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Namur crowns debut titles

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Namur crowns debut titles

The 22nd Namur International Francophone Film Festival closed on Friday evening with French director Samuel Benchetrit’s second feature I Always Wanted to Be a Gangster [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, (see article), which was screened under this year’s honorary presidency of actor Oliver Gourmet, who ended his fine speech on the importance of a different, curious and open cinema by adding: "We have to resist. Please resist".

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And this was certainly the philosophy of this year’s jury. Presided over by French director Manuel Poirier, the jury presented the vast majority of its prizes to debut titles. The Bayard for Best Film was presented to Quebec director Stéphane Lafleur’s debut film Continental. A Film Without Guns.

Guillaume and Stéphane Malandrin’s debut Belgian feature Hand of the Headless Man [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(see article) carried away two awards, Best Cinematography for the talented work of its DoP Nicolas Guicheteau and Best Actress, presented to Cécile de France, who was unable to receive the award in person due to filming commitments.

The extraordinary Samir Guesmi – the lead in French helmer Alain Gomis’ second feature Andalucia [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– received a Bayard for Best Actor.

For once, the audience and jury agreed on two prizes: Eric Guirado’s Le Fils de l'épicier (see article), which as well as snagging the Feature Audience Award saw its script (co-written by the director with Florence Vignon) carry home a Bayard.

French actress-turned-director Sandrine Bonnaire received the Documentary Audience Award and the Special Jury Prize for her Elle s'appelle Sabine [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(see article).

The Junior Jury, composed of young teenagers, chose Under the Bombs [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by French/Lebanese filmmaker Phlippe Aractingi, while the Emile Cantillon jury, made up of young adults from various French-speaking countries whose task it is to choose a best debut film, decided on Salif Traoré’s Faro, la Reine des eaux and addressed a Special Mention to Delphine Lehericey’s Comme à Ostende (see article).

Lastly, recent Locarno title Vague, directed by Romania’s Adrian Sitaru, walked away with the Golden Bayard for Best Short in International Competition, while Le Crabe by Xavier Seron and Christophe Hermans won the Communauté Française de Belgique shorts competition.

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(Translated from French)

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