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The 2018 edition of the Cannes Film Festival begins today and runs through May 19, and as has happened every year since 2010, the Cannes Queer Palm award — the LGBT-friendly prize chaired by journalist Franck Finance-Madureira and sponsored by Hornet — will be presented to one feature film and one short film. (Check out this year’s Cannes Queer Palm award jury here.)
Last week, we unveiled the list of short films that will be considered for the 2018 Cannes Queer Palm award. Below, we take a look at the 15 feature films that will be considered for the big LGBTQ prize, which includes the latest from directors Christophe Honoré and Yann Gonzalez — both of which are highly anticipated.
Last year’s Cannes Queer Palm award went to the spectacular feature film BPM by director Robin Campillo. That film follows the first years of the AIDS activist group ACT UP Paris.
Here are the 15 films up for the Cannes Queer Palm award:
Plaire, Aimer et Courir Vite (Sorry Angel) by Christophe Honoré
The story takes place in 1990. Arthur (Vincent Lacoste) is a 20-year-old student whose life changes the day he meets Jacques (Pierre Deladonchamps), a writer living in Paris with his young son. The two fall in love during the summer, though Jacques knows it surely can’t last.
Un Couteau Dans le Coeur (A Knife in the Heart) by Yann Gonzalez
It’s Paris, the summer of 1979, and Anne (Vanessa Paradis) Is a producer of cheap gay porn. When Lois, her editor and companion, leaves her, she tries to win her back by shooting a more ambitious film. When an actor is found savagely murdered, Anne is dragged into a strange investigation that turns her life upside-down.
Whitney by Kevin Macdonald
She sold 200 million albums and holds the record for the highest number of consecutive number one singles. Her song “I Will Always Love You” is the best-selling single by any singer. Behind the records, the rumors, the scandals, the secrets and the glory, here is the real story of Whitney Houston.
Girl by Lukas Dhont
This feature film by Dhont (after his acclaimed L’Infini and some music videos) is the story of a young 15-year-old girl who wants nothing more than to be a prima ballerina, the problem being she was born into the body of a boy. Still, she’s determined to make her dream come true.
Euphoria by Valeria Golino
The film tells the story of two brothers who are complete opposites. One, Matteo, is a successful businessman, while Ettore is a second grade teacher still living in the town where they grew up. When they’re forced to live together for a few months in Rome, they are forced to face their differences and realize the bond between them is surprisingly close.
Rafiki by Wanuri Kahiu
The first Kenyan feature to premiere at Cannes (and banned in its home country, as we previously reported), it’s a coming-of-age story set in Nairobi. A relationship grows between two young women, Kena (Samantha Mugatsia) and Ziki (Sheila Munyiva), and their entire community is affected.
The Harvesters by Etienne Kallos
Kallos is no stranger to the film festival circuit, as the Greek-South African director has had projects in the Venice Film Festival, Cannes and Sundance. The Harvesters examines the childhood of an Afrikaans teen whose life changes drastically when his parents bring home an orphan. It was previously presented at the Venice Film Festival.
El Angel by Luis Ortega
A thriller, the film is about the true story of Carlos Robledo Puch, Argentina’s longest serving prisoner (he remains there after 45 years). He was a teenage thief who embarked on a killing spree that left 11 people dead, giving this teenage serial killer the nickname “The Angel of Death.”
Gräns (Border) by Ali Abbassi
This is the second feature film of Iranian-born Danish director Ali Abbasi, written with novelist John Ajvide Lindqvist (Let the Right One In) from one of Lindqvist’s short stories. The film is about a customs officer who develops an attraction to a suspect under investigation. “Border is a film about finding your place in the world, and not really knowing who you are and where you belong,” says Abbasi. “You might also see it as a story about how the Western world treats people who deviate from the norm, so there is a political element to it.”
Carmen y Lola by Arantxa Echevarria
The debut feature film from Arantxa Echevarría follows two Romani teenage girls in Madrid as they fall in love. Echevarría says she made the film because, “I am a director and a woman, and perhaps not in this order. That defines me. I feel committed to giving a voice to those that don’t have it.”
Diamantino by Gabriel Abrantes & Daniel Schmidt
Diamantino, the latest film by Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt (who previously collaborated on Palaces of Pity in 2011), is about the world’s best soccer player, who suddenly falls from grace. He spends the film looking to find himself and ends up confronting fascism instead.
Savage by Camille Vidal-Naquet
This is the feature-length debut of Camille Vidal-Naquet, about a young male sex worker. Vidal-Naquet says, “I started from a free and lonely young man longing for love. An ‘otherworldly’ young man, not at all preoccupied by the material aspect of life. The image of that young street hustler selling his body came to me. I wrote a first script, letting myself be guided by the power of the character; then once the dramaturgical arch was set, I went to meet the young boys of the Bois de Boulogne — as part of an association — and spent three years with them. As I met and interacted with them, I was constantly fleshing out my script.”
Shéhérazade by Jean-Bernard Marlin
Another debut feature film, Shéhérazade is a crime film that follows Zachary, a 17-year-old who’s just been released from jail. When he’s rejected by his mother, he’s forced to live on the streets. Marlin cites Pier Paolo Pasolini (Saló) and Elia Kazan (On the Waterfront) as important influences, and describes the film as “much like Italian neorealist films.”
L’Amour Debout by Michaël Dacheux
Part of the ACID program, L’Amour Debout is about two young ex-lovers, Martin and Léa. Martin travels to Paris to see Léa again in an attempt to rekindle their romance.
Cassandro the Exótico! by Marie Losier
Another ACID program film and one of the few documentaries in consideration for the Cannes Queer Palm award, Cassandro the Exótico! is about a Mexican crossdressing wrestler (known as an Exótico), who has been wrestling for 26 years. But with his body destroyed — he’s broken dozens of bones and has metal pins throughout his body — he’s looking for a way to reinvent himself.