Polish drama Cold War scoops best director award at Cannes

21 May 2018

Poland’s Pawel Pawlikowski has won the coveted best director award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

He scooped the prize for his 1950s drama Cold War: a Polish, UK and French co-production following the tumultuous romance between two mismatched lovers as they travel between Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia and Paris.

Kazakhstan’s Samal Yeslyamova also won the festival’s best actress award, turning heads with her starring role in Ayka. Directed by Sergey Dvortsevoy, the film follows the story of a young Kyrgyz girl living and working illegally in Moscow. When she becomes pregnant, Ayka is forced to leave the newborn in the hospital — but later becomes determined to find her baby.

Noticeably missing from the awards was Kirill Serebrennikov’s Leto, a 1980s rock epic portraying the life of Soviet music legend Viktor Tsoi. Despite receiving a standing innovation — not least due to Serebrennikov’s controversial house arrest by Russian authorities — the film ultimately missed out on the festival’s big prizes.