All the Winners & Highlights of the 2024 Cannes Film Festival

Woman dancing in a crowd

The 2024 Cannes Film Festival is finally over, which means we’ve got some winners to discuss.

The always surprising and original Florida Project and Red Rocket director Sean Baker took home the Palme d’Or for Anora, a wacky love story about a stripper (Better Things’ Mikey Madison) who impulsively marries the bazillionaire son (Mark Eydelshteyn) of a Russian oligarch—much to his parents’ dismay. It was the first time an American director had taken the top prize since Terrance Malick won for Tree of Life in 2011. Jury President Greta Gerwig said of the film, “It captured our hearts and lets us laugh, and then broke our hearts.”

Women fared well this year, with Payal Kapadia’s All We Imagine as Light taking the festival’s second-highest award, the Grand Prix. French director Coralie Fargeat won the award for best screenplay for the most talked-about film at the festival, The Substance, which stars Demi Moore as an aging actress who spends a fortune to generate a younger, hotter version of herself, played by Margaret Qualley. (The standing ovations at Cannes are legendary, and The Substance got one that lasted between 9 and 13 minutes, depending on which of the film trade publications got it right. Anora’s lasted 12 minutes.) 

All We Imagine as Light

Rather than handing the Best Actress award to a single person, the jury gave the prize to Zoe Saldaña, Selena Gomez, and Karla Sofía Gascón. The three starred together in French director Jacques Audiard’s Jury Award-winner Emilia Pérez, which received an 11-minute ovation. Jesse Plemons won Best Actor for Kinds of Kindness, from Poor Things director Yorgos Lanthimos.

In a bit of real life drama that had everyone in the film world on the edge of their seats, Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof was sentenced to eight years in prison for making the fictional drama, The Seed of the Sacred Fig. The film, which is set amidst Iran’s Woman, Life, Freedom movement, was singled out as being critical of the Iranian government, prompting Rasoulof’s sentence. Rather than accepting it, the director fled the country to screen the film at Cannes. The jury created a special award for the film, which received a 12-minute standing ovation. 

Portuguese filmmaker Miguel Gomes won Best Director for Grand Tour, and the Caméra d’Or prize for best first feature went to the psychological thriller Armand, from Norwegian director Halfdan Ullmann Tondel.

The Seed of the Sacred Fig

Cannes Film Sales

Some of the buzzier films have already sold, meaning—fingers crossed—we will be able to see them on big or small screens in the near future. George Miller’s Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is already in theaters. Emilia Pérez was acquired by Netflix, along with legal drama Monsanto, starring Glen Powell, Laura Dern, and Anthony Mackie. 

Leading arthouse distributor A24 (responsible for such hits as Everything Everywhere All at Once, Lady Bird, and Hereditary) snapped up Anora, as well as The Death of Robin Hood, starring Jodie Comer and Hugh Jackman. They also purchased Rungano Nyoni’s On Becoming a Guinea Fowl; Italian director Paolo Sorrentino’s Parthenope; and The Entertainment System is Down, the latest satire from Ruben Östlund, who won the Palme d’Or in 2022 for Triangle of Sadness. Neon went on a buying spree, snapping up The Seed of the Sacred Fig; Osgood Perkins’ horror film The Monkey; and Sentimental Value, from The Worst Person in the World director Joachim Trier. Neon also went for a couple of Palme d’Or alums, including Alpha, the latest from Titane director Julia Ducournau; and the buzzy film The Unknown, which stars Léa Seydoux and was directed by Arthur Harari, co-writer of the 2023 Palme d’Or winner Anatomy of a Fall.

Sideshow and Janus picked up the rights for North America to All We Imagine as Light. MUBI acquired The Substance and Andrea Arnold’s Bird, starring Barry Keoghan and Franz Rogoswki, which also got a lot of attention at the festival. Searchlight Pictures picked up Kinds of Kindness. Bleecker Street picked up the absurdist comedy Rumours, starring Alicia Vikander and Cate Blanchett, which executive producer Ari Aster (Hereditary, Midsommar, Beau is Afraid) has called, “stoopid, hilarious, and wonderful.”

Demi Moore in The Substance

Cannes 2024 Winners


Palme d’Or: Anora, Sean Baker

Grand Prix: All We Imagine as Light, Payal Kapadia

Director: Miguel Gomes, Grand Tour

Actor: Jesse Plemons, Kinds of Kindness

Actresses: Emilia Pérez

Jury Prize: Emilia Pérez, Jacques Audiard

Special Award (Prix Spécial): Mohammad Rasoulof, The Seed of the Sacred Fig

Screenplay: Coralie Fargeat, The Substance


Caméra d’Or: Armand, Halfdan Ullman Tondel

Caméra d’Or Special Mention: Mongrel, Chiang Wei Liang, You Qiao Yin

Short Film Palme d’Or: The Man Who Could Not Remain Silent, Nebojša Slijepčević

Short Film Special Mention: Bad for a Moment, Daniel Soares 

Golden Eye Documentary Prize: Ernest Cole: Lost and Found and The Brink of Dreams

Queer Palm: Three Kilometers to the End of the World

Palme Dog: Kodi, Palm Dog

FIPRESCI Award (Competition): The Seed of the Sacred Fig, Mohammad Rasoulof

FIPRESCI Award (Un Certain Regard): The Story of Souleymane, Boris Lojkine

FIPRESCI Award (Parallel Sections): Desert of Namibia, Yoko Yamanaka


Un Certain Regard Award: Black Dog, Guan Hu

Jury Prize: The Story of Souleymane, Boris Lojkine

Best Director Prize: (ex aequo) The Damned, Roberto Minervini; On Becoming a Guinea Fowl, Rungano Nyoni

Performance Awards: The Shameless, Anasuya Sengupta; The Story of Souleymane, Abou Sangare

Youth Prize: Holy Cow! (Vingt Dieux), Louise Courvoisier

Special Mention: Norah, Tawfik Alzaidi


Europa Cinemas Label: The Other Way Around, Jonás Trueba

Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Prize: This Life of Mine, Sophie Fillières

Audience Choice Award: Universal Language, Matthew Rankin


Grand Prize: Simon of the Mountain, Federico Luis

French Touch Prize: Blue Sun Palace, Constance Tsang

GAN Foundation Award for Distribution: Jour2Fête, Julie Keeps Quiet

Louis Roederer Foundation Rising Star Award: Ricardo Teodoro, Baby

Leitz Cine Discovery Prize (short film): Guil Sela, Montsouris Park

The featured image is a still from Anora.

Andrea Meyer has written creative treatments for commercial directors, a sex & the movies column for IFC, and a horror screenplay for MGM. Her first novel, Room for Love (St. Martin’s Press) is a romantic comedy based on an article she wrote for the New York Post, for which she pretended to look for a roommate as a ploy to meet men. A long-time film and entertainment journalist and former indieWIRE editor, Andrea has interviewed more actors and directors than she can remember. Her articles and essays have appeared in such publications as Elle, Glamour, Variety, Time Out NY, and the Boston Globe.

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