Cannes Film Fest 1985: Year 38–When Father Was Away on Business Wins Top Award

The 38th Cannes Film Fest was held May 8–20, 1985.

The Palme d’Or went to When Father Was Away on Business by Emir Kusturica.

The festival opened with Witness, directed by Peter Weir and closed with The Emerald Forest, directed by John Boorman.

The festival paid a tribute to American actor James Stewart and screened a restored version of his 1954 film The Glenn Miller Story, directed by Anthony Mann.


  • Miloš Forman (USA) (Jury President)
  • Claude Imbert (France) (Journalist)
  • Edwin Zbonek (Austria)
  • Francis Veber (France)
  • Jorge Amado (Brazil)
  • Mauro Bolognini (Italy)
  • Michel Perez (France)
  • Mo Rothmann (USA)
  • Néstor Almendros (Argentina)
  • Sarah Miles (UK)

Films in competition

The following films competed for the Palme d’Or

English title Original title Director(s) Country
Adieu Bonaparte وداعا بونابرت Youssef Chahine  Egypt
Birdy Alan Parker  United States
Bliss Ray Lawrence  Australia
Chicken with Vinegar Poulet au vinaigre Claude Chabrol  France
The Coca-Cola Kid Dušan Makavejev  Australia
Colonel Redl Oberst Redl István Szabó  Hungary
Derborence Francis Reusser   Switzerland
Détective Détective Jean-Luc Godard  France
Farewell to the Ark さらば箱舟 Shūji Terayama  Japan
Insignificance Nicolas Roeg  United Kingdom
Joshua Then and Now Ted Kotcheff  Canada
Kiss of the Spider Woman O Beijo da Mulher Aranha Héctor Babenco  Brazil
The Official Story La historia oficial Luis Puenzo  Argentina
Madman at War Scemo di guerra Dino Risi  Italy
Mask Peter Bogdanovich  US
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters Paul Schrader  United States
Pale Rider Clint Eastwood  US


Rendez-vous André Téchiné  France
The Two Lives of Mattia Pascal Le due vite di Mattia Pascal Mario Monicelli  Italy
When Father Was Away on Business Отац на службеном путу Emir Kusturica  Yugoslavia

Un Certain Regard

A Private Function by Malcolm Mowbray
  • A.K. by Chris Marker
  • Ad Sof Halaylah by Eitan Green
  • Das Mal des Todes by Peter Handke
  • Dediščina by Matjaž Klopčič
  • Une femme en Afrique by Raymond Depardon
  • Himatsuri by Mitsuo Yanagimachi
  • Il diavolo sulle colline by Vittorio Cottafavi
  • Latino by Haskell Wexler
  • Le thé au harem d’Archimède by Mehdi Charef
  • Milyy, dorogoy, lyubimyy, edinstvennyy… by Dinara Asanova
  • Monsieur de Pourceaugnac by Michel Mitrani
  • Le mystère Alexina by René Féret
  • Oriana by Fina Torres
  • Padre nuestro by Francisco Regueiro
  • Tokyo-Ga by Wim Wenders

Films out of competition

  • Die Nacht by Hans-Jürgen Syberberg
  • Jumping by Osamu Tezuka
  • Le soulier de Satin by Manoel de Oliveira
  • Night Magic by Lewis Furey
  • Steaming by Joseph Losey
  • The Emerald Forest by John Boorman
  • The Glenn Miller Story by Anthony Mann
  • The Purple Rose of Cairo by Woody Allen
  • Witness by Peter Weir


  • Palme d’Or: When Father Was Away on Business by Emir Kusturica
  • Grand Prix: Birdy
  • Jury Prize: Colonel Redl
  • Best Actor: William Hurt for Kiss of the Spider Woman
  • Best Actress: Tie
    • Norma Aleandro for The Official Story
    • Cher for Mask
  • Best Director: André Téchiné for Rendez-vous
  • Short Film Palme d’Or: Jenitba by Slav Bakalov and Rumen Petkov
  • Best Artistic Contribution: John Bailey (cinematographer and production designer/costume designer) and Philip Glass (composer) for Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
  • Technical Grand Prize: Insignificance by Nicolas Roeg
  • Caméra d’Or: Oriana by Fina Torres
  • Perspectives du Cinéma Award: Visage de chien by Jacek Gasiorowski
  • FIPRESCI Prize:
    • Otac na sluzbenom putu by Emir Kusturica
    • The Purple Rose of Cairo by Woody Allen
    • Visages de femmes by Desiré Ecaré
  • Prize of the Ecumenical Jury: La historia oficial by Norma Aleandro
  • Prize of the Ecumenical Jury – Special Mention: Le temps d’un instant by Pierre Jallaud
  • FIFA Award: Extended Play by David Casci
  • Award of the Youth:
    • Foreign Film: Dance with a Stranger by Mike Newell
    • French Film: Le thé au harem d’Archimède by Mehdi Charef