The Flemish feature film Girl has picked up two awards at the Cannes film festival. After having picked up the Fipresci prize from the international press, the film went on to win the Caméra d’Or, awarded to debut films, for director Lukas Dhondt. The prize jury said it had been “touched and moved” by the film, and praised the director for his courage in tackling such a difficult subject.
The film, which tells the story of a transgender youth who becomes a ballet dancer, based on a true story, already won the Queer Palm, awarded to films with an LGTB theme.
In addition, the 16-year-old lead, Victor Polster (pictured in a scene from the film), was awarded the prize for best actor in the Un Certain regard section of the festival, outside of the official competition.
“I really never expected I had a chance to win this prize,” Polster told the VRT once returned to Belgium. “I came back from Cannes to go back to school, because I have a dance examination soon,” he said.
The last time a Flemish film was selected for prizes at Cannes was in 1989, with Het Sacrament, written and directed by Hugo Claus. However in the meantime, Belgium has scored with two wins for the Dardenne brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre for Rosetta and L’enfant.