The Alice Guy Prize goes to Cuties
- Maïmouna Doucouré’s feature debut has taken home the trophy for the best female-directed French film of 2020
Established in 2018 in order to shine a spotlight on the talent of today’s female directors who are following in the footsteps of Alice Guy (1873-1968), the first among them all, the Alice Guy Prize has multiple aims: to compensate somewhat for the recurring absence of women among the lists of major award winners every year, to promote a woman director and encourage her to get her new projects off the ground, to provide a second chance to get the winning film circulated, and to add value to the work of female filmmakers. This year’s Alice Guy Prize, the fourth such award, has been handed to Cuties [+see also:
interview: Maïmouna Doucouré
film profile], the feature debut by Maïmouna Doucouré.
The jury, comprising filmmakers Claudine Nougaret (also a producer and sound engineer), Mounia Meddour and Louis-Julien Petit, Belgian actress Natacha Régnier and fellow Belgian thesp Jérémie Rénier, and journalist Fabien Lemercier (Cineuropa), praised the quality of the mise-en-scène and the sense of risk-taking expressed by the film, which addresses and makes us reflect on important social issues (polygamy, the sexualisation of pre-teens whose lives are governed by the tyranny of the perfect image spread by social networks, the day-to-day life of youngsters who live on council estates, and so on).
Staged by Bien ou Bien Productions, Cuties was singled out with the Best Director Award in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at Sundance, a Special Mention in Generation Kplus at Berlin, and the recent César Award for Best New Female Hope that was picked up by actress Fathia Youssouf. Released in theatres by Bac Films last summer, it is now available worldwide on Netflix (as a reminder, its release sparked enormous controversy in the USA because of a clumsy trailer that the platform put together).
Cuties follows on the heels of previous Alice Guy Prize laureates Papicha [+see also:
interview: Mounia Meddour
film profile] by Mounia Meddour, An Impossible Love [+see also:
film profile] by Catherine Corsini and Paris la blanche [+see also:
interview: Lidia Terki
film profile] by Lidia Terki.
(Translated from French)
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