DF prize image

Source: Directors’ Fortnight

Cannes parallel section Directors’ Fortnight has unveiled a new audience award, dubbed the People’s Choice prize.

It is supported by the Fondation Chantal Akerman, which will award the winning filmmaker a €7,500 prize, to be presented at the closing ceremony.

Organisers claim this is the first audience award in the history of the festival.

In a statement, Directors’ Fortnight said: “The absence of competition between filmmakers is a value we hold dear… This is why we see the People’s Choice not as a prize for the “best” film in the selection, but rather as an affirmation of a unique cinematic proposition embracing individuality and freedom of cinematographic expression.

“The People’s Choice is a mark of achievement designed to help this filmmaker and their film find further audiences, thereby giving a boost to a surprising film that has particularly captivated festival viewers.”

Organisers added: “We have chosen to place this initiative as part of the legacy of Chantal Akerman, whose pioneering, eclectic and fiercely independent vision might serve as a compass for this new People’s Choice.”

Ackerman’s film 23 quai du Commerce - 1080 Brussels was recently voted the best film in the history of cinema by Sight and Sound. Four of her films were selected for Directors’ Fortnight.

Directors’ Fortnight is non-competitive, however there are number of partner prizes, including the SACD prize for best French-language feature and the Europa Cinemas’ award for best European film.

The selection for Cannes’ main sections will be unveiled on April 11, with the parallel sections the following week.