Louis Delluc Prizes for Le Havre and Donoma
by Fabien Lemercier
16/12/2011 - Aki Kaurismäki’s French co-production Le Havre [trailer, film focus] today won the prestigious Louis Delluc Prize (see news about the nominees) awarded by a jury of film critics and personalities presided over by Gilles Jacob. The Finnish director joins André Delvaux, Andrzej Wajda, Costa Gavras and Otar Iosseliani on the select list of non-French directors who have won the Delluc Prize since 1937.
Unveiled in competition at the latest Cannes Film Festival, Le Havre was shot in France in the French language. The film was 49% produced by Finland (via Spoutnik), 41% by France (Pyramide, Arte France Cinéma) and 10% by Germany (Pandora). It also received, among other support, an advance on receipts from the National Film and Moving Image Centre (CNC) and pre-acquisitions from Canal + and Ciné+. Pyramide will release the film in French theatres next Wednesday.
Its producer Stéphane Parthenay (Pyramide) said: "Aki will be very touched by this award, whose previous winners include Jean Renoir, Marcel Carné whose Port of Shadows was one of his inspirations for Le Havre, Robert Bresson who is one of his favourite film directors and Pierre Etaix who makes a brief appearance in Le Havre. It makes up for Cannes where we were disappointed not to win any awards. And it is fine proof of the Delluc jury’s openness that they have awarded the prize, despite outstanding competition, to a Finnish director who wanted to make a French film by bringing to it his inimitable style."
The Louis Delluc Prize for Best Debut Film went to Djinn Carrenard’s revelation Donoma [trailer] (see review), a feature self-produced by the director for a tiny budget (€150) which had the whole of the French press in raptures when it was released theatrically on November 23. The film is still showing in two Paris movie theatres and on a total of 25 screens across France. Moreover, the director is about to start shooting his second feature, Faire L’amour (“Making Love”), produced by Realitism Films and co-produced by Arte France Cinéma. In attendance at the prize-giving ceremony, Carrenard clarified his position regarding financial resources: "If there is money for shooting a film, I take it, but lack of money will never prevent me from making a film. This isn’t a plea for the "no budget" approach, but simply the fact that an artist dies when he doesn’t work."
(Translated from French)