Oren Moverman’s The Messenger was awarded the grand prize at the Deauville Festival of American Film which wrapped Sunday night. Moverman’s war drama also picked up the critics prize.
The film, about a soldier facing an ethical dilemma when he falls for the widow of another killed in Iraq, does not currently have French distribution. It will be released in the US in October via Oscilloscope Pictures.ContentFilm International is handling sales.
The jury prize was a shared affair between Cary Fukunaga’s Sin Nombre and Lee Daniels’ Precious : Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire. Jury president Jean-Pierre Jeunet told the audience assembled in the Normandy beach town that the decision to split the prize “was not because we couldn’t decide. Instead, we wanted to take advantage of the fact that we could give a shared prize.” The jury, Jeunet said, would have preferred to be able to give even more prizes. Sin Nombre is being handled by Diaphana in France while Precious, a giant hit out of Sundance earlier this year, will be released via ARP.
Another Sundance title picked up the Cartier newcomer award: Lynn Shelton’s Humpday. Shelton had been in Deauville earlier in the week but by Sunday night had headed off to promote the film in Toronto.
The Michel d’Ornano prize was also awarded on Sunday to Lea Fehner for her Qu’un Seul Tienne Et Les Autres Suivront. Created by the Motion Picture Association of America, the prize is given to a first French film and is supported by the Franco-American Cultural Fund. The prize carries with it a purse of Euros 3,000 for the director, Euros 3,000 for the producers and Euros 10,000 to the French distributor, Rezo Films, to help with the film’s release.