Famed director Steven Spielberg, has commented on the winner of the Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival, a lesbian drama, which raised eyebrows for its graphic sex scenes, saying they were not an issue, and that it was a “great love story” he felt “privileged” to have seen.

Bookmakers had already named Blue is the Warmest Colour, as the favourite to win the Palme d’Or prize. It was announced on Sunday that it had won, beating the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewelyn Davis, which won the Grand Prix, the runner up prize. 

The film, directed by Tunisian-born French director Abdellatif Kechiche, and based on a graphic novel, contains some graphic scenes, and some reviewers have noted that it may need to be edited, in order to be widely distributed for cinema showings.

Spielberg, who headed the jury for the festival, spoke after the awards ceremony on Sunday, that he was honoured to have seen the film, and that the sex scenes were not an issue, as they were part of the storyline.

“For me, the film is a great love story and the fact that it’s a great love story made all of us feel like we were privileged, not embarrassed, to be flies on the wall.”

Spielberg went on to commend Kechiche for the film, and said he expected it would be successful on general release. He said: “We’re just happy someone had the courage to tell the story the way he told it.”

It centres around 15-year-old character Adele, played by Adele Exarchopoulos, and her lover Emma, who is played by Lea Seydoux.

Kechiche said he would consider cutting some scenes, in order to have the film seen by as wide an audience as possible.