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NAMUR 2014

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Victory for Sissako and Dolan at Namur

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- The 29th Namur Francophone Film Festival drew to a close this weekend, crowning the Mauritanian master and the prodigy from Quebec

Victory for Sissako and Dolan at Namur
Timbuktu by Abderrahmane Sissako

Abderrahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and Xavier Dolan’s Mommy were showered with multiple prizes in a very clear-cut awards list, splitting an impressive number of trophies between them in the Official Feature Competition of the Namur Francophone Film Festival. They left the documentary National Diploma [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, by young Congolese director Dieudo Hamadi, with the (nonetheless very fine) privilege of picking up the Jury Prize. These two stunning films that were revealed at this year’s Cannes have therefore been hoovering up all the awards in their path. And so Xavier Dolan has seen his skilful casting rewarded with a double (nay, a triple!) Best Acting Award for newcomer Antoine-Olivier Pilon, and for the deeply touching performances by Anne Dorval and Suzanne Clément, two of Dolan’s regular collaborators. The film is an ode to freedom – the freedom that we try to somehow provide to our children, but also the incredible freedom of form demanded by the young Quebecois filmmaker, which has now clearly been recognised through the award bestowed upon his cinematographer, André Turpin.

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On a completely different note, Abderrahmane Sissako also garnered plenty of acclaim in an awards list that shined the spotlight on his latest opus, Timbuktu. Thus the film, which won the Bayard d’Or, the highest honour, also went home with the Junior Jury Prize (awarded by a jury made up of schoolchildren aged between 12 and 13 years old) as well as the Best Screenplay Award. Sissako has enjoyed a long relationship with the Namur Festival, given that he won the Bayard d’Or for Best First Work in 2002, for Waiting for Happiness.

Also of note was the impressive accolade snagged by Kaouther Ben Hania’s Le Challat de Tunis [+see also:
trailer
interview: Kaouther Ben Hania
film profile
]
, the winner of the Bayard d’Or for Best First Work, handed out by a jury of young students. They also showed their appreciation for Virgil Vernier’s Mercuriales [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(France), by awarding it the Discovery Prize, in addition to the debut film by musician Abd Al Malik, Qu’Allah bénisse la France! [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, which took home a Special Mention. 

Lastly, we should note that Belgian filmmaker Bernard Bellefroid won over both of the “popular juries” with his latest movie, Melody [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Bernard Bellefroid
film profile
]
, which received the Cinevox Prize (handed out by a jury made up of film fans) as well as the Audience Award. 

(Translated from French)

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