While Deauville’s female population was disappointed to learn that the festival’s New Hollywood prize winner Ryan Gosling wouldn’t be storming the Normandy beaches this year, Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn accepted the prize on his behalf at a ceremony on Saturday night before the film’s gala screening.
“It’s my first time in Deauville. Being here and getting to see the way the audience reacts to my film is always terrific,” Refn said, adding, “France is one of the few countries that still takes cinema very seriously and considers it an art form. It’s important to remember that.”
After a Drive through Deauville, Refn will next head to Bangkok to start shooting Only God Forgives starring Gosling alongside Kristin Scott Thomas and Luke Evans.
The film is part of Refn’s two-picture deal with Wild Bunch and Gaumont who will co-produce, co-finance and share international sales rights for the titles.
“I only make genre movies,” Refn said of his jump from the action movie to sex thriller I Walk With the Dead starring Carey Mulligan.
So what is it like working with the Gallic companies? “I love the Frogs,” Refn said.