Palme d’Or: Jacques Audiard hopes Dheepan’s Cannes win will help Europe’s migrants

After his Palme d’Or win for the story of a former Tamil Tiger seeking a new life in France, Audiard said that it is ‘important to reflect’ on the current situation.

Jacques Audiard with the stars of Dheepan, Kalieaswari Srinivasan and Jesuthasan Antonythasan, and joint jury chair Ethan Coen.

Jacques Audiard has said he hopes the Palme d’Or win at Cannes for his seventh feature, Dheepan, will “help the situation” for migrant workers in Europe.

Audiard’s film is the tale of a former fighter in the Sri Lankan civil war who seeks asylum in France by means of a fake family. Speaking after the ceremony, Audiard said that it was “important to reflect” on the current situation, although he wrote the script five years ago, “when it wasn’t so critical”.

“What interested me was the position of someone different in society. How the people who sell us roses when we’re sitting in a cafe live and where they come from. If it helps their situation, then so much the better.”

Audiard, 63, is a favourite at the festival. His film A Prophet, about a young French-Algerian man sentenced to six years in a French prison, took the Grand Prix, or runner-up award, five years ago. He competed subsequently with Rust and Bone.

The decision to award him the Palme d’Or at Cannes’s 68th edition was “swift” said Ethan Coen, who jointly chaired this year’s jury with his brother, Joel. “This was a film about which everyone had a high level of excitement and enthusiasm.”

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