Festival de Saint-Jean-de-Luz: “The event”, by Audrey Diwan, wins the Grand Prix

And two! For its second participation in competition at a film festival, after winning the supreme award, the Golden Lion, at the Venice Film Festival at the beginning of September, Audrey Diwan’s “The Event” repeats the feat at the 8th International Festival of the film of Saint-Jean-de-Luz (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), where the feature film was crowned this Saturday evening of the Grand Prix. The 41-year-old filmmaker even achieved a double by also winning the Prize of the French Syndicate of Film Critics.

The festival, whose competition is reserved for first or second films, was therefore sensitive to “The event”, adaptation of the novel by Annie Ernaux which tells the painful journey of a young girl, at the beginning of the years. 1960, to have an abortion in order to be able to finish his studies and despite the social pressure of the time and the rejection of those close to him. A real obstacle course to achieve his ends in all legal ways before deciding on an illegal abortion by a “knitter”.

A subject that remains relevant

By an unfortunate coincidence of the calendar, this Grand Prix in Saint-Jean-de-Luz is a crowning achievement: when the juries were deliberating, we learned that the anti-abortion law in Texas, which gives rise to many debates in the international, was restored two days after being blocked by a federal judge. Joined just before going on stage to receive her prize, Audrey Diwan told us “to live an extraordinarily strong moment. It’s all fresh, it’s going to take me a while to realize ”.

On the topicality of the subject that she deals with in her film, she remembers that “we talked a lot about the question of abortion in Poland when I started to write the film, now it is the turn of the States. -United. When I had an abortion, I wanted to think about what I had just experienced, and I was advised to read Annie Ernaux’s novel. I then understood how lucky I was to live in a country where things are going well, but you can see that nothing is ever set in stone. When I started preparing for the film, I was asked about the modernity of the subject. Today we realize how contemporary it is… ”

“The event”, whose French release date has been brought forward to November 24, brings together young Anamaria Vartolomei, who plays the heroine, as well as Anna Mouglalis, Sandrine Bonnaire and Pio Marmaï. “This prize rewards a whole team with whom I have worked, cinema is a choral work, I was simply the conductor, insists Audrey Diwan. I am thinking in particular of Anamaria Vartolomei, it was a very strong meeting, we worked together to create this character on the screen. “

On the way to the Oscars

The feature film is in the running for another prestigious award: it is part of the list of three films shortlisted by France to represent our country at the Oscars (whose ceremony will take place on March 27, 2022), the final decision will be made before on November 1, with “Titane” by Julia Ducournau, winner of the Palme d’Or in Cannes, and “Bac Nord” by Cédric Jimenez, which has been a hit in theaters since its release on August 18, and whose screenplay is co-signed by… Audrey Diwan. It is therefore a great year for the one who, before becoming a screenwriter and director (her first film, “But you are crazy”, was released in 2018), was a journalist, novelist and editor.

It is also a very nice coup for the Festival de la côte basque, which opened on October 4, and whose artistic director and programmer, Patrick Fabre, had a nose in selecting “The event” in competition before. that the film does not receive the Golden Lion in Venice. Another feature film was a hit with the Saint-Jean-de-Luz charts. “Une vie demente”, by Belgian directors Ann Sirot and Raphaël Balboni, which paints a captivating and touching portrait of a woman with Alzheimer’s behaving like a child, was crowned with four awards: best director, prize d female interpretation for its actress Jo Deseure, audience award and young jury award. “A Mad Life” will be released on November 10, two weeks before “The Event”.

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Festival de Saint-Jean-de-Luz: “The event”, by Audrey Diwan, wins the Grand Prix

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