Source: Moby Dick Films

Love Affair(s)

Emmanuel Mouret’s love triangle drama Love Affair(s) won best film and Maïwen clinched best director for family history drama DNA at France’s 2021 Lumière awards on Tuesday evening (January 19).

The Lumières, which are among the first awards in this year’s awards season calendar, are voted on by some 130 international correspondents hailing from 40 countries and are regarded as France’s equivalent of the Golden Globes.

Both winning titles were feted with a Cannes 2020 label selection last year.

Love Affair(s) co-stars Camelia Jordana as a pregnant young woman who gets unintentionally close to her partner’s cousin. Other cast members include Emilie Dequenne, Niels Schneider, and Vincent Macaigne.

It is the 11th feature of popular actor and filmmaker Mouret, who broke out internationally in 2018 with costume drama Mademoiselle De Joncquières, which Netflix acquired and released worldwide under the title of Lady J.

Love Affair(s) was released theatrically in France by Pyramide Distribution last September. Elle Driver handles sales.

Maïwenn’s fifth feature DNA draws on the filmmaker’s own family history and revolves around a young French woman who delves into the past of her beloved Algerian grandfather after he dies.

The film played a raft of festivals over the summer and early autumn including Zurich, Ghent and San Sebastian, where it won the audience award. 

Le Pacte had just launched its French theatrical release last October when cinemas were shut down due to the second wave of coronavirus. Wild Bunch International handles sales.

In other awards, Stéphane Demoustier won best screenplay for courtroom family drama The Girl With The Bracelet. It stars Roschy Zem and Chiara Mastroianni as a couple whose teenage daughter has been charged with murder. The film premiered in Locarno in 2019. 

Italian director Filippo Meneghetti’s debut feature Two Of Us, which was the front-runner at the nominations stage, came away with two prizes.

Meneghetti won best first film while Barbara Sukowa and Martine Chevallier shared the best actress award for their performance as a lesbian couple facing up to the challenge of coming out after two decades of secret passion and companionship.

The film is also France’s submission for the Oscars best international feature film category this year. Sophie Dulac Distribution released the film in France in early 2020, while Magnolia is planning a February launch in the US this year.

In other prizes, Daniel Dufresne’sThe Monopoly Of Violence won best documentary. The work exploring police violence in France was a small breakout independent hit in France when it was released last autumn. 

Two of this year’s prize-winning films Slalom, for which its young star Noée Abita won best new actress, and Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania’s drama The Man Who Sold His Skin, which won best international co-production, have yet to receive their theatrical releases due to the pandemic. The Lumière committee retained them in the competition in an act of solidarity

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the Lumières eschewed the traditional ceremony in a prestige location and staged a free-to-air studio-based event that was broadcast on pay-TV channel Canal+.

This year’s edition was dedicated to José María Riba, the late Spanish journalist and festival programmer who served as general director of the Lumières Academy from 2016 to 2019.

Riba, based in Paris for most of his career, was a former head of Cannes Critics’ Week and also spearheaded San Sebastian’s Films In Progress. He died last May.

The complete list of winners and nominations appears below with winners in bold.

Best film

  • Bye Bye Morons, Dupontel
  • Love Affair(s) , Emmanuel Mouret
  • Two Of Us, Filippo Meneghetti
  • Summer of 85, François Ozon
  • The Girl With The Bracelet, Stéphane Demoustier

Best director

  • Albert Dupontel, Bye Bye Moron
  • Maïwenn, DNA
  • Filippo Meneghetti, Two Of Us
  • Emmanuel Mouret, Love Affair(s)
  • François Ozon, Summer of 85

Best screenplay

  • Stéphane Demoustier, The Girl With The Bracelet
  • Filippo Meneghetti, Malysone Bovarasmy, Two Of Us
  • Jean-Louis Milesi, Josep
  • Emmanuel Mouret, Love Affair(s)
  • Caroline Vignal, My Donkey, My Lover & I

Best documentary

  • Adolescents, Sébastien Lifshitz
  • The Tie, Etienne Chaillou, Mathias Théry
  • Kongo, Hadrien La Vapeur et Corto Vaclav
  • The Monopoly Of Violence, David Dufresne
  • If It Were Love, Patric Chiha

Best animation film

  • Calamity, A Childhood Of Martha Jane Cannary, Rémi Chayé
  • Marona’s Fantastic Tale, Anca Damian
  • Josep, Aurel
  • Little Vampire, Joann Sfar

Best actress

  • Laure Calamy, My Donkey, My Lover & I
  • Martine Chevallier and Barbara Sukowa, Two Of Us
  • Emmanuelle Devos, Perfumes
  • Virginie Efira, Bye Bye Morons
  • Camelia Jordana, Love Affair(s)

Best actor

  • Sami Bouajila, A Son
  • