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Ken Loach’s ‘I, Daniel Blake’ Wins Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival

CANNES, France — The final awards ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival has concluded, with veteran British filmmaker Ken Loach winning the second Palme d'Or of his career for the impassioned protest drama "I, Daniel Blake."

The film, chronicling the social-welfare battle fought by a struggling Newcastle carpenter, scored a strong emotional reaction from Cannes audiences when it unspooled early in the festival — though many critics were more reserved in their praise. This year's jury, led by "Mad Max" director George Miller, evidently voted with their hearts, handing the 79-year-old Loach the festival's top honor exactly 10 years after his Irish historical drama "The Wind That That Shakes the Barley" landed the prize.

Loach now joins an elite group of two-time Palme champs, including Michael Haneke, Francis Ford Coppola, Emir Kusturica, Bille August, Shohei Imamura, Alf Sjoberg and Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne -- the latter duo among the filmmakers who left this year's Competition empty-handed.

Other films honored by the jury included Xavier Dolan's "It's Only the End of the World," Andrea Arnold's "American Honey" and Olivier Assayas' "Personal Shopper." More analysis to come, with a full list of winners below.

Image:
Director Ken Loach gestures, after winning the Palme d'or for the film I, Daniel Blake, during the awards ceremony at the 69th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 22, 2016. Thibault Camus / AP