It has been won by top Hollywood directors and is helmed by one of France’s biggest comic book stars, but the “Queer Palm” award celebrating LGBTQ films in Cannes still has no official place in the most. major film festival in the world.
The awards for films with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer content are already an integral part of other major film gatherings, including Berlin, which has presented its “Teddy Award” since 1987 and made it part of its official program.
This is not the case in Cannes, where the festival management does not even allow the “Queer Palm” – which has existed for a decade – to settle in its main building, the Palais du Festival. “We are not ugly ducklings,” actor and director Nicolas Maury, who is chairing the jury for “Queer Palm” this year, told AFP.
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Maury, one of the stars of the hit Netflix show ‘Call My Agent’, added: “It’s a central award that doesn’t deserve to be put aside. I think it would be a good idea to put it aside. ‘it is part of the official ceremony. “
Maury said the award, created in 2010 and independently funded, targets “courageous films that demonstrate openness and humanity” where people who are often discriminated against “are finally noticed and listened to.”
‘The Divide’ wins –
On Friday, the jury awarded this year’s “Queer Palm” to “The Divide” by French director Catherine Corsini, a film also in competition for the Palme d’Or in the main draw at the Cannes Film Festival.
The film describes the events that took place in a Parisian hospital during violent clashes between “yellow vest” demonstrators and the police who transformed the upscale neighborhoods of the capital into virtual war zones in 2018 and 2019.
The main male character in the film is hit in the leg by the police, taken to the hospital and meets a same-sex couple in the midst of a relationship crisis.
At the beginning, the meeting between the provincial “prolé” and the couple of Parisian artists – which is inspired by the own relation of Corsini – is trying. But then it turns into a degree of mutual understanding.
“What I really wanted to do was tell the story of a couple of women in their 50s who have reached the point of accepting themselves as they are,” said the director.
“Homosexuality is both and is not a theme of the film, because it is an integral part, it dodges prejudices. It’s fantastic to be recognized for that.”
Over her three decades of directing, the 65-year-old Corsini has primarily established herself as a low-key but powerful voice for women’s freedom, exploring themes of homosexuality, patriarchy and gender equality. .
Previous winners include Todd Haynes for ‘Carol’ and Xavier Dolan for ‘Laurence Anyways’. Céline Sciamma’s ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ won the last Cannes film in 2019.
This year’s 26-film shortlist included Paul Verhoeven’s “Benedetta” – also shortlisted for the Palme d’Or in the main Cannes competition – which tells the story of a lesbian nun in 17th-century Italy.
Juho Kuosmanen’s “Compartment No. 6” from Finland was also in the running, as was Julia Ducournau’s shocking genre “Titanium” and several others spread across the different categories of the festival.
Queer Palm founder Franck Finance-Madureira told AFP he was delighted this year’s Cannes selections were rich selections for his prize list.
“This shows that queer themes are more and more prevalent in movies,” he said.