Sean Baker’s ANORA starring Armenian actors wins Palme d’Or at Cannes Festival

Sean Baker’s ANORA, which stars Armenian actors Karren Karagulian and Vache Tovmasyan, has won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival..

Karren Karagulian is a regular in Sean Baker’s films, having starred in all of the director’s films. In his speech, Sean Baker called the actor his “lucky charm” due to their collaboration spanning over 20 years.

“Anora” centers on Ani, a Brooklyn stripper turned call girl who strikes gold with a wealthy client, the son of a Russian oligarch, only for the fairy tale to turn sour. It was an instant favorited among film critics, drawing rave reviews in Cannes.

“This, literally, has been my singular goal as a filmmaker for the past 30 years, so I’m not really sure what I’m going to do with the rest of my life,” Baker joked, before adding that his ambition would remain to “fight to keep cinema alive”. 

The 53-year-old director said the world needed reminding that “watching a film at home while scrolling through your phone, answering emails and half paying attention is just not the way, although some tech companies would like us to think so.” 

He added: “So, I say the future of cinema is where it started: in a movie theater.” 

The Palme d’Or is the most prestigious prize of the film festival – and arguably the most prestigious prize in all of cinema. The film is also the first American film to win the Palme d’Or since Terrence Malick’s THE TREE OF LIFE in 2011.

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