CANNES, France -- American actors William Hurt and Cher were named winners of the best actor and actress awards Monday at the closing ceremonies of the prestigious 38th Cannes Film Festival.
Cher, who won for her role in the American film 'Mask,' shared the award with Argentina's Norma Aleandro who starred in Luis Puenzo's 'The Official Story.'
In Mask, Cher plays a tough-talking, motorcycling mother of a teen-age boy with a disfiguring disease.
The former singer, who stopped speaking to director Peter Bogdanovich during the shooting of the movie, told a news conference afterward she 'can't describe how good it feels to win. It's fantastic.'
Hurt, 34, won his award for his performance in the film 'Kiss of the Spider Woman' by Brazilian director Hector Babenco. Hurt plays a tragic but warm lead role in Babenco's violent, political film.
In other awards, Yugoslav director Emir Kusturica, 32, won the Golden Palm Award for his political drama 'Papa Is Away On A Business Trip.' The film was Kusturica's second full-length film.
The Cannes jury headed by director Milos Forman gave British director Alan Parker its second highest honor, the Jury's Special Grand Prix, for his film 'Birdy' and Hungarian director Istvan Szabo won the third-ranked Jury Prize for the joint Hungarian-Austrian-West German film 'Colonel Redl.'
Frenchman Andre Techine was named best director for his film 'Rendez-Vous' and American director Paul Schrader won a prize for artistry in 'Mishima.'
Kusturica's winning film centers on a six-year-old Moslem boy in 1950s Sarajevo whose civil servant father is sent to a work camp. The film deals with Yugoslav resistence to the Soviet Union under Stalin and how events affected the boy's shattered family.
Kusturica was the first Yugoslav ever to win the Golden Palm.
Parker's film 'Birdy' is the story of two childhood friends from Philadelphia who are each scarred in different ways by the Vietnam War. One is physically disabled and the other sent to a mental hospital.
Bulgarians Slav Bakalov and Roumen Petkov won the prize for short films with 'Marriage' and British director Nicholas Roeg won the award for best technical innovations.