The Palme d'Or, the top prize of Cannes Film Festival, went to "Blue is the warmest color", an intimate drama which tells the story of a lesbian relationship.
Based on a French graphic novel, the film follows the relationship between two young students in Lille, one of whom has hair dyed the blue of the title. When she reverts to her natural blonde, their affair nose-dives.
Directed by Tunisian Abdellatif Kechiche and starring Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux, this film has attracted attention for its explicit sex scenes as well as the acclaimed performances of its actresses.
Director Steven Spielberg, who chaired the jury, told reporters: "I think it will get a lot of play... I think this film carries a very strong message, a very positive message."
Accepting the prize, Abdellatif Kechiche said: "I should like to dedicate this film to the wonderful youth of France whom I met during the long period while making this film". And he added: "Those young people taught me a lot about the spirit of freedom and living together".