My French Film Festival: The Awards

In Film & Series 14 February, 2023

Aleix de Vargas-Machuca

Aleix de Vargas-Machuca


The 13th edition of the My French Film Festival has come to an end, and the award-winning films have been announced. For a month and all over the world, the program of feature films and short films, which have shown the vitality of French cinema to all audiences, has been available online through various platforms.

Grand Prize of the Jury

A few days away from the festival end, the international Jury with Emily Atef, Chie Hayakawa, Sergei Loznitsa, Juho Kuosmanen and Albert Serra, chose to award Zero Fucks given by Julie Lecoustre and Emmanuel Marre (film selected in partnership with Wallonie Bruxelles Images). Zero Fucks given participated in the Cannes Film Festival’s Critics’ Week and competed for the Caméra d’Or, and stars Adèle Exarchopoulos, Alexandre Perrier and Mara Taquin. The film, which was in the Doing It Their Way section of My French Film Festival, focuses on the character of Cassandre, a 26-year-old flight attendant for a low-cost airline. The young woman lives from day to day, between flights and parties, with no strings attached. However, an unexpected event forces her to reconnect with the world. The award, which comes with a €15,000 prize for the director, producer and international distributor of the film, was motivated by the jury with the following statement:

We have decided to award the Grand Prize to Zero Fucks Given, first feature film of Julie Lecoustre and Emmanuel Marre, for its very singular and contemporary point of view on a young woman working in a low-cost airline company, running away from her life. Amazingly embodied by Adèle Exarchopoulos, the film explores a dehumanized in-between world, where flight attendants are working for in-the-air supermarkets. With strong artistic choices and a bold and rough cinematography, the two directors depict a contemporary disease: the need and the mirage of escaping from the ground.

French Film Festival

Zero Fucks Given (Emmanuel Marre, Julie Lecoustre, 2021)

International Press Awards

The international Press Jury, with Foteini Alevra (Athens Voice / Greece), Émilie Gambade (Maverick Life / South Africa), Kong Rithdee (The Bangkok Post / Thailand), Marcelo Stiletano (La Nación / Argentina), Aramide Tinubu (freelancer / United-States), Larisa Turea (Timpul / Moldavia), and Albert Zagt (freelancer / Netherlands), chose to award the short feature film Paloma by Hugo Bardin. The film was included in the festival’s France Has Got Talent section, and its director is also responsible for the miniseries La saison des sorcières, who, moreover, plays in the 28-minute film a drag queen who has just stolen the ashes of her deceased lover and meets a melancholic truck driver on her way. The jury’s motivation for awarding the prize was as follows:

Director and actor Hugo Bardin signed a moving and surprising love story between two bold characters. The poetry of the script combined with the strength of the acting bring emotions, humour, fear and hope to the fore, ingredients all great movies are made of.

My French Film Festival

Paloma (Hugo Bardin, 2022).

The best feature film in the opinion of the film critics’ jury was Les Magnétiques (Magnetic Beats, 2021), which competed in the same section as Paloma. Actor Vincent Maël Cardona‘s directorial debut stars Thimotée Robart, Joseph Olivennes and Marie Colomb, and is set in a Brittany town in the early 1980s, where Philippe lives in the shadow of his brother Jérôme. Military service is a threat that drives him to flee to West Berlin. The film won the César for Best First Film in 2022 and the SACD prize at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, as well as the Lumière for Best New Actor for Thimotée Robart. The press jury gave its verdict as follows:

In his first feature film, Vincent Maël Cardona mixes a delicate epistolary love story, with grief at the loss of a brother, rhythmed by the energy of a powerful soundtrack. With an acute sense of mise en scene the director depicts the frustrations, angers and hopes of a youth: a true love letter to the 80s.

French Film Festival

Los magnéticos (Vincent Maël Cardona , 2021)

Audience Award

To conclude, the audience award was announced, and the public showed its good taste by awarding Le Monde après nous (The World After Us, Louda Ben Salah-Cazanas, 2021). The film stars Aurélien Gabrielli, Louise Chevillote and Saadia Bentaïeb. This debut feature, which won the Audience Award at the Champs Elysées Film Festivals and was presented at the Mostra de Valencia and the Jerusalem Film Festival, tells the story of Labidi, a struggling young writer who, after a small success with a short story, tries to publish his first novel.

As for the short films, all of which are of an excellent standard, the audience voted for Cataracte (Cataract, Cataracte, Faustine Crespy & Laetitia de Montalembert, 2020), a previous winner of the Brussels Short Film Festival. It stars Ozay Fecht, Ferdinand Niquet Rioux and Samuel Bousbib, and tells the story of Nicky, a marginal and eccentric woman, who decides to end it all after going bankrupt.

My French Film Festival is organised by Unifrance, the organisation in charge of promoting French cinema throughout the world. It benefits from the support of Official partners (The French Government, CNC, Institut Français, Telefilm Canada, Wallonie Bruxelles Images) and Media partners, including EL HYPE: TitraFilm, France Médias Monde, RFI, France 24, Monte Carlo Doualiya, TV5MONDE, AlloCiné, AdoroCinema, SensaCine, SensaCine Latam, FILMSTARTS, Variety, FrenchMania, El País, El Hype, ComingSoon.it, Flix.gr, Corre Camara, Cenas de Cinema, Chippu, Focus Taiwan – Central News Agency, Under The Milky Way, Orange.

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Saadia BentaïebZero Fucks GivenJoseph OlivennesMagnetic BeatsAurélien GabrielliVincent Maël CardonaLouise ChevilloteMy French Film FestivalHugo BardinLouda Ben Salah-CazanasEmily AtefThimotée RobartChie HayakawaMarie ColombJuho KuosmanenAdèle ExarchopoulosSergei LoznitsaAlbert Serra

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