A very emotional Sylvie Pialat announced the Queer Palm 2018 winners last week. Pialat, the producer of the Queer Palm 2014 winner Stranger by the Lake, presented the prize to the film Girl by Lukas Dhont.
Girl tells the story of a 15-year-old trans girl who dreams of becoming a star ballerina. Although the film’s lead actor, Victor Polster, is a cisgender man, the filmmakers discovered him as part of a genderless casting call. Around 500 people ages 14 to 17 auditioned, however none could dance and act as well as he. Dhont discovered Polster when auditioning people to fill the roles of the film’s other dancers.
The film was truly the hit of Cannes. It not only won the Queer Palm but also the Caméra d’Or, awarded to the best debut feature film across all competition sections.
And that wasn’t all: When Dhont and his co-writer Angelo Tijssens received the Queer Palm, they took the opportunity to pay tribute to the film’s star, Polster. The night before, Polster had won the award for Best Performance. Girl is his acting debut.
Watch the trailer for Queer Palm 2018 feature film winner Girl:
The Queer Palm Hornet award, our award which goes to the best LGBTQ short film, went to The Orphan (O Orfão) by Brazilian director Carolina Markovicz. That film tells the true story of Jonathas, a young orphan who was adopted and then “returned” by his adoptive parents for being too effeminate.
For the first time, this year the prize came with a cash prize. Girl, the feature-length film, won €10,000, and The Orphan, the short, won €3,000. The cash prize was provided by Titrafilms, a subtitling company.
Here are photos of the 2018 Queer Palm Ceremony
The Palme d’Or, the festival’s highest prize, was awarded to Japanese director Kore-eda Hirokazu for his film, Shoplifters. Shoplifters is about a middle-aged couple who turn to petty theft to stay sane. Their lives change when they take an abandoned five-year-old into their already-cramped apartment.
Photos by Xavier Héraud