Erotic dancer comedy-drama wins top prize at Cannes Film Festival

Anora, an explicit and often hilarious story about a New York erotic dancer, won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday, which also saw a first-ever win for a trans actress.

Director Sean Baker was confirmed as one of the leading voices of American indie cinema with the prize, which also promises to make a star of 25-year-old Mikey Madison.

She plays a dancer who strikes gold with a wealthy client, only to face the wrath of his Russian oligarch parents.

As head of the jury, Barbie director Greta Gerwig praised Anora as an "incredible, human and humane film that captured our hearts".

Baker, who made the acclaimed The Florida Project and Red Rocket, said: "This literally has been my singular goal for the past 30 years, so I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with the rest of my life."

He dedicated the prize to all sex workers and appealed for filmmakers to "keep cinema alive".

"This means making films intended for theatrical exhibition," the 53-year-old said.

"The world has to be reminded that watching a film at home while scrolling through your phone and checking emails and half paying attention is just not the way -- although some tech companies would like us to think so."

'Harmony of sisterhood'

A trans woman won best actress for the first time, as Karla Sofia Gascon took the award for her role in the audacious musical Emilia Perez, in which she plays a Mexican narco boss who becomes a woman.

(with AFP)


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