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MTV EMA Review

An odd MTV EMA this weekend, not least because we didn’t have to board a flight to get there.  Sat Bal stays home in London - only the second time in the show’s history that it has been staged here. (13 Nov’ 2017)

 

But first things, first. On Saturday night MTV transport whisked us through traffic-heavy streets to Trafalgar Square to see U2 perform. In the night chill, The National Gallery gleamed behind us while Trafalgar Square glowed ahead as we stationed ourselves on the outdoor media viewing platform, opposite the slick-looking stage.

 

Eminem with Best Hip Hop award

 

Bono soon arrived on stage, an Irish flag draped around his neck, opening with “Sunday Bloody Sunday.” A good start for the crowd of 7,000, winners of MTV’s ticket ballot to be here. The band played its way through “Pride”, Beautiful Day”, “Elevation” and “Vertigo”, huge anthems, before performing One and Get Out Of Your Own Way. "This song is like a protest song against yourself…some of the biggest obstacles we encounter on the way to a better world is often ourselves," explained the singer.

 

Shawn Mendes

 

Next, DJ David Guetta protested about the challenges of performing after U2, yet managed to get the crowd whooping to a set featuring spectacular pyros and lasers bringing the show to an end.

The following day the EMA stage was set at The SSE Arena, Wembley. Sunday night opened with Best Hip Hop winner Eminem performing a lavish orchestra-backed performance with guest artist Skylar Grey, of “Walk on Water.” He joined us after taking the mic in a London pub.

 

Camila Cabello charming the crowd

 

Our EMA hostess Rita Ora starred in a video skit of herself running through London’s streets- in a dressing gown- to get to the show in time. The video got audience laughs particularly when our mayor appeared, sat at a tube station reading a paper with Ora on the cover, as she ran past him.

U2’s “Get Out Of Your Own Way” appeared on  a video cut of last night’s show in Trafalgar Square and the band picked up the night’s prestigious milestone award, Global Icon. It must have crossed a few minds that much of this audience wasn't even around during U2's rise. Nonetheless, they all arose to their feet  at award presenter Jared Leto's bidding, to honour the band.

 

U2 and Jared Leto below stage

 

One of the illuminating things about coming to the EMAs is to witness the show’s uplifting production. That production was literally uplifting at Wembley thanks to the 20 hydraulic lifts it took to make the whole stage work. The hydraulic raised props and performers to as high as eight metres.

Julio Himede reprised his role as EMA set designer with the stage concept “Olympic field of play” featuring the biggest EMA stage ever built at 60 metres long x 28 metres wide with a programmable LED floor for different LED installations throughout the show. Julio also designed the staging at Saturday night’s MTV Presents Trafalgar Square show with obelisk-inspired structures in the space.

His energies were rewarded by Best Pop winner Camila Cabello whose elaborate musical production featured a hugely choreographed routine that moved through three scenes and incorporated soaring overhead shots, ending in a Havana-style swimming pool. 

 

 

Liam Payne (above) got steamy with “Strip That Down” featuring dancers in streetwear moving across an LED disco floor, while perched on hydraulics set to a spectacular LED light show.

The theme got more spectacular with Travis Scott flying in on the back of an animatronic bird over the audience for his performance of “Butterfly Effect,” while Stormzy arrived in a police car that was driven onto the stage for his smash grime track “Big For Your Boots.”

 

The Killers performed a classic rock performance of “The Man”

 

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello drew huge applause but it was Mendes who was crowned Best Artist and rocked his Best Song-winning track “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back” in a constantly evolving light box. ‘Best Artist’ also signalled that his and hers awards are out this year in the gender-neutral prizes which take their cue from MTV’s VMAs. Alas, the highly nominated Taylor Swift won no awards this year; his, hers or otherwise.

Host Rita Ora (below) brought in more than 50 dancers in an over-the-top medley of songs from her new album, “Your Song” and “Anywhere.”

 

 

Other artists delivering a mix of fan favorite tracks included Demi Lovato with her performance of “Sorry Not Sorry” and “Tell Me You Love Me,” and Kesha’s rendition of “Learn to Let Go.” 

