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Sympathy for the Devil triumphs at Saint-Jean-de-Luz


- Guillaume de Fontenay’s film has won the Grand Prix, the Best Actor Award for Niels Schneider, as well as the Audience and Youth Jury Awards

Sympathy for the Devil triumphs at Saint-Jean-de-Luz
Guillaume de Fontenay receives the Grand Prix for Sympathy for the Devil, greeted with applause from the jury (© Saint-Jean-de-Luz International Film Festival)

Following its mission to highlight feature debuts and sophomore films, the 6th edition of the Saint-Jean-de-Luz International Film Festival has crowned  Guillaume de Fontenay’s Sympathy for the Devil, which swept up four awards including the 2019 Grand Prix, handed out by the jury presided by director Catherine Corsini. A majority French production, the feature debut by the Canadian director was also given the Best Actor Award (for Niels Schneider), the Audience Award, and the Youth Jury Award.

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Written by the director together with Guillaume Vigneault and Jean Barbe and adapted from the novel by Paul Marchand, the script centres on the character of Paul Marchand who, after working in Lebanon, was for 18 months the sole special correspondent for all French radio stations during the siege of Sarajevo. A chronicle of a time period which a great many journalists of this “Sarajevo generation” still describe as the best years of their careers… Besides Niels Schneider, the cast includes Vincent Rottiers, Ella Rumpf, Elisa Lasowski, Clément Métayer and Arieh Worthalter. Supervised by Parisian company Monkey Pack Films in co-production with Canadian company Go Films, Belgian company Nexus Factory and Logical Pictures from Lyon, Sympathy for the Devil will be released in France on 27 November by Rezo Films, and is sold worldwide by Charades.

Two other films were awarded by the jury: La nuit venue, with the Best Director Award given to Frédéric Farrucci (distributed in France by Jour2Fête at an as-yet unspecified date – sales: WTFilms), and Made in Bangladesh by Rubaiyat Hossain (a co-production between France, Denmark, Portugal and Bangladesh discovered in Toronto – in French cinemas on 4 December via Pyramide, which is also handling sales), with the Best Actress Award given to Rikita Shimu.

Here is the full list of winners:

Feature competition

Grand Prix
Sympathy for the Devil - Guillaume de Fontenay (France/Canada/Belgium)

Best Director Award
La nuit venue - Frédéric Farrucci (France)

Best Actress Award
Rikita Shimu - Made in Bangladesh (France/Denmark/Bangladesh/Portugal)

Best Actor Award
Niels Schneider - Sympathy for the Devil

Audience Award
Sympathy for the Devil - Guillaume de Fontenay

Youth Jury Award
Sympathy for the Devil - Guillaume de Fontenay

Short film competition

Jury Prize
De particulier à particulier – Julien Sauvadon (France)

Youth Jury Award
Ne demande pas ton chemin – Déborah Hassoun (France)

Audience Award
Ne demande pas ton chemin – Déborah Hassoun

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(Translated from French)

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