RUBEN OSTLUND poses with the Palm d’Or Award for Triangle of Sadness during the winner photocall during the 75th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 28 in Cannes, France. — REUTERS/DAVID BOYER/ABACAPRESS.COM

PARIS —  Triangle of Sadness, a film by Swedish director Ruben Ostlund, won the Palme d’Or for Best Picture at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday, the festival announced.

“When we started to make this film I think we had one goal —  to really, really try to make an exciting film for the audience and bring thought-provoking content,” Ostlund said.

“We wanted to entertain them, we wanted them to ask themselves questions, we wanted them to after the screening go out and have something to talk about,” he added.

Exploring notions of beauty and privilege, the film sends two models on a luxury cruise —  only to leave them stranded on a deserted island with a handful of the staff and billionaire guests. The toilet attendant – played by Filipina actress Dolly de Leon —  proves to have the best survival skills and social structures are upended.

“The thing about Ostlund is that he makes you laugh, but he also makes you think,” said Variety in its review of the film. “No matter what sphere he tackles, we’re bound to see the world differently.”

Ostlund won the Palme d’Or in 2017 for his film The Square, a satire about a prestigious art curator.

The festival awarded two films the Grand Prix: Close, a film by Belgian director Lukas Dhont about friendship and masculinity, and Stars at Noon, which is set in modern-day Nicaragua, by French auteur filmmaker Claire Denis.

The jury prize also went to two films, The Eight Mountains by Belgian directors Felix Van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch and EO, by Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski, which is told through the eyes of a donkey.

“Thank you, my donkeys,” said Skolimowski, in his acceptance speech.

South Korean star Song Kang-ho picked up the best actor award for his role in Broker while South Korean director Park Chan-wook won the best director prize for his romantic thriller Decision to Leave.

Iranian Zar Amir Ebrahimi, who won best actress for her role as a journalist tracking a serial killer in Holy Spider, was visibly moved.

“Maybe having me here tonight is just a message —  especially for women, Iranian women,” she told a press conference directly after the ceremony, when asked about an apparent outpouring of support of her on social media, which she said she hadn’t seen.

French actress Carole Bouquet announced a surprise 75th anniversary prize to mark the festival’s birthday. It went to Belgian directing brothers Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne for Tori and Lokita.

For its 75th anniversary edition, the festival resumed its traditional calendar in May following two years of pandemic disruptions and marked the return of parties and kissing —  both of which were not permitted last year due to strict COVID protocols.

Meanwhile, a film set in the working class suburbs of the northern French city of Boulogne-sur-Mer won the top prize in the Un Certain Regard competition at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday.

The Worst Ones, directed by Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret, explores the challenges of street casting, telling the story of a community’s reaction to the arrival of a film crew.

“I hope that this film, beyond reviews, will be read as an homage to the creation of cinema because sometimes it allows us to give a voice to those who are not often heard,” Gueret said.

Deadline described the film, with events that are “thought provoking and sometimes darkly funny,” as “a fascinating look at the filming experience.”

Joyland, a film by Saim Sadiq that seeks to break gender stereotypes in Pakistan, the country’s first entry to the Cannes Film Festival, won the jury prize.

The film’s screening at Cannes felt like “a dream has come true,” one of its stars, Sarwat Gilani, told Reuters last week, adding that she felt that “the struggles that we face as artists in Pakistan, they’ve all come to be worth it.”

Un Certain Regard is a competition focused on art-house films that runs parallel to the main competition, the Palme d’Or, which will be announced on Saturday. — Reuters