 

Travis Scott flies above the crowd

 

David Guetta closed the show with an electrifying performance of his new single “Dirty, Sexy, Money” with guests French Montana, and Charli XCX

 

Stormzy's arresting entrance on stage

 

Later, Rita Ora was presented with the first-ever “MTV EMA Power of Music Award” to honour the charitable energies of all the artists who responded to the Grenfell disaster.

Oh – before you leave, next year’s MTV EMAs are to be hosted by Bilbao, Spain.

 

FULL LIST OF 2017 MTV EMA WINNERS

BEST SONG

Shawn Mendes - There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back

 

BEST ARTIST

Shawn Mendes

 

BEST LOOK

ZAYN

 

BEST NEW

Dua Lipa

 

BEST POP

Camila Cabello

 

BEST VIDEO

Kendrick Lamar - HUMBLE.

 

BEST LIVE

Ed Sheeran

 

BEST ELECTRONIC

David Guetta

 

BEST ROCK

Coldplay

 

BEST HIP HOP

Eminem

 

BEST ALTERNATIVE

Thirty Seconds To Mars

 

BIGGEST FANS

Shawn Mendes

 

BEST PUSH

Hailee Steinfeld

 

BEST WORLD STAGE

The Chainsmokers – Live from Isle of MTV Malta 2017

WORLDWIDE ACT WINNERS

Lil’ Kleine - The Netherlands

  1. Tangana – Spain

BABYMETAL – Japan

ALMA – Finland

DaVido – Nigeria

Stormzy - UK & Ireland

Lali - Argentina

 

BEST LOCAL ACT

*REFERENCE “2017 BEST LOCAL ACT AND WORLDWIDE ACT WINNERS” DOCUMENT

 

 

FULL PERFORMANCE LIST

Rita Ora – “Your Song,” “Anywhere”

Demi Lovato – “Sorry Not Sorry,” “Tell Me You Love Me”

Kesha – “Learn to Let Go”

Shawn Mendes – “There's Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”

The Killers – “The Man”

Clean Bandit – “Miss You” ft. Julia Michaels, “Symphony” ft. Zara Larsson, “Rockabye” ft. Anne-Marie

Stormzy – “Big For Your Boots”

Camila Cabello - “Havana”

U2 – “Get Out of Your Own Way,” remote from Trafalgar Square

Eminem – “Walk on Water” ft. Skylar Grey

French Montana – “Unforgettable” ft. Swae Lee

Travis Scott – “Butterfly Effect”

David Guetta ft. Charli XCX, French Montana –“Dirty Sexy Money”           

Liam Payne – “Strip That Down”

 

 

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Fab Baker Bros Barbecue All Four Seasons

ALGARVE - Four Seasons Fairways and British TV chefs Tom and Henry Herbert have united to extend the barbecue season. Lucy Kale

The chefs, better known as The Fabulous Baker Brothers, have created a set of ‘WinterGrill Recipe Cards’ with unique recipes for guests of Four Seasons Fairways. The Brothers will also be on site at Four Seasons Fairways in Portugal to host a BBQ Masterclass and small BBQ classes at Four Seasons Fairways from 20 – 23rd February 2018.

This should encourage guests to make good use of the kitchens and bespoke BBQ stations installed in Fairways’ 132 private villas. Four Seasons Fairways lies in Quinta Do Lago and is blessed with Algarve’s year-round sunshine, making al fresco dining a real hit. Guests at the villas can take advantage of either private pools or Jacuzzis.

By April 2018 a €2M refurbishment will have updated Four Seasons Fairways’ clubhouse and central pool, encompassing the resort’s restaurants, bar, pool area and public spaces.

The combination of the venue, family and WinterGrill is a cheery prospect for Henry Herbert who said: “We are already both planning trips back with our families next spring and will be there in February to host our BBQ masterclass.”

The introduction of WinterGrill also ties in perfectly with our #lifeatfairwayscampaign, sharing what life is like in and around our resort,” added Jorge Oliveira, GM, Four Seasons Fairways.

 

See the recipe tutorial - Recipe 1/5: Trouserless Sizzling Prawns

Click the pic...

