Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen collected the Grand Prix at the Cannes film festival on Saturday night for his film Compartment no. 6, sharing the award with Iranian director Ashgar Farhad for his film A Hero.
Kuosmanen said after the ceremony that the prize meant a lot.
"This prize is really important for a film that is difficult to sell and which is difficult to get noticed," said Kuosmanen. "Hopefully the audience will also find it, when it's widely shown in cinemas one day. We have the best actors in the world, but we don't have stars that get the kind of attention that Tilda Swinton does, for instance [Swinton starred in Memoria, which took the Jury Prize at Cannes]. That's why this kind of prize is really important for a film like this."
The main award at Cannes, the Palm d'Or, was won by Julia Ducournau's 'body-horror thriller' Titane.
Kuosmanen's film is based on the book of the same name by Rosa Liksom, which won the Finlandia prize when it was published in 2011..
It focuses on a young Finnish woman, played by Seidi Haarla, and a Russian miner, played by Yuri Borisov, forced to share a small compartment on a train from Moscow to Murmansk.
Kuosmanen is the second Finnish director to pick up the award, after Aki Kaurismäki won the Grand Prix in 2002 for The Man Without a Past.