Critics Week grand prize to 'XXY'


CANNES -- Lucia Puenzo's "XXY" will take home the grand prize for the Festival de Cannes' Critics Week sidebar, organizers said Friday night.

The Argentine-Spanish-French co-production, which explores the psychological challenges of an adolescent hermaphrodite, was voted upon by journalists and film critics after each screening. First-time helmer Puenzo will receive €5,000 ($6,726) and an invite to the Moulin d'Ande to hone her writing and directing skills.

"XXY" also won the ACID/CCAS Support Award chosen by the Association of Independent Cinema for its Distribution and the Main Fund of Social Activities.

French authors' rights group the SACD, meanwhile, gave their prize for best director to Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen for their Israeli-French co-production "Jellyfish." Keret and Geffen were chosen by an elite jury composed of Bertrand Van Effenterre, Laurent Heynemann, Bertrand Tavernier and Claude Miller.

"Jellyfish" also proved a favorite among French youth, as the film picked up TV5Monde's "(Very) Young Critic Award" for best film; 36 students voted on the prize, which awards €4,500 ($6,052) to the winner for advertising and film promotion.

The Critics Week sidebar, created to showcase first and second feature films by directors from all over the world, got under way May 17 and wrapped Friday night.