 

 

BBQ Masterclass week package

(arrivals 16th or 17th February 2018 for 1 week): €1490 

 Four Seasons Fairways tell us this is this package includes:

  • Accommodation for up to 4 guests sharing a villa/apartment
  • Daily buffet breakfast
  • BBQ Masterclass event with Tom & Henry (includes the bbq lunch for 4 guests)
  • Return transfers from and to Faro airport

 Price is valid for 4 guests sharing (€ 372.50 per person for the week)

www.fourseasonsfairways.com/winter-grill

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World’s Largest Private Charter Jet Takes Off

LOS ANGELES - In-flight luxury has just become more palatial and private thanks to Crystal Skye, a Boeing 777 transformed for high rolling. Sat Bal 

 

The privately owned aircraft doesn’t look particularly imposing from the outside; externally it’s just a regular Boeing 777-200LR. But inside, the plane has had around 200 seats removed from its standard configuration. The revamp accommodates just 88 passengers with enough onboard space to create a series of flying rooms. Unsurprisingly Crystal Skye claims unrivalled space and the widest cabin configuration.

 

What’s it got?

 

 

Where a normal 777 would feature the premium class cabins, Crystal Skye accommodates a 24-cover restaurant and an impressive bar, distinct social area and a lounge space – all touted as unique among private charter jets. There’s also a 200-bottle wine cellar stocked to suit all palates.

The “Crystal Exclusive Class” seats convert to lie-flat beds and Crystal Skye claims the highest ratio of  staff-to-passenger ratio with its fleet of in-flight butlers ready to cosset customers.

 

 

Dining comes courtesy of executive chef Francois Van Zyl, a graduate of Etihad Airways, and his flying kitchen comes impressively equipped to create Michelin-inspired dining at 35,000 ft.

Passengers also get 24” HD entertainment screens which the company boasts as the biggest in the business. Naturally, music choices are abundant as is the on-demand programme.  

 

Cost and range?

 

 

Crystal Skye has a range of circa 20 hours flight time. It incurs a £43,000 hourly charge which, on a London-New York trip would cost over £300k - one way. But the maths is more palatable when this figure is divided by 88 passengers, costing around the price of a first class scheduled ticket but with a unique flying rooms luxury. That’s some hen party!

 

Who’s it for?

 

 

The highest-end hens and stags aside, Crystal Skye is likely to be occupied by entertainment, commercial and sporting groups. Royalty and government heads are also a safe bet.

High-budget event organisers (think World Cup, global Fashion Weeks, Oscars junkets) now have a way of wowing their most gilded – and jaded – VIPs.

One-off exclusive performances at 35k ft? That precedent has already been set by Macky Drese, MD at Harmonic (pic above). Who can forget Macky's staging of a Rudimental gig - in the nose of a Virgin 787 jet over the Atlantic? Imagine the flying private party that could be had by performers and presenters en route to, say, MTV’s awards shows. Sony’ll get the cheque.

No matter who the guests are, Crystal Skye democratises travel because there’s no cabin class distinction – it’s just ultra-class throughout.

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Viacom's Italian Job

ROME - Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) has today announced its expansion in Italian TV with the acquisition of a free-to-air digital terrestrial frequency.

 

Channel LCN 49 was acquired from Scripps Networks Interactive in order to launch a local version of its Spike TV network. VIMN has also confirmed it has entered into a joint venture with De Agostini Editore for the kids’ TV channel, Super!which is also available free-to-air on digital terrestrial TV in Italy. VIMN now has a 50% stake in the channel.

“Our pay TV partnerships remain the priority for Viacom, but free-to-air distribution is helping us grow ratings and revenues in TV markets where free-to-air networks are predominant,” said David Lynn, CEO of VIMN. “Free-to-air channel launches have helped us significantly expand our reach amongst Italian TV viewers and we’re ambitious for future share growth in this valuable and important TV market.”

Raffaele Annecchino, head of VIMN Southern & Western Europe, Africa and the Middle East, added: “I’m pleased to confirm this latest step in our ongoing strategy to scale-up our business in Italy, which has the highest number of free-to-air channels of any European TV market and is the third biggest in terms of advertising revenues. These new free-to-air channels, combined with our strong distribution relationship with Sky, give us a great balance between free-to-air and pay TV in this market and allow us to reach all demographics with distinct and competitive offers.” 

