Claire Barré wins the Grand Prix for Best Screenplay
by Fabien Lemercier
- Une épouse idéale is a tale revolving around Oscar Wilde’s wife; the Special Prix goes to Frédéric Farrucci and Nicolas Journet, while the Junior Prize is awarded to Léa Mysius
Yesterday evening, the 28th Sopadin Grand Prix for Best Screenplay (which is open to writers who have not yet had more than three of their feature screenplays brought to the big screen) was awarded to Claire Barré (who has written for theatre and television, and has just published her first novel), for Une épouse idéale (lit. “A Perfect Wife”). The story depicts how the comfortable life of Constance, the happily married wife of Oscar Wilde, gets turned upside down one day, when she discovers that her husband is cheating on her with a young man. In a society in which homosexuality is punishable by a prison sentence, Constance fights against her own prejudices and the pressure being exerted by her loved ones in order to save her marriage. But Oscar leaves her and the scandal intensifies, threatening to engulf them completely. By discovering the pleasures of the flesh in the arms of a lover, Constance will attempt to piece herself back together.
A Special Jury Prize was bestowed upon the duo Frédéric Farrucci and Nicolas Journet for Strip, which features the lead character of Jin, an illegal immigrant and former DJ who criss-crosses Paris every night behind the wheel of a taxi, working undercover for the Chinese mafia. One night, he picks up a stripper and call girl who he is completely bewitched by. Intrigued by the complex electro music that Jin is listening to, she makes his taxi her regular, official ride. The love affair that blossoms between them forces Jin to put himself in harm’s way.
A Special Mention went to Mounia Meddour for Papicha, which is set in Algiers at the end of the 1990s, at the height of the wave of Islamist terrorism. Nineteen-year-old Nedjma struggles to get by on a university campus, listens to alternative rock, and dreams of finding love, freedom and becoming a fashion designer. At night, as the police set up their roadblocks, carefree Nedjma stops by all the trendy nightclubs, one after the other. One evening, she meets Mehdi, and they fall in love at first sight. But very soon, the reality of the situation in Algeria catches up with them...
The 17th Junior Prize for Best Screenplay (which is open to writers under 28 years of age) was given to Léa Mysius for Ava, which recounts the misfortunes of a 13-year-old girl who finds out that she is about to lose her eyesight and decides not to tell anyone about it. A Special Prize went to Morgan Simon for Compte tes blessures (which has already received backing from Emergence and from the CNC’s advance on receipts – read the news).
Chaired by Julie Gayet, the jury comprised Valérie Boyer (France 2 Cinéma), distributor and exhibitor Sophie Dulac, Olivier Père (Arte France Cinéma), Rémi Jimenez (M6 Films) and Franck Weber (head of French film acquisitions at Canal+), among others.
(Translated from French)