The Cannes Film Festival ends Sunday when the world's leading movie showcase rolls out its prestigious prizes, including the Palme d'Or for best picture.

A nine-member jury headed by Mad Max director George Miller is due to select the winners from the 21 films comprising this year's main competition.

German director Maren Ade's comedy Toni Erdmann about a high-flying corporate adviser and her prankster father has emerged as the favourite for the festival's top prizes.

The last woman to win the Palme d'Or was New Zealand-born Jane Campion who was awarded prize in 1993 for The Piano.

Cannes also strayed this year into several controversial areas with films touching on cannibalism, necrophilia, rape and a young man having sex with a much older man.

The normally lofty world of Cannes' annual film festival was also one of the most political in recent years.

Over the course of the 11-day festival, several US actors have lashed out at the Republican Party's presumptive candidate for president, Donald Trump, and Brazilian filmmakers have protested about their national president's removal from office while there were attacks on European fiscal austerity.

The festival was also notable for its unprecedented security following the deadly attacks on Paris and Brussels.

Among the contenders for awards this year is also Brazilian director Kleber Mendonca Filho's Aquarius, which tells the story of a 65-year-old woman facing eviction from her apartment.

Other candidates for top prize this year are the two Romanian entries in the main competition: Sieranevada from Cristi Puiu and Cristian Mungiu's Bacalaureat (Graduation).

Mungiu is making his bid for a second Palme d'Or after in 2007 becoming the first Romanian to win the top prize for his movie about a woman attempting to have an abortion during communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu's reign.

A late contender for the top prize was Dutch-born Paul Verhoeven's Elle, which screened on the last day of the festival and is a dark comedy portraying a successful businesswoman's search for revenge after she is raped.

Cannes' perennials such as Britain's Ken Loach and leading US independent filmmaker Jim Jarmusch have also won critical acclaim in Cannes for their new films.

Arkansas-born Jeff Nichols' conventional but hard-hitting drama about intermarriage in the United States of the 1950s has also emerged as a favourite on the Croisette, the palm-lined boulevard that runs through Cannes.

Another popular film at the festival this year was American Honey from British-born director Andrea Arnold, which told the story of a magazine-selling crew on a drug-fuelled road trip through the nation's Midwest.

The festival began unveiling its prizes on Saturday when the jury for the Un Certain Regard section announced that the Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen had won the sidebar's top award for his story about a boxer who falls in love before a championship match.

Kuosmanen's Hymyileva Mies (The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki) was one of 18 films hailing from 20 different countries competing in the Un Certain Regard section, which promotes up-and-coming directors.

Related stories

Cannes Film Festival: Battle for the Palme d'Or

70th Cannes Film Festival rolls our red carpet

Netflix-produced film stirs controversy at Cannes

Cannes film festival welcomes Palme d'Or jury

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.