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Ruben Ostlund wins second Palme d’Or in Cannes with ‘Triangle of sadness’

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Filmmaker Ruben Ostlund wins second Palme dOr at Cannes Film Festival with Triangle of sadness
In good form: Ostlund won his first Palme d’Or in 2017 with “The Square” | Photo: Jean-Louis Hupé (FDC)

American tennis player Bill Tilden once said: ‘Never change a winning game’. So Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund did exactly that and secured his second Palme d’Or in Cannes.

Five years ago, the director of “Force Majeure” (2014) triumphed at the Cannes Film Festival with “The Square”, starring Elisabeth Moss and Dominic West, which poked fun at the exclusive contemporary art world. Fast forward a few editions of the event, which returned after two years of turbulence caused by the global pandemic, Östlund aimed, once again, at those with more money than sense. Welcome to “Triangle Of Sadness”, a satirical comedy unceremoniously targeting the shallowness and obnoxious entitlement of the obscenely rich – and cleverly named after the term given to the frown lines between your eyebrows.

“When we started to make this film I think we had one goal – to really, really try to make an exciting film for the audience and bring thought-provoking content. We wanted to entertain them, we wanted them to ask themselves questions, we wanted them to after the screening go out and have something to talk about.” – says the 48-year-old filmmaker.

The two-and-a-half hour long film, starring Harris Dickinson, Charlbli Dean and Woody Harrelson, features the saga of eight people from a luxury cruise liner that end up stranded on a desert island and have to face unexpected events. Although lengthy for a comedy – and sometimes slipping into a sitcom mode – the warm reception of Ostlund’s film, when it was screened during the first week of the festival, was an indicator that it could become the winner of the coveted Palme d’Or this year.

“The first Palme d’Or can be an accident, but the second really means something.” – says Ruben Ostlund. “My first time In Competition, everything was new for me, and I didn’t take advantage of it. This time, I’m with friends, with the team, so I’m very happy. At the time I had the impression that auteur filmmaking had become boring. I had the idea of taking up the important themes of our time in a context that makes audiences want to watch the film. We bring the audience in to discuss important themes. The most important question is that of responsibility: how do we build a society together? – questions the film director.

There were 21 films in the competition this year for the 75th edition of the festival, including David Cronenberg’s “Crimes of the future” and James Gray’s “Armageddon Time”. The awards were selected by a nine-member jury headed by French actor Vincent Lindon and presented Saturday in a closing ceremony inside the Grand Lumière Theater, in Cannes.

The jury’s second prize, the grand prix, was shared between director Claire Denis’ romantic thriller “Stars at Noon”, starring Margaret Qualley and Joe Alwyn, and Lukas Dhont’s tender boyhood drama “Close”.

“I’m very honoured to win this prize with this film. It’s a very important film for me. After Girl, I wanted to speak of the subject of a film with the same intensity. It talks about very personal things. I wanted to make these emotions universal. It’s always a very fragile moment, sharing something with the public when you have put everything inside it. I tried to remain faithful to myself while trying to challenge myself to do even better. There’s a great desire to make films. I hope that, in the future, my films will be just as warmly received.” – celebrated Dhont.

 

Here are all the winners of the Cannes Film Festival in 2022:

Palme d’Or
Triangle Of Sadness, dir: Ruben Ostlund

Grand Prize (TIE)
Stars At Noon, dir: Claire Denis
Close, dir: Lukas Dhont

Best Director
Park Chan-wook, Decision To Leave

Special 75th Anniversary Prize
Tori And Lokita, dirs: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne

Jury Prize (TIE)
EO, dir: Jerzy Skolimowski
The Eight Mountains, dirs: Felix Van Groeningen & Charlotte Vandermeersch

Best Actor
Song Kang-ho, Broker

Best Screenplay
Tarik Saleh, Boy From Heaven

Best Actress
Zar Amir Ebrahimi, Holy Spider

Camera d’Or
War Pony, dirs: Riley Keough & Gina Gammell

Camera d’Or Special Mention
Plan 75, dir: Chie Hayakawa

Short Film Palme d’Or
The Water Murmurs, dir: Jianying Chen

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BBC World Service chief resigns amid ‘deep concern’ about cuts

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Liliane Landor portrait
Liliane Landor will step down in July after three years as Senior Controller of BBC News International Services

Liliane Landor, Senior Controller of BBC News International Services and BBC World Service Director, has decided to leave the BBC later this year, a note released by the British Broadcast Corporation informed this week.

According to multiple media outlets, Landor said she was “deeply concerned about the operational capability of the World Service if additional cuts continue to weaken it further” and has quit over amid fear that the BBC could be hit by further spending cuts. 

Liliane Landor was previously head of foreign news at Channel 4, but has spent the majority of her career at the BBC after beginning at the French Service. She went on to manage, present, and edit key areas of the BBC World Service, including a role as head of News and Current Affairs in English, before becoming Controller of Languages, where she was editorially responsible for all non-English language services on radio, TV and online.

“The whole of the BBC owes Liliane a huge debt of gratitude. She is an exceptional journalist and editor. The BBC World Service is one of the jewels in the BBC’s crown, and has flourished under her leadership,” says BBC Director-General Tim Davie.

For BBC News CEO Deborah Turness, “In a polarised world where truth is under attack, Liliane has led our BBC World Service teams with real courage. She has been a global ambassador for our powerful and important journalism, and has worked with great skill to modernise World Service output to reach digital audiences. Liliane is a person of great integrity and I will miss her wisdom very much.”

