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PARIS – Awards season officially kicked off in France on Friday when Aki Kaurismaki’s Le Havre won the 69th annual Louis Delluc Prize at a ceremony in Paris.
The whimsical modern day fairytale about a town coming together to reunite an immigrant child with his mother premiered at May’s Festival de Cannes in Competition. Le Havre is also Finland’s official entry for an Oscar this year.
The title was shot in French and stars Andre Wilms, Jean-Pierre Darroussin and Kati Outinen. Le Havre was produced by Kaurismaki’s Sputnik Oy with France’s Pyramide Productions and Germany’s Pandora Films. The Match Factory is handling international sales for the critic and crowd-pleasing film that has been a favorite on the festival circuit, taking prizes at the Chicago Film Festival, the Munich Film Festival and scoring a nomination at the European Film Awards.
Le Havre swam to victory in a pool of high-profile contenders this year including Golden Globes sweetheart The Artist, Festival de Cannes favorites Alain Cavalier’s Pater and Bertrand Bonello’s House of Tolerance and Bruno Dumont’s Hors Satan, France’s bid for an Oscar Valerie Donzelli’s Declaration of War, Robert Guediguian’s The Snows of Kilimandjaro, Celine Sciamma’s Tomboy and Pierre Schoeller’s politically-charged The Minister.
The Louis Delluc prize for Best First Film went to Djinn Carrenard’s Donoma. The Louis Delluc prize, often nicknamed the “Goncourt of cinema” and compared to that famed literary award, kicks off Gallic awards season and typically is a good indicator of upcoming winners for the more major awards in the territory including the Cesar Awards at the end of February.
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