Les Misérables crowned French critics’ winner
- Ladj Ly’s work takes home the title of Best French Film for 2019, while Matthieu Bareyre’s documentary Young and Alive is named Best First Film
Last night saw the French Critics Syndicate hand out its awards for 2019. The title of Best French Film went to Ladj Ly’s Les Misérables [+see also:
interview: Ladj Ly
film profile] which is continuing along the winning path it first embarked upon at the Cannes Film Festival in May last year, where it walked away with the Jury Award. Produced by Toufik Ayadi and Christophe Barral on behalf of SRAB Films, and co-produced by Rectangle Productions and Lyly Films, the filmmaker’s first fiction feature is one of five works nominated for the 2020 Best International Film Oscar (which will be awarded on 9 February) and has also earned itself no fewer than seven nominations (in the categories of Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best First Film, Best Cinematography and two in the category of Best New Actor) at the 25th edition of the Lumières Awards, which will be handed out on 27 January by foreign journalists posted in Paris. The audience, it would seem, is equally enamoured with Les Misérables, with the movie clocking up an impressive 1.88 million admissions since its release in French cinemas on 20 November by Le Pacte (giving the distributor its best ever result). In the US, meanwhile, Amazon Studios treated the film to a limited theatrical release starting 10 January this year, and the film is now showing in 42 cinemas. Sold all over the world courtesy of Wild Bunch, it is also currently screening in Denmark (distribution: Filmbazar) and in Sweden (Edge Entertanment). It will be released in Germany on Thursday 23 January (via Wild Bunch Germany), in the Netherlands on 20 February (Paradiso Filmed Entertainment Nederland, after its showcasing at the 48th Rotterdam Film Festival, which kicks off tomorrow), in Poland (via M2 Films) and in Norway (Selmer Media) on 28 February, in Finland on 6 March (Cinemanse Oy), in Italy on 12 March (Lucky Red) and in the UK on 24 April (Altitude Film Entertainment).
The award for Best First French Feature Film was won by a documentary (discovered in the Locarno Film Festival’s Filmmakers of the Present competition): Young and Alive [+see also:
interview: Matthieu Bareyre
film profile] by Matthieu Bareyre (an Artisans du Film production, distributed in French cinemas in spring of last year by Bac Films, who are also in charge of international sales).
Rounding off the list of award-winning cinema works is Guillaume Nicloux’s Thalasso [+see also:
film profile] (a former San Sebastian Festival competitor and a Les Films du Worso production sold by Wild Bunch), which won the accolade of Most Unique French-Language Film, while the title of Best Foreign Film went to Cannes’ Palme d’Or champion Parasite, by South Korea’s Bong Joon-Ho, that of Best First Foreign Feature to An Elephant Sitting Still by the late, young Chinese filmmaker Hu Bo, and Best French Short Film to Electric Swan by Konstantina Kotzamani (an Ecce Films production).
Also well worth a mention is the title of Best French Series scooped by Savages, a production directed by Rebecca Zlotowski and based upon a screenplay written by the latter in league with the novelist Sabri Louatah (read out review).
The full list of winners is as follows:
Best Foreign Film
Parasite - Bong Joon-Ho (South Korea)
Best First Foreign Film
An Elephant Sitting Still - Hu Bo (China)
Best French Short Film
Electric Swan - Konstantina Kotzamani
Best French Work of Fiction
Stella – Éléonore Faucher
Best French Series
Savages – Rebecca Zlotowski & Sabri Louatah
(Translated from French)
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