has to be reminded that watching a film at home while scrolling through your phone checking emails and half paying attention is just not the way — although some tech companies would like us to think so. Watching film with others in a movie theater is one of the great communal experiences, we share laughter, sorrow, anger, fear and hopefully have a catharsis with our friends and strangers — and that’s sacred. So I say the future of cinema is where it started, in a movie theater.”

This is Neon’s fifth Palme d’Or in a row; it will release domestically with some international markets handled by Focus/Universal.

Before the top prize was awarded, George Lucas was presented with an Honorary Palme d’Or by his friend, mentor, “big brother” and longtime collaborator Francis Ford Coppola.

Other winners this evening included two prizes for Jacques Audiard’s lauded Emilia Perez which took a shared Best Actress nod for its female ensemble of Adriana Paz, Zoe Saldana, Karla Sofia Gascon and Selena Gomez as well as the Jury Prize. The film garnered among the longest standing ovations when it was presented last Saturday.

Exiled Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof was given a Special Prize for his The Seed of the Sacred FigGrand Tour‘s Miguel Gomes was named Best Director.

Jesse Plemons, who was not in attendance, was named Best Actor for his role(s) in Yorgos Lanthimos’ Kinds of Kindness and Payal Kapadia’s feature debut, and the first Indian film in competition in decades, All We Imagine as Light, was the Grand Prize honoree.

Check out the full list of winners below:

Palme d’Or
Anora, dir: Sean Baker

Grand Prize
All We Imagine as Light, dir: Payal Kapadia

Jury Prize
Emilia Perez, dir: Jacques Audiard

Best Director
Miguel Gomes, Grand Tour

Special Prize
Mohammad Rasoulof, The Seed of the Sacred Fig

Best Actor
Jesse Plemons, Kinds of Kindness

Best Actress
Emilia Perez ensemble: Adriana Paz, Zoe Saldana, Karla Sofia Gascon, Selena Gomez

Best Screenplay
The Substance, Coralie Fargeat

Camera d’Or
Armand, dir: Halfdan Ullmann Tøndel

Special Mention
Mongrel, dir: Chiang Wei Liang

Short Film Palme d’Or
The Man Who Could Not Remain Silent, dir: Nebojsa Slijepcevic

Special Mention
Bad For a Moment, dir: Daniel Soares