The world premiere of Nic Balthazar's Belgium-Netherlands co-production Ben X, about teenage bullying, was the toast of last year's festival, picking up the main competition prize, known as the Grand Prize of the Americas, ex aequo with Claude Miller's A Secret. Ben X also won the audience award and the Ecumenical Prize. After the festival, France's Films Distribution picked up international sales rights, securing deals to Film Movement in the US and Kinepolis Film Distribution for Belgium among others. Ben X has been released in seven territories to date and has grossed $2.7m.
Claude Miller's A Secret, starring Cecile De France, Patrick Bruel, Ludivine Sagnier, Julie Depardieu and Mathieu Amalric, was another world premiere. It went on to be nominated for three Cesars for best director, film and screenplay. Based on Philippe Grimbert's novel about a dark family secret that unravels against the backdrop of the Nazi occupation of France, A Secret screened as part of Unifrance's Rendez-Vous with French Cinema series at New York's Lincoln Center in March of this year. Strand Releasing picked up US rights from UGC International and will release the film from September.
Emile Gaudreault's comedy drama Surviving My Mother won the Canadian Audience Award at Montreal. Released in 2007 for Cinemaginaire through Alliance Atlantis Vivafilm, it grossed $222,500 in Canada. Gaudreault is now working on De Pere En Flic, also for Cinemaginaire.