In 2022 the World Service was forced to cut 382 jobs as part of its plans to move to a digital-led service, that would save around £28.5m. 

Several media professionals shared messages of support to Landor, after learning about her decision to quit the BBC. Comms director and ex BBC news staff member, Clare Harkey tweeted:

“So sorry to hear you’re leaving @lilo11- you’ve been a force for good in very difficult times,” and TV Journalist and Executive Producer Ben de Pear, founder at Basement Films, shared on social media: “Sorry to hear this a loss – and someone who understands the present conflicts so well – good luck @lilo11 – BBC World Service director to step down.”

“Serving as Director of the BBC World Service has been an immense privilege. To have been entrusted with leading a global service relied upon by hundreds of millions worldwide is humbling and the greatest honour of my professional life,” said Liliane Landor, who will be leaving the BBC in July, 2024.

Liliane also founded the BBC’s staff network, Global Women in News, which remains high-profile and active, and launched the popular 100 Women project in 2014, being named on the list herself in 2016.

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Nimesh Kataria to join England and Wales Cricket Board as CFO

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Nimesh Kataria to join England and Wales Cricket Board as CFO
Nimesh will succeed Scott Smith, who is leaving the ECB after eight years in the role.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced Nimesh Kataria as new Chief Financial Officer.

Nimesh will join the ECB in April, and brings a wealth of experience and expertise in financial management and strategic planning. He will sit on the ECB Board.

“We are thrilled to welcome Nimesh to the ECB at an important time for our sport. His proven track record in financial management and strategic insight will be invaluable as we seek to grow cricket and become the most inclusive sport, whilst ensuring we put the game on a financially sustainable footing,” says Richard Gould, ECB Chief Executive Officer.

In his current role, Nimesh is Chief Financial Officer for WBD’s International Sports Division, overseeing Eurosport, Global Cycling Network, Discovery Sports Events and the Olympics. He also played a key role in the recent TNT Sports Joint Venture between WBD and BT. Nimesh began his career at Ernst & Young, before joining WBD.

“I am proud to be joining the ECB and hope to be able to play a part in growing cricket and helping even more people to fall in love with the sport. I’ve been a cricket fan my whole life, and while there are real challenges for the whole game in England and Wales to navigate, I’m excited by the opportunity we have to become the most inclusive sport and secure the future of cricket for future generations to play, watch and enjoy,” celebrates Nimesh Kataria.

In his new role, Nimesh will be responsible for financial reporting and business planning. His work will enable the organisation to budget effectively, control expenditure and deliver its revenue objectives. He will also lead key business services including Information and Technology and Procurement, as well as the Finance team.

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New study reveals the poorest presidents of Europe

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Nataša Pirc Musar, President of the Republic of Slovenia
Nataša Pirc Musar, head of the Republic of Slovenia, is the poorest president in Europe, study says | Photo: Matjaz Klemenc

Slovenia has the poorest president in Europe. Relative to average salaries, the presidents of Ukraine and Serbia follow closely as the second and third poorest on the continent. Across Europe, heads of state earn 4.1 times as much as the average earner and cost taxpayers €49.62 per hour. 

This is according to a new study by Slot.Day, who analysed the average gross salaries, GDP per capita and presidents’ earnings across 31 countries in Europe. The researchers used the latest available data from national statistics offices and the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), ranging between 2022 and the third quarter of 2023. GDP data is sourced from the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) World Economic Outlook, published in October 2023. Head of state income estimates are based on independent media reports, national legislation, government and presidency websites, income statements and official government communication. 

Europe’s poorest president lives in Slovenia. The president earns almost as much as any average employee in the country. The head of state has an estimated gross annual income of €44,701, only 3% higher than the current average salary in Slovenia – €43,342. An hour of the president’s time costs taxpayers €23.41 before deductions – one of the top 10 cheapest hourly pays for presidents in Europe. Slovenia is a country of medium wealth, whose GDP per capita (US$32,350) is slightly below the European average of US$34,710 for 2023, according to IMF estimates. The Slovenian president’s work is worth 1.5 of the country’s GDP per capita.  

Ukraine has the second lowest-paid president in Europe, relative to other average earners in the country. Based on official government communication, the Ukrainian president’s gross annual salary in 2023 was only €8,134, which is 1.63 worth of any average earner in the country. This is the lowest pay of any president in Europe, costing Ukrainian taxpayers only €4.26 per hour, before deductions, to carry out all their duties as head of state. Ukraine’s current GDP per capita is also the lowest in Europe, estimated at €5,245 for 2023. The president earns only 70% above that. 

Serbia’s president is the third poorest in Europe. With an hourly compensation of just €10.77, before tax, the head of state earns €20,564 per year. This is worth only 1.68 of the average salary in Serbia, estimated at €12,258. Serbia’s GDP per capita is the eighth lowest in Europe (US$11,301), and the president’s salary is almost double this amount. 

The presidents of Lithuania and Montenegro earn under two average salaries in their countries, while those in Croatia and Moldova earn just above this level. Finland, Latvia and Bosnia and Herzegovina complete the top 10 poorest presidents of Europe. Finland is the only country in Slot.Day’s ranking whose GDP per capita (US$54,507) is well above the European average (US$34,710).  

Richest presidents 

The richest presidents in Europe live in Bulgaria, Slovakia and Ireland when comparing their official incomes to average salaries.  

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