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Smugglers’ Songs wins Jean Vigo Award


Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche’s fourth feature Smugglers’ Songs has scooped the Jean Vigo Award 2011. Having come to attention in 2002 with Wesh Wesh, What’s Happening?, the director went on to have two films selected at Cannes: Back Home [+see also:
film review
film profile
in the Un Certain Regard in 2006 and Adhen [+see also:
film profile
in the Directors’ Fortnight in 2008.

Scripted by the director, the film traces the unfortunate experiences of a group of smugglers from the French provinces after the execution of their leader, Louis Mandrin, outlaw and popular hero of the mid-eighteenth century.

Smugglers’ Songs was produced by Sarrazink Productions for €2.12m. The budget included an advance on receipts from the National Film and Moving Image Centre (CNC) and backing from the Midi-Pyrénées and Languedoc-Roussillon regions. French distribution will be managed by MK2, who are also handling international sales.

Presented by a jury composed of former winners, critics and exhibitors, the Jean Vigo Award, which this year celebrates its 60th anniversary, honours independence of spirit and originality of style. Previous winners include directors Claude Chabrol, Maurice Pialat, Alain Resnais, Jean-Luc Godard, Olivier Assayas, Bruno Dumont and Katell Quillévéré (last year with Love Like Poison [+see also:
film review
film profile

This year, the jury also awarded a Special Prize to Jean-Marie Straub "for having kept up an independent, original and always innovative approach throughout his exemplary body of work". The Jean Vigo Short Film Award went to Damien Manivel’s The Lady With a Dog.

(Translated from French)

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