Home > Entertainment > ‘All That Breathes’ to ‘Joyland’: All the Asian films that won big at the Cannes Film Festival 2022
‘All That Breathes’ to ‘Joyland’: All the Asian films that won big at the Cannes Film Festival 2022

The Festival de Cannes 2022 (or Cannes Film Festival) came to a close on 28 May with the awarding of the Palme d’Or and other important honours.

Prominent entries from Asia and people were among the top winners at Cannes 2022. Director Park Chan-wook and actor Song Kang-ho, both from South Korea, scripted history at Cannes with their wins in the respective categories.

Among other winning Asian names and films were Iranian actress Zar Amir Ebrahimi, Chinese short film The Water Murmurs, Pakistani film Joyland, and Indian documentary All That Breathes.

Winners from Asia who have scripted history at Cannes 2022

International co-production Triangle of Sadness, a social satire about fashion influencers and the ultra-rich by Swedish director Ruben Östlund, won the Palme d’Or. This was Östlund’s second top honour for his film; he has previously won the prize for The Square in 2017.


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Park Chan-wook made history by winning his first Best Director award at Cannes for the film Decision to Leave (2022). The film itself was nominated for the Palme d’Or. Some of Park’s previous films have been nominated for the Palme d’Or and won in different categories at the festival.

The win makes Park the second South Korean director to be named in this category. The first director to win Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival was Im Kwon-taek, who won for Chihwaseon in 2002.

Park Chan Wook
Image: Courtesy of Festival de Cannes/@Festival_Cannes/Twitter

Song Kang-Ho, hailed as one of the greatest Asian actors of all time, won the Best Actor award for Hirokazu Kore-eda’s film Broker (2022). He, thus, became the first Korean male ever to win an acting award at Cannes. Interestingly, Song was also one of the two leads in the 2007 film Secret Sunshine, which made Jeon Do-yeon the first Korean performer to win a Cannes acting award when she took home the Best Actress prize.

Song was also one of the main protagonists in Parasite, which became the first Korean film to win the Palme d’Or in 2019. Two years later, the actor also became the first Korean male actor to become a member of the Cannes jury.

Iran’s Zar Amir Ebrahimi won the Best Actress award for playing the role of an investigative journalist in Ali Abbasi’s Persian-language, internationally co-produced film Holy Spider (2022).

Swedish-Egyptian director Tarik Saleh won the award for Best Screenplay for his film Boy from Heaven (2022), which is about corruption and religious power politics in Egypt.

Also among the winners from Asia at Cannes 2022 was Pakistani film Joyland that won the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section. Written and directed by debutant Saim Sadiq, Joyland is the first-ever film from the Indian subcontinent to win the award.

The L’Oeil d’Or, the topmost award for documentaries, was won by All That Breathes — the only entry from India. The documentary by Indian filmmaker Shaunak Sen follows Mohammad Saud and Nadeem Shehzad, siblings from Delhi’s Wazirabad, who rescue and treat injured birds, especially black kites.

Chinese filmmaker Jianying Chen’s The Water Murmurs (2022) won the Palme d’Or in the Short Films category. Nepali writer and director Abinash Bikram Shah won a Special Mention award in the same category for his film Lori.

There were 21 films presented in the Competition at Cannes Film Festival 2022. The names were picked by a nine-member jury headed by French actor Vincent Lindon. Members of the jury included Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, Indian actress Deepika Padukone, English actress Rebecca Hall, Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, Norwegian director Joachim Trier, French director Ladj Ly, American director Jeff Nichols, and Italian actress Jasmine Trinca.

The 75th edition of the prestigious film festival marked the return of the event to full capacity. The Cannes Film Festival was cancelled in 2020 and witnessed modest attendance in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here is the complete list of winners at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival

Feature Films

Palme d’or

Triangle of Sadness — Ruben Östlund

Grand Prix (jointly awarded)

Close — Lukas Dhont

Stars at Noon — Claire Denis

Award for Best Director

Park Chan-Wook — Decision to Leave

Award for Best Screenplay

Tarik Saleh — Boy from Heaven

Jury Prize (jointly awarded)

Eo — Jerzy Skolimowski

The Eight Mountains — Charlotte Vandermeersch and Felix Van Groeningen

75th anniversary Prize

Tori and Lotika — Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

Award for Best Actress

Zar Amir Ebrahimi — Holy Spider

Award for Best Actor

Song Kang-ho — Broker

Short Films

Palme d’or

The Water Murmurs — Jianying Chen

Special Mention

Lori — Abinash Bikram Shah

Un Certain Regard

Un Certain Regard Prize

The Worst Ones — Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret

Jury Prize

Joyland — Saim Sadiq

Best Director Prize

Alexandru Belc — Metronom

Best Performance Prize (jointly awarded)

Vicky Krieps — Corsage

Adam Bessa — Harka

Best Screenplay Prize

Mediterranean Fever — Maha Haj

« Coup de cœur » Prize

Rodeo — Lola Quivoron

Caméra d’or

War Pony — Riley Keough and Gina Gammell,

Special Mention

Plan 75 — Hayakawa Chie

La Cinef

First Prize

A Conspiracy Man directed by Valerio Ferrara (Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, Italy)

Second Prize

Somewhere — Li Jiahe (Hebei University of Science and Technology School of Film and Television, China)

Joint Third Prize

Glorious Revolution — Masha Novikova (London Film School, United Kingdom)

Humans Are Dumber When Crammed up Together — Laurène Fernandez (La CinéFabrique, France)

Higher Technical Commission (CST)

Cannes announced that the CST jury awarded the CST Artist-Technician Award 2022 to the entire sound crew of Triangle of Sadness. The CST Young Film Technician Award was given to Marion Burger, head set designer for the film Mother and Son by Léonor Serraille.

(Main image: Reuters; Featured image: MUBI/@mubi/Twitter)

‘All That Breathes’ to ‘Joyland’: All the Asian films that won big at the Cannes Film Festival 2022

Manas Sen Gupta writes at the intersection of tech, entertainment and history. His works have appeared in publications such as The Statesman, Myanmar Matters, Hindustan Times and News18/ETV. In his spare time, Manas loves studying interactive charts and topographic maps. When not doing either, he prefers reading detective fiction. Spring is his favourite season and he can happily eat a bowl of noodles any time of the day.


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