2011 Cannes Queer Palm Award Winner

So perhaps my gaydar is not rusty (or should I say my movie gaydar?) as the ONLY movie that I discover as really having LGBT interest is the winner of the 2011 Queer Palm. Hmm, still have to watch films that were considered but from what I leaned from each film LGBT interest is marginal to story and/or is related to secondary characters.

There are two exceptions, one is the film that there was no available info or meaningful trailer, Michael, and it wasn't after was screened that we learned what was all about. Similar situation happened for the second, Snowtown. As we know now both films are not what we can call a positive representation of LGBT relations/lifestyle that awards similar to this one honor. Still, if now I think about the film that was honored last year, Kaboom -which I already saw- wasn't also a positive portrait ... so, don't really know what organizers honor with this award.

Nevertheless, this year the Queer Palm goes to a clearly gay interest film.

Skoonheid (Beauty), Olivier Hermanus, South Africa, France and Germany

Film was part of Cannes Official Selection and was screened in the Un Certain Regard section; I hope film is as interesting as what I learned promises because I'll watch film.

This year the Queer Palm site was sort of abandoned and better coverage came from French LGBT sites, I hope that this improves next year as I really want this award to consolidate as a desired award that filmmakers are interested in winning, just like happens with the Teddy. Last, today we know the winner but still have no clear idea about which films were considered for the award.

If you wish to read the news at a French site please go here.

Found the reason why movie was chosen:

“We have been deeply impressed by a movie which comes from a country of the “Cine-World” as [French, daily newspaper] Libération would say, a country which remains to be explored: South Africa. The movie takes place in a background which is the white, straight, religious middle class, that is the ruling class of the country. This is a portrayal of a man, a family man, being confronted to his profound desire and being unable to accept it. It’s a film about self-hatred and a film about homophobia, as well as a film dealing with racism, in a very subtle way. It is a true cinema film, a quite unpleasant one at first sight, and very disturbing, hard-hitting, radical. We are honored and delighted to award the 2011 Queer Palm to “Skoonheid” (Beauty) by Oliver Hermanus.”

To read at official site go here.


2011 Cannes Queer Palm Lineup


Perhaps my gaydar is rusty but I found one gay interest film in all the selections and was hoping that one film was lesbian interest but according to Queer Palm organizers there are ten films that can be considered for this award and unfortunately the one I was hoping in the lesbian interest is not there.

These are the films to be considered for the award during the second edition of the Queer Palm.

Busong (Palawan Fate), Auraeus Solito, Philippines
Chatrak (Mushrooms), Vimukthi Jayasundara, India and France
Des Jeunes Gens Mödernes, Jérôme de Missolz, France and Belgium
La Guerre est déclarée, Valérie Donzelli, France (maybe with lesbian interest??!! Yes in secondary characters)
La Piel Que Habito (The Skin I Live In), Pedro Almodóvar, Spain
My Little Princess, Eva Ionesco, France
Skoonheid, Olivier Hermanus, South Africa, France and Germany (gay interest)
Snowtown, Justin Kurzel, Australia
Walk away Renée, Jonathan Caouette, USA, France and Belgium (gay interest)

Also considering O Abismo Pratedo by Karim Aïnouz, Brazil but I imagine that only after watching film will confirm if is eligible or not. Also in the selection a film from the independent cinema selection (L’Acid): Gatos Viejos (Old Cats), Sebastian Silva and Pedro Peirano, Chile which is with lesbian interest!!!

To read about each movie you have to open the complete guide and browse it; guide is here available in French and English, but be careful as the English version has several mistakes.

President: Elisabeth Quin, Journalist/writer, France
Marie Comant, Journalist, France
Gerard Lefort, Film critic, France
Thomas Abeltshauser, Journalist/film critic, Germany
Fred Arends, Pink Screens Film Festival programmer/journalist/film critic, Belgium
Esther Cuénot, Co founder of Quinzaine de cinema LGBT or Cinemarges Festival, France
Roberto Schinardi, Journalist/film critic, Italy

To learn more about each of the juror go here.

With a few exceptions, the movie descriptions included in the guide are as ambiguous as the ones I have read, so the only way we could be sure is after someone has seen the films. Almodovar has been so mysterious about this movie that no one is really sure if movie will have some LGBT interest and just because is Almodovar I don’t want to assume that film will be eligible, but he’s one of my favorite directors so all his films are must be seen for me no matter the story. The same applies to Isabelle Huppert movies, so if My Little Princess has some LGBT interest will be a tiny plus but I’ll watch movie for her performance and the puzzling story.

Most interesting is that organizers are planning to have Le Marché Queer Palm to promote LGBT filmmakers and films. The market will not be open this year but already started planning for the 2012 edition, so if my filmmakers friends are interested go here to find the formats to be used to register feature films, short films, screenplays and/or synopsis (depending of the stage of your project).

Also on May 17 the film Illegal Love by Julie Gali will be screened to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia. Closing ceremony will be on May 21st. Still pending the short films that are eligible and they have announced one juror for the short film competition: Joao Pedro Rodrigues; as soon as there more info available will modify post.

Honestly I’m still not sure how many films will be eligible for this year award but I hope that the Queer Palm second edition will be successful and most important, sets strong basis for improvement in future editions so eventually will become a respected and desired award, just like the Belinale’s Teddy Award.

Read synopsis, watch photos and some trailers @MOC

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