The anti-colonialist Algerian film "Chronicle of the Years of Embers" carried off the Grand Prix top award at the Cannes International Film Festival on Friday (23 May).
GV Guests entering theatre
SV Vittorio Gassman arriving
CU Sergio Leone & Dino Rossi arrive
CU Algerian group arrive (2 shots)
GV INT Auditorium
CU Ann-Margret presenting award to Werner Herzog
GV Jeanne Moreau announcing winner of Grand Prix, Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina
Initials BJB/1840 BJB/1850
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Background: The anti-colonialist Algerian film "Chronicle of the Years of Embers" carried off the Grand Prix top award at the Cannes International Film Festival on Friday (23 May).
The success of the Algerian epic, directed by Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina, broke a 28-year-old tradition by which the top prize has normally gone to the United States, Britain or Italy.
It is the first time Algeria has entered a film in the festival.
Italy's Vittorio Gassman on the Best Actor prize for his part as a blind, neurotic officer in the Italian film "Women's Perfume", directed by Dino Rossi. America's Valerie Perrine won the Best Actress award for her part in the U.S. film "Lenny".
The runner-up award, the Special Jury prize, went to the West German film "The Enigma of Kasper Hauser" about a man who spent most of his life in a cellar in Nuremburg in the early 19th century. Its success can be seen as recognition of the new German cinema which has developed mainly in Munich during the past five or six years. It was directed by Werner Herzog.
The Cannes jury, headed by actress Jeanne Moreau, chose the Algerian film from among 23 films from 18 countries competing in the two-weak festival.
The celebrations began and ended on an explosive note. A bomb blast damaged the Festival Hall on opening day and another blast damaged a nearby Casino on Friday, killing the man police believe had planted it.
An anonymous telephone caller also threatened the life of Festival Director Maurice Bessy shortly after the announcement that the Algerian film had won the top prize. It traces life around a small Algerian farming village from just before World War Two until 1954 when the Algerian War of Independence erupted.