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Italian film wins at Cannes

CANNES, France -- Italian director Nanni Moretti's "The Son's Room" has won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Moretti has been nominated for best picture four times, but it was the story of a family's heartache at the death of their teenage son, that won over the panel of judges.

The director, who hit the air with his arms on receiving the Palme d'Or on Sunday, had earlier said: "I have often been told that this film represents a turning point in my career because it is a more adult, mature character.

"Maybe I'm not interested in caricatures anymore."

The other big winner was Austrian director Michael Haneke's controversial French-language film about voyeurism, "The Piano Teacher," which picked up second place and both acting honours.

Legendary French director Jean Luc Godard's new film tagged 'anti-Hollywood'. CNN's Ana Maria Montero reports from Cannes (May 20)

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Isabelle Huppert and Benoit Magimel won the best actress and actor awards for their roles in the dark tale of a sexually repressed music instructor seduced by a student.

"The fact that this film got three prizes is incredible," Haneke said. "I am very, very moved."

Huppert, who performed some of the film's piano pieces herself, added: "I thank Bach, Schubert and Mozart."

Best-director honours were split between Joel Coen for his film-noir thriller "The Man Who Wasn't There," co-written with his brother, Ethan, and David Lynch for his enigmatic Hollywood tale "Mulholland Drive."

The directing awards were presented by Jodie Foster, who had to drop out as Cannes jury president because it clashed with filming.

Celebrity watchers had complained at the absence of big Hollywood names this year, though those stars who did turn up included Sean Penn, Frances McDormand, Tim Robbins and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Nicole Kidman proved popular when she mingled with fans during her visit to the festival, while Melanie Griffith was honoured with a lifetime achievement award.

Hollywood films, including Dreamwork's animation film "Shrek" and "Moulin Rouge," lost out on the awards' front.

The Golden Camera award for first-time directors went to Canada's Zacharias Kunuk for "Atanarjuat The Fast Runner," the story of two Eskimo brothers who challenge the rule of an evil shaman.

The screenplay award went to Bosnia's Danis Tanovic for the irreverent war satire "No Man's Land," which he also directed.

The jury awarded a prize for technical achievements to Tu Duu-Chih, sound designer for two films in competition, "Millennium Mambo" and "What Time Is It There?"

Director and actress Liv Ullmann headed the 10-member Cannes jury, which included directors Terry Gilliam and Edward Yang and actresses Julia Ormond and Charlotte Gainsbourg.

The festival closed with French director Raoul Ruiz's period drama "Les Ames Fortes," starring model Laetitia Casta.

The top prize in a separate competition called "Un Certain Regard" went to first-time French director Yves Caumon for "Boyhood Loves." The competition included films that did not make the main awards category, but were deemed worthy of screening at the festival.

"Boyhood Loves" stars Mathieu Amalric as a man trying to reconnect with his neglected parents after his father becomes ill.

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