France's Juliette Binoche takes Cannes best actress prize
France's Juliette Binoche won the Cannes best actress prize for her role as an unhappy art dealer in Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami's film "Certified Copy".
Thanking Kiarostami as she picked up the prize, a teary-eyed Binoche said: "What you feel behind a camera that loves you is the most beautiful miracle of all."
She also held up a sign with the name of Iranian director Jafar Panahi, who is jailed in a Tehran prison.
"I hope he will be here next year," she added.
Binoche, 46, is one of the country's rare actors to make it in Hollywood.
The actress broke onto the international movie scene at the age of 37 when she won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress in 1997 for her role as a nurse in Anthony Minghella's "English Patient".
In "Certified Copy" she is an art-gallery owner who flirts with an English novelist in a tete-a-tete about love and marriage.
Images of Binoche, dressed in a black shirt and pants, are all over this year's festival, which put her picture on the official festival poster, armed with a brush scrawling the letters "Cannes" in lights.
She visited Iran to deepen her knowledge of the country before shooting the film and while at Cannes broke into tears on learning that Panahi had begun a hunger strike.
© 2010 AFP