Smugglers’ Songs wins Jean Vigo Award
by Fabien Lemercier
Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche’s fourth feature Smugglers’ Songs has scooped the Jean Vigo Award 2011. Having come to attention in 2002 with
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:
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)