2024 Cannes Film Festival: Sean Baker’s “Anora” Picks Up Palme d’Or

Sean Baker at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, France in May 2024
Sean Baker at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, France in May 2024. Photo by David Fisher/Shutterstock (14506447o)

The Cannes Film Festival returned to the French Riviera this May and gave us many new films worth waiting for. Sean Baker’s Anora was one of them, and it managed to walk away with the festival’s most prestigious prize, the coveted Palme d’Or.

Anora chronicles the whirlwind romance between an exotic New York dancer and the immature son of a Russian oligarch. Shortly after meeting, they decide to elope in Las Vegas, but this decision doesn’t sit well with his parents, who quickly fly to New York to ensure they’ll get an annulment.

Sean Baker accepted the Palme d’Or for Anora, describing this victory as his “singular goal as a filmmaker for the past 30 years.” His acceptance speech was a love letter to movie theatres, and he used it to stress the importance of making feature films for theatrical release.

“I do know that I will continue to fight for cinema because right now as filmmakers, we have to fight to keep cinema alive… We share laughter, sorrow, anger, fear and hopefully have a catharsis with our friends and strangers – and that’s sacred,” said Baker in his speech.

Anora is the first American film to win the Palme d’Or in over a decade, and it marks Neon’s fifth consecutive victory, following the success of Parasite, Titane, Triangle of Sadness, and Anatomy of a Fall.


Palme d’Or
Anora, dir: Sean Baker

Grand Prize
All We Imagine as Light, dir: Payal Kapadia

Jury Prize
Emilia Perez, dir: Jacques Audiard

Best Director
Miguel Gomes, Grand Tour

Special Prize
Mohammad Rasoulof, The Seed of the Sacred Fig

Best Actor
Jesse Plemons, Kinds of Kindness

Best Actress
Emilia Perez ensemble: Adriana Paz, Zoe Saldana, Karla Sofia Gascon, Selena Gomez

Best Screenplay
The Substance, Coralie Fargeat

Camera d’Or
Armand, dir: Halfdan Ullmann Tøndel

Special Mention
Mongrel, dir: Chiang Wei Liang

Short Film Palme d’Or
The Man Who Could Not Remain Silent, dir: Nebojsa Slijepcevic

Special Mention
Bad For a Moment, dir: Daniel Soares