Cannes, France — ``The Mission,'' a film by Britain's Roland Joffe about two Jesuit priests in 18th-century Latin America, won the Golden Palm award Monday for best film at the 39th Cannes Film Festival. The film, which stars Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons, deals with slavery, the Roman Catholic Church, and the suffering of the native Indian population under Spanish and Portuguese colonialism. The prize was presented by American director Sydney Pollack, president of the 10-member jury, and is the second major triumph for Joffe, whose film ``The Killing Fields'' won three Oscars last year.
Martin Scorcese from the United States was named best director for ``After Hours,'' a comedy about a man who stumbles through several misadventures in one Manhattan night.
In a departure from tradition, best actor and best actress awards each had two winners. Britain's Bob Hoskins won for his role in Neil Jordan's ``Mona Lisa,'' and France's Michel Blanc was honored for his performance in Bertrand Blier's ``Tenue de Soir'ee'' (Evening Wear).
West Germany's Barbara Sukowa, starring in Margarethe von Trotta's ``Rosa Luxembourg,'' and Brazil's Fernanda Torres, appearing in Arnaldo Jabor's ``Eu Sei que vou te Amar'' (Speak to Me of Love), each won best actress awards.
Soviet exile Andre Tarkovsky won the special Grand Prix for his film ``Sacrifice,'' made in Sweden. The film, starring Susan Fleetwood and Erland Josephson, centers on a family living a solitary life on the Swedish coast. The film's director of photography, Sven Nykvist, a long-time associate of Ingmar Bergman, was honored for best artistic contribution to the director.
The French film ``Th'er`ese,'' the story of Saint Theresa de Lisieux directed by Alain Cavalier, won the Jury's prize.
French director Claire Devers won the Golden Camera award for her film ``Noir et Blanc'' (Black and White).
Australia's Jane Campion won the prize for best short film for ``Peel.''