Launching at the end of October, Spike Italy will target adult viewers with a mix of Viacom’s global TV hits alongside international acquisitions and local productions.

Viacom already owns and operates two free-to-air digital terrestrial TV channels in Italy – Paramount Channel and VH1. Since launching Paramount Channel in February 2016, Viacom has grown its average monthly reach in Italy by more than 19 million and is now approaching close to 30 million viewers each month.

The company has also expanded its local advertising sales operation, VIMN Pubblicita' and Brand Solutions, signing deals to represent TV channels owned by Scripps Networks Interactive, De Agostini Editore and Sony, as well as its own portfolio of 11 channels including MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and Nick Jr., which are all distributed on Italy’s leading pay platform, Sky.

 

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Venice Film Festival Winners

VENICE - The Venice International Film Festival has presented its top award to a fantasy film romance between a mute cleaning lady and her amphibious lover. Lucy Kale

 

The Golden Lion award went to “The Shape of Water” directed by Guillermo del Toro (pictured). The film received virtually unanimous pro reviews from critics and all eyes are now on its British star, Sally Hawkins.

 

Javier Bardem, Fernando Leon de Aranoa and Penelope Cruz on the "Loving Pablo" red carpet 

Charlotte Rampling continued the British success theme, winning Best Actress for “Hannah” which tells the story of her husband detained on murky grounds. Best Actor went to Palestinian Kamel El Basha for “The Insult”.

Xavier Legrand won the Silver Lion for best direction of “Custody”. Veterans Jane Fonda and Robert Redford received lifetime achievement awards.

 

Jennifer Lawrence at the screening of her film "Mother"

New prospect Charlie Plummer won the Marcello Mastroianni Award, for the year’s most promising emerging actor. And old hand, Stephen Frears the director of “The Queen” was given the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker award.

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Hard Rock Plans Davos Hotel

DAVOS - Hard Rock International is expanding its hotel portfolio to the Swiss Alps with plans to open Hard Rock Hotel Davos. Chris Page

December 2017 is the anticipated opening date which will see the transformation the 130-year-old building which houses the recently renovated Spenglers Hotel. Hard Rock Hotel Davos honours  Dr. Alexander Spengler and Willem Jan Holsboer both pioneers in medicine and rail engineering,  respectively.

The historic luxury boutique hotel will continue to celebrate its musical moorings thanks to a team of design experts tasked to evolve the venue to the local music scene and the region’s art, style and culture.
“As Hard Rock continues to grow globally, the brand targets expansion in influential cities and
resort destinations around the world, especially in Europe,” said Dale Hipsh, senior vice president of
hotels for Hard Rock International. “Famed for its pristine climate, cultural offerings and vibrant
entertainment scene, Davos is a distinguished destination that draws in tourists from all over.”

The Hard Rock Hotel Davos is situated in the heart of the town, providing easy access to
popular attractions, close to the train station and nearby boutiques and dining options. The hotel
is also walking distance from ski lifts and museums, as well as the city’s convention centre.

 “We are very pleased to welcome the Hard Rock Hotel team in Davos,” said Alessandro Lardi,
president of the board of collaborator International Hospitality Service AG. “The high calibre of the Hard Rock International brand ensures that both Spenglers Hotel and Holsboer Residences – soon to run under the Hard Rock brand – will benefit from the professional expertise and unique music solutions that Hard Rock International offers, combined with style and the region’s culture.”

Andrey Yakunin, co-founder of VIYM, financial and hospitality consult on the deal,
added, “As a hospitality investor with a long-standing track record, I believe Davos provides unique
opportunities for both hoteliers and tourists, as it has a lot to offer to its business and leisure guests in any given season. Therefore, on behalf of our investors in this hospitality asset, I trust this franchise will allow both IHS and Hard Rock International to build a successful and profitable resort, attractive to new guests, including those already loyal to the Hard Rock brand.”

Hard Rock Hotel Davos will feature 111 lavishly redesigned rooms, including 31 serviced one to three bedroom apartments. In addition to three conference rooms for dynamic meeting space, an on-site, historic chapel will also be available for booking, containing a modern sound system, natural acoustics, fully functioning organ and adaptable lighting, ideal for banquets, weddings, private concerts and events.

