Prize list of the Champs-Élysées Film Festival

The Jury Prize of the Independent American Film (consisting of an endowment of 11 000 € to the French distributor) was awarded to the documentary Pahokee by Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan, about four high school students in a rural community cut off from the world in the Everglades, Florida. A film, whose universe is reminiscent of Beasts of the Southern Wild. The jury was chaired by director Stéphane Brizé (Mademoiselle Chambon, The Measure of a man), surrounded by actress Clotilde Hesme, Gregoire Ludig from the Palmashow and singer Jeanne Added.

By Chloé Laforest and Jacques Braunstein

Reading time 4 min.

The Critics’ Prize was awarded to Saint Frances by Alex Thompson (also winner of the Public Prize), a comedy reminiscent of Jason Reitman movies (Juno, Tully…) or those of Judd Apatow (Knocked Up). Dealing with abortion, post-partum depression, gay marriage or female menstruating without impunity, the movie has the ambition of breaking the codes of “Hollywood patriarchy” under Trump’s presidency. Bridget (played by Kelly O’Sullivan, also the screenwriter of the film) is a 34-year-old single waitress at a Chicago dinner who applies for a nanny job for a lesbian couple. What’s wrong ? Bridget is not really good with children and Frances – the six-year-old girl she has to take care of – does nothing to help her. In addition, Bridget has just learned that she is pregnant and decides to resort to an abortion. Over the days, however, Bridget and Frances will end up taming each other…

They will end up taming each other

The French Independent Film Jury Prize (also worth 11 000 €) goes to Stephane Batut’s Vif-Argent (premieres August 28th). A sci-fi movie in which Juste (Thimotée Robart) is trapped between life and death and is in charge of taking people from one place to another… Until Agathe (Judith Chemla) who loved him ten years before is the only living thing to see him. Shot around the Buttes-Chaumont in Paris, stylized with a certain poetry, this beautiful tale evokes Heaven Can Wait by Lubitsch. Even if the second part is probably lacking in the accuracy shown by Americans when it comes to imagine a dreamlike world.

The Critics’ Award was given to Daniel by Marine Atlan. A first medium-length shot, brilliantly shot with a neat aesthetic. It makes us live the (almost) ordinary day of Daniel (Theo Polgar). He gets up, eats his breakfast, steals sweets from the bakery, runs to get to school on time. Until then, nothing surprising for a ten-year-old boy. But when the kids join their class, Daniel wanders in the corridors and surprises Marthe (Madeleine Follacci) changing in the locker room. A vision that will plunge him into a deep confusion and make him discover the love desire…

We are more circumspect about the Independent French Feature Film Award received by Sylvain Labrosse’s Frères d’arme. A film in which Vincent Rottiers and Kevin Azaïs embody two brothers (what they are on the screen but also in life) linked by a secret from their childhood in the Balkans. Despite their performance, this film that could have been the French Little Odessa, drags a bit while it only lasts 1 h 22.

The complete list of the winners can be found on the official website of the Champs-Élysées Film Festival :

  • Champs-Elysées Film Festival
  • Palmarès

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