It’s not as popular as Cannes, but French stars turned out in force for the 29th Cabourg Romantic Film Festival which took place over the weekend in this seaside town in Normandy, northern France. The jury, presided over by French actress Juliet Binoche, awarded the prize for best film to Italian director Duccio Chiarini for L’Eveil d’Edouard (Short Skin), But French actors did not go home empty-handed. Best Actor went to Benoît Magimel for Emmuelle Bercot’s La Tete Haute, (Standing Tall) the gritty social drama that opened this year’s Cannes Film Festival to critical acclaim. Magimel’s co-star, the previously unknown actor Rod Paradot, was also awarded a prize for Best First Film.
Elsewhere Anaïs Demoustier took the prize for Best Actress for Jérôme Bonnell’s A Trois On y Va (All About Them). Best male newcomer went to Kevin Azaïs for Les Combattants (Love at First Fight) directed by Thomas Cailley with the female equivalent going to Joséphine Japhy for Mélanie Laurent’s Respire.
Arnaud Desplechin’s Trois Souvenirs de Ma Jeunesse, (My Golden Years) which won the SACD prize in the Director’s fortnight sidebar competition at Cannes, took the Swann d’or for best director while Clovis Cornillac won the prize for Best First Film for his directorial début, Un Peu , Beaucoup Aveuglement (Blind Date). The Swann d’or for best picture was awarded to Emmanuel Mouret’s Caprice starring Virginie Efira.
The Cabourg Romantic film festival was created by the flamboyant writer and journalist Gonzague Saint Bris and has become a regular feature of the European film festival circuit attracting around 12,000 people over a five day period. A number of actors were discovered at Cabourg before making headlines elsewhere including Pierre Niney who won the best newcomer prize for Frédéric Louf’s J’aime regarder les filles in 2012 and Léa Seydoux for Benoît Jacquot’s Les Adieux à la reine and Ursula Meier’s L’enfant d’en haut also in 2012.