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The prize winners were chosen from among 22 contenders by a jury, led by Italian director Nanni Moretti, that included actors Ewan McGregor and Diane Kruger, director Alexander Payne and fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier.

Moretti revealed that none of the winners had been a unanimous choice, with several films sharply dividing the jury.

He said the biggest fights had been over Leos Carax’s bizarre and episodic “Holy Motors,” Ulrich Seidl’s sex tourism drama “Paradise: Love” and Reygadas’ “Post Tenebras Lux,” whose title means “light after the darkness.”

British director Andrea Arnold, a juror, said it was a film “which dared to fail and be brave about life.”

The 12-day festival has seen plenty of glamour, with the likes of Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart appearing both on-screen and on the red carpet.

But in the movies, weighty themes dominated at an event whose French Riviera froth was subdued by several days of unseasonable rain and cold.

Despite a strong American flavor to the festival, U.S. films were shut out apart from Benh Zeitli’s “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” which won the Camera d’Or for best first film.

The jury overlooked Pitt, who plays a cynical mob enforcer in Andrew Dominik’s “Killing Them Softly,” and Kidman as a Southern femme fatale in Lee Daniels’ “The Paperboy.”

Payne said it would be wrong to draw any conclusions about the state of a nation’s cinema “based on one tiny snapshot.”

Other much-praised performances at the festival included Marion Cotillard’s tragedy-struck killer-whale trainer in “Rust and Bone,” newcomer Paul Brannigan’s scrappy Glasgow lad in “The Angels’ Share,” and Denis Lavant, as a performer who takes on a host of bizarre personas in “Holy Motors.”

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Associated Press Writer Hilary Fox contributed to this report.

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Online: http://www.festival-cannes.fr/en.html

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