Gaspar Noés Climax Dances Off With Directors Fortnight Top Prize – Cannes

After the triumphant Directors Fortnight world premiere of his Climax, Gaspar Noés latest descent into hell has taken the sections top prize. The Cicae Art Cinema Award was presented this evening to the film which features a group of mesmerizing young dancers who fall into madness after drinking a bowl of LSD-laced sangria. Sofia Boutella stars.

Climax blew away critics and audiences here and was swiftly acquired by A24 for domestic. This is Noés first film to be selected in the Fortnight which is actually billed as non-competitive, though its sponsors regularly present awards.

The Argentine filmmaker who works mostly in English and French is no stranger to the Croisette, having appeared in competition with both his shocking breakthrough Irreversible in 2002 and fever dream Enter The Void in 2009. More recently, his 2015 sex-fueled Love had a Midnight berth. As with all of his films, Wild Bunch is handling international sales.

In other wins for Fortnight titles, the SACD Prize went to The Trouble With You (En Liberté!) by Pierre Salvadori. The romantic comedy stars Adèle Haenel, Pio Marmai, Audrey Tautou, Damien Bonnard and Vincent Elbaz. Haenel plays a police detective in a French Riviera town who is the young widow of police chief Santi. One day, she learns that her husband was in fact a crooked cop. Determined to right his wrongs, she crosses paths with Antoine (Marmai), who was unjustly imprisoned for eight long years. Their encounter leads to a troublesome sequence of wild mishaps. MK2 has international sales.

Taking the Europa Cinemas Label honor is Gianni Zanasis Lucias Grace (Troppa Grazia). Alba Rohrwacher stars in the titular role of a single mother trying to find a balance between life with her teenage daughter, a complicated romance and her career as a land surveyor. Lucias future is jeopardized when she realizes that a new building is environmentally dangerous and is torn by her decision to keep her mouth shut for fear of losing her job. A mysterious foreign woman tries to convince Lucia to stand up to her superiors and recommends a church as the only solution for the troubled building site. Lucias belief in miracles will soon be put to the test. The Match Factory has sales.

Lucias Grace will now receive the support of the Europa Cinemas Network, with additional promotion and incentives for exhibitors to extend the films run on screen.

Finally, winning the illy Short Film Award is Skip Day by Patrick Bresnan and Ivete Lucas.

Earlier in the day, the Cinéfondation Prizes, which go to student films, were announced by a jury headed by Bertrand Bonello. Here are the winners:

First Prize
El Verano Del Leon Electrico (The Summer Of The Electric Lion); dir: Diego Céspedes; Universidad de Chile – ICEI, Chile

Second Prize (tie)
Kalendar (Calendar); dir: Igor Poplauhin; Moscow School of New Cinema, Russia
Dong Wu Xiong Meng (The Storms In Our Blood); dir: Shen Di; Shanghai Theater Academy, China

Third Prize
Inanimate; dir: Lucia Bulgheroni; NFTS, UK

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