The restaurant will provide a high-end lobby bar and sophisticated private bar, perfect for private dining and tastings. The hotel will also feature an exclusive rooftop bar for panoramic
360-degree views of the mountains and city.

Guests can enjoy signature brand offerings including The Sound of Your Stay® music amenity program with complimentary vinyl players and records or rock out on a Fender guitar during an in-room jam session, complete with an amp and head phones. Additionally, the property will boast a wellness centre, including a Body Rock® workout facility and a Rock Spa®, complete with the music-infused Rhythm & Motion spa menu, five treatment rooms and a yoga studio.

See: www.hardrockhotels.com.

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Isle of MTV Malta 2017 - Review

Red Carpet is back from a scorching Malta where we watched the 11th Isle of MTV music party led by artists Raye, Jonas Blue, DNCE and the Chainsmokers. Sat Bal  

We weren’t the only ones feeling the sun; DJ Jonas Blue also cited the sweltering heat when quizzed about his first impression of Malta at the pre-show press call, earlier that afternoon. Later at the show the UK DJ’s set threw out a rendition of By Your Side and then stepped things up by inviting British breakthrough artist Raye onto the stage to perform a duet.

 

The limo bus complete with bartenders whisks us to the venue for the show. Cheers MTV!

Raye had made her debut earlier and unwittingly became a showstopper when a technical hitch imposed a short tea break on her set. We just scuttled off to get more drinks from the VIP bar, Raye resumed the music soon enough and the 50,000 or so music fans were unperturbed, so who cares? What’s more this office denies rumours that the hitch was built-in by MTV just so that Raye could have a longer set.

 

Raye makes her IOM debut

 

Her show rolled on with the single Shhh, followed by a rousing cover of Gotta Get Through This and her current single The Line. The tempo changed by the time Raye staged up with Jonas Blue who was then joined by Liza Owen for singalong reworkings of Back In The Day and Fast Car. Jonas Blue’s set culminated with current single Mama, accompanied by Aaron before launching crowd-pleaser Perfect Strangers, aided by fellow Brit, JP Cooper.

 

DNCE axe attack

Bright sun gave way to brighter neon as dusk fell over the Il-Fosos Square venue. Hostess Becca Dudley bounded on to present multi-platinum selling band DNCE. Led by Joe Jonas DNCE took it all filmic with a dramatic Star Wars intro fronted by stormtroopers. DNCE covered tributes to David Bowie including Let’s Dance  and George Michael’s classic Freedom, before performing their much-loved single Kissing Strangers. Huge DNCE-branded inflatables, confetti launches and Co2 jets pleased the ever-dancing crowd. These were tempered by on-screen warnings not to be alarmed at imminent booming sounds, in a nod to the real-world situation. Security had also been beefed up around the site keeping the fun safe.

 

No intro needed to our headliners

The visuals were amped up by headliners the Chainsmokers whose electro buzzed the crowd amid  flame machines and confetti streamers. They opened with huge hit Break Up Every Night making way for  bangers Roses and Young. The circa six-hour night of music was finally brought to a close with their single Closer.

 

 

And with the final reverberations of music hailing the balmy air it was off to the afterparty at the al fresco surrounds of UNO Village until sunrise.

 

See more at www.isleofmtv.com

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Mooring in Mauritius - Review

 

When a country runs at a winter temperature of 24°C you know that its hospitality is also going to be warm. In Mauritius, the hospitality fair sizzles whatever the season, as Sat Bal discovered.  Read more

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The Rolls-Royce "Me"

Rolls-Royce Torpedo
Photo: James Lipman / jameslipman.com

The malleability of automotive luxury has been unveiled on the shoreline of Lake Como in the form of the striking Rolls-Royce ‘Sweptail’ - short on background detail but long on presence.

The car represents the vision of a very wealthy Rolls-Royce customer who worked with the marque to commission his very own coachbuild. The cost of the car, like the name of the owner, is undisclosed but reportedly exceeds £10 million. And so it was, this weekend at Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este that the one-off Sweptail was presented at a press call by Rolls-Royce CEO, Torsten Müller-Ötvös. The name of the car emerges from the swept tail of vintage Rolls-Royces from the 1920s.

