30 September 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network
‘Hunger’ Scoops Cannes Camera d’Or
26 May 2008 :
Steve McQueen’s ‘Hunger’, shot on location in Northern Ireland, has won the prestigious Camera d’Or prize for Best First Feature at the 61st Cannes Film Festival.

The film, which depicts the final 66 days in the life of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands, stars German-born, Irish-raised actor Michael Fassbender (300, Hex) and was the feature directorial debut of Turner prize winning artist McQueen.

‘Hunger’ also stars Irish actors Liam Cunningham (Anner House, Showbands), Stuart Graham (Small Engine Repair, Single Handed), Liam McMahon (Northanger Abbey) and Brian Milligan (The Boxer).

The Irish-UK co-production, funded by Northern Ireland Screen, was co-written by award winning playwright Enda Walsh (Disco Pigs) and Steve McQueen. The film was the opening film for Cannes’ Un Certain Regard, where it received a five-minute standing ovation.

Minister for Arts, Martin Cullen, noted that this was the third year an Irish film had been recognised at Cannes.

"Following the success of 'The Wind that Shakes the Barley' and 'Garage', this Camera D’Or will keep Irish film practitioners in the world’s eye for the foreseeable future,” he said.

“This film covers a very turbulent part of our history with an unadorned reality and reminds us of how far we have come as an island in the last quarter century.”

‘Hunger’ secured sales deals with distributors in the US, UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, Portugal, Greece, Australia and New Zealand at Cannes and is expected to reach cinemas this autumn.

Other winners at Cannes include Laurent Cantet’s ‘Entre les Murs’, which won the coveted Palme d’Or accolade, while Italian helmer’s Matteo Garrone’s ‘Gomorra’ picked up the Grand Prix award and Paolo Sorrentino’s ‘Il Divo’ scooped the Jury Prize.

Turkish helmer Nuri Bilge Ceylan was named Best Director for his pic ‘Uc Maymun’ (Three Monkeys), Oscar-winning Benicio Del Toro picked up the Best Performance for an Actor gong for his role in Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Che’, with Sandra Corveloni receiving the Best Performance for an Actress title for Walter Salles ‘Linha de Passe’.

Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne scooped the award for Best Screenplay for ‘Le Silence de Lorna’.

Catherine Deneuve and Clint Eastwood received Special Jury Awards at the closing ceremony.

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