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The Most Beautiful Couple and Jellyfish pick up awards at Mons

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- Sven Taddicken’s film has won the Grand Prix as well as the Best Acting Award, while James Gardner’s feature has scooped the Best Screenplay gong and the Cineuropa Prize

The Most Beautiful Couple and Jellyfish pick up awards at Mons
Cineuropa's editor-in-chief, Domenico La Porta (left), and director James Gardner with his Cineuropa Prize (© Jonathan Brisson)

The 34th Mons International Film Festival drew to a close on Friday night with the unveiling of its winners’ list and the triumph of both The Most Beautiful Couple [+see also:
trailer
interview: Sven Taddicken
film profile
]
 and Jellyfish [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: James Gardner
film profile
]
. In The Most Beautiful Couple, German director Sven Taddicken follows the journey of a couple traumatised by a sexual assault that takes place while they are on holiday in Majorca. Liv is raped by a group of men right in front of her helpless partner, Malte. Two years later, Malte bumps into one of the assailants in the street, which reawakens a memory in the couple that almost proves to be more destructive than the assault itself. The movie pocketed the Grand Prix as well as the Best Acting Award for Maximilian BrücknerLuise HeyerJasna Fritzi Bauer and Florian Bartholomaï.

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There was another film that went home clutching two prizes: Jellyfish by James Gardner. In line with the great British tradition of films rooted in social topics, which explore the trials and tribulations of day-to-day life using humour, Jellyfish follows Sarah, a 15-year-old girl who is mistreated both at school and at home. Then she has an epiphany and finds her niche by trying her hand at stand-up. The movie picked up the Best Screenplay Award in addition to the Cineuropa Prize. 

The Audience Award was bestowed upon the French film Head Above Water [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, the feature debut by director Margot Bonhomme, which tells the story of Elisa, a hot-headed and passionate teenage girl who finds herself alone with her father after her mother leaves home – together, they must look after her disabled sister. The cast includes Cédric Kahn and Diane Rouxel, a young French actress who rose to fame in Larry Clark’s The Smell of Us [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pierre-Paul Puljiz
film profile
]
. The Be TV Award was presented to another French film set against a backdrop of separation and adolescence: Real Love [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Claire Burger
film profile
]
by Claire Burger, toplined by Bouli Lanners.

The Mons International Film Festival, which took a year off in 2018, should unspool again in 2020, as announced by its new general delegate, Maxime Dieu.

Here is the complete list of winners:

Festival Grand Prix
The Most Beautiful Couple [+see also:
trailer
interview: Sven Taddicken
film profile
]
 - Sven Taddicken (Germany/France)

Best Director Award
Night Comes On - Jordana Spiro (USA)

Best Screenplay Award 
Jellyfish [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: James Gardner
film profile
]
 - James Gardner (UK)

Best Acting Award 
Maximilian Brückner, Luise Heyer, Jasna Fritzi Bauer and Florian Bartholomaï – The Most Beautiful Couple

Cineuropa Jury Prize 
Jellyfish – James Gardner 

City of Mons Audience Award 
Head Above Water [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 Margaux Bonhomme (France)

BeTV Award
Real Love [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Claire Burger
film profile
]
 - Claire Burger (France/Belgium)

Best Short Film Award
Vihta - François Bierry (France/Belgium)

Belgian Critics’ Award 
Accord Parental – Benjamin Belloir

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(Translated from French)

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