Cannes 2012: Sarah Gadon, Emily Hampshire to Receive Inaugural 'Diamond' Prizes

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TORONTO - Canadian actresses Sarah Gadon and Emily Hampshire will trot up the red carpet in Cannes to receive the inaugural Birks Canadian Diamond prizes.

The career accolades come as Telefilm Canada, the federal government’s film financier, and Canadian luxury jeweller Birks, partner to spotlight top international Canadian talent with a gala reception at the Cannes Film Festival on May 23.

“Sarah and Emily’s talent can now be celebrated not only across Canada, but around the planet,” Birks president and CEO Jean-Christophe Bedos said Thursday after choosing and unveiling the first two Diamond award winners.

Besides receiving the Diamond prizes, the Canadian actresses will be much in demand with red carpet photo calls and parties in Cannes.

Gadon is set to promote two Canadian movies, as she stars opposite Robert Pattinson in David Cronenberg’s thriller Cosmopolis, which is screening in official competition.

Toronto-based Gadon also plays the female lead in Brandon Cronenberg’s directorial debut Antiviral, which will screen in the Un Certain Regard section.

And Montreal-born Hampshire is also part of the Cosmopolis cast, and performed a cameo role in Quebec director Xavier Dolan’s Laurence Anyways, which is booked into the Un Certain Regard category.

And Hampshire is set for a role in Dolan’s first English-language film, Letters to a Young Actor.

“Sarah and Emily are two rising stars, who through their wonderful performances, elevate this very creative process,” Carolle Brabant, Telefilm Canada’s executive director, said in her own tribute to Gadon and Hampshire on Thursday.

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