The stars of Finnish film Le Havre received a standing ovation following the film’s screening and positive reviews from the world’s press.
It is the latest offering from eccentric film maker Aki Kaurismaki and stars Andre Wilms and Kati Outinen.
The quirky comedy gently takes on the issue of illegal immigration and refugees.
Asked about working with the director, Wilms said: “He’s a gentleman, a real gentleman and a real tender gentleman. He has a tenderness and he is a little bit crazy.”
Katie Outinen explained the director’s work ethic: “It’s like he trusts actors, so he lets us work and then he says something like: ‘Oh can you be more understated, or now it was perfect.’ He makes the atmosphere so there’s a relaxed feeling to work and he usually doesn’t do many takes – it’s one or two takes.”
Set in Southern France the story follows a former artist, Marcel Marx, who now earns his meagre wage by shining shoes.
His modest life changes when his wife becomes seriously ill and he has a chance encounter with a young homeless African refugee.
Hanezu No Tsuki
There are few female Japanese film makers – Naomi Kawase is one of them.
She premiered her new film Hanezu No Tsuki at the festival.
It is about the relationship between a young man, his married pregnant girlfriend and the problems in their lives.
The Cannes Film Festival draws to a close on Sunday 22 May, when the winner of the Palme d’Or will be announced.