The most striking feature of the car is its panoramic glass roof which is unobstructed and one of the largest and most complex ever seen on a car before, with a smooth end-to-end curvature that floods the cabin with natural light.

 

 

The secretive customer approached Rolls-Royce in 2013 with a very specific request informed by his background as a connoisseur and collector of distinctive, one-off items including super-yachts and private jets. The client collaborated closely with design director Giles Taylor who helped bring the vision to life: a coachbuilt two-seater coupé featuring a large panoramic glass roof.

““Our job was to guide, edit and finely hone the lines that would ultimately give our client this most perfect of Rolls-Royces,” said Giles Taylor. “Sweptail is the automotive equivalent of Haute Couture. It is a Rolls-Royce designed and hand-tailored to fit a specific customer. This customer came to the House of Rolls-Royce with an idea, shared in the creative process where we advised him on his cloth, and then we tailored that cloth to him. You might say we cut the cloth for the suit of clothes that he will be judged by.”

 

The iconic Rolls-Royce Pantheon grille, the largest of any modern era Rolls-Royce, is milled from solid aluminium before being painstakingly polished by hand to a mirror finish. The size and scale of this regal-looking coupé is imposing; from the leading edge of the windscreen, the roofline accelerates as it fires backwards towards the rear of the motor car, overshooting the boot lid edge to emphasise its length.

The car comes with identifier and registration number, 08, two individual digits milled from ingots of aluminium and hand-polished.

 

The two-seat configuration simply adds to the image of a car that isn’t concerned with pragmatism, just bygone opulence for the hell of it or as Rolls-Royce puts it, it “exudes the romance of travel for its own sake.”

Inside, precedence goes to the exquisite materials with switchgear kept to a minimum lest it divert attention from the visual luxury of the cabin. It’s a haven of polished Macassar Ebony and open-pore Paldao, creating visual and tactile contrasts for the owner, both classical and contemporary. This contrasting dark/ light, Ebony and Paldao, is set off by light Moccasin and ‘Dark Spice’ leathers that cover the seats, armrests and dashboard top.

Even the customer’s laptop has been taken into account in the tailored design phase. Secreted in the outboard walls of the car, behind the opening of the coach doors, are two identical panniers. Each pannier deploys forward to present the owner’s bespoke made attaché case which has been carefully packaged to exactly house his personal laptop. The case has been hand-constructed and wrapped in the finest leather to match the car’s interior.

Another personalised ‘wow’ is that the entire centre console houses a one-off hand-built mechanism that, at the touch of a button, will deploy a bottle of the owner’s favourite vintage champagne – the year of his birth – and two crystal champagne flutes. As the lid of the chiller opens, the mechanical action positions the bottle to the perfect position for the owner to pick up. No spillages there, then.

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, said the car is “in the pantheon of the world’s great intercontinental tourers. We are listening carefully to our most special customers and assessing their interest in investing in similar, completely exclusive coachbuilt masterpieces. At the same time we are looking into the resources which will allow us to offer this unique service to these discerning patrons of luxury.”

Photos: James Lipman

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Cannes Film Festival Closing Round-Up

And so another year of Cannes is in the can as the parties drew to a close and the winner of the all-important Palme d'Or was announced.

While The Meyerowitz Stories by director Noah Baumbach played out well, it was satirical comedy The Square that won the big prize, awarded by jury members including Jessica Chastain and Will Smith. It was directed by Swede Ruben Östlund and tells the story around an art installation in a gallery.

 

 

Joaquin Phoenix won Best Actor for You Were Never Really Here while Diane Kruger took Best Actress for In The Fade. The actress plays a wife who seeks revenge for her husband's death in a terrorist bombing.

Sofia Coppola become only the second woman to win the best director award at Cannes for The Beguiled. 

Elsewhere, Amfar threw the closing big party of the event sponsored by Moët & Chandon. Here are pictures from party...

 

Model Bella Hadid gamely pours the champagne on stage

 

 

Guests glam it up, just look at those shoes - hers, not his!

 

Valery Kaufman, Hailey Baldwin, Carine Roitfeld, Bella Hadid, Elsa Hosk and Hana Jirickova

 

Shimmering at the gala