Tuesday June 18th, 2024 11:27PM

What will win the Palme d'Or? Cannes closes Saturday with awards and a tribute to George Lucas

By The Associated Press

The 77th Cannes Film Festival draws to a close Saturday with the presentation of its top award, the Palme d'Or, along with an honorary tribute for George Lucas.

The closing ceremony is set to begin at 6:45 p.m. local time, 12:45 p.m. U.S. Eastern time. It will be streamed live on Brut internationally and air on France 2 within France.

Any of the 22 films that premiered in competition at Cannes are eligible for the Palme d'Or and other prizes, like the Grand Prix, best actress and best actor. Deciding them all will be the nine-person jury presided over, this year, by Greta Gerwig.

The jury's deliberations take place in secret, so anything could potentially win. But a handful of films are seen as the most likely contenders, among them Payal Kapadia’s “All We Imagine As Light," Mohammad Rasoulof's “The Seed of the Sacred Fig” and Sean Baker's “Anora.”

“The Seed of the Sacred Fig,” about an Iranian family living through the country's 2022 protests, was shot clandestinely in Iran and includes real videos from the demonstrations. Just ahead of its Cannes debut, Rasoulof, facing an eight-year prison sentence, fled Iran. He arrived in Cannes several days ago and, on the red carpet, held up photographs of two of his actors, Soheila Golestani and Missagh Zareh.

“All We Imagine As Light,” the first Indian film in competition in Cannes in 30 years, is about two nurses who forge a bond in modern Mumbai. It’s Kapadia’s second feature, following the documentary “A Night of Knowing Nothing.”

“Anora,” by the American filmmaker of “The Florida Project,” is about a Brooklyn sex worker who marries the son of a wealthy Russian oligarch, provoking a farcical rush to annul the marriage. The film's star, Mikey Madison, gives one of the most widely hailed performances of the festival.

Other much talked about entries include the sci-fi epic “Megalopolis" from Francis Ford Coppola, a two-time winner of the Palme d'Or; Coralie Fargeat's gory body-horror satire “The Substance,” starring Demi Moore; and Jacques Audiard's “Emilia Perez,” a Spanish-language musical about a Mexican drug lord who transitions to a woman. Audiard previously won the Palme for 2015's “Dheepan.”

During the brief awards ceremony, Lucas will be given an honorary Palme d'Or. During the festival, Cannes gave the same tribute to Meryl Streep and the Japanese anime factory Studio Ghibli.

Following the awards, the winner of the Palme will be screened for the audience in the Grand Théâtre Lumière.

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For more coverage of the 2024 Cannes Film Festival, visit https://apnews.com/hub/cannes-film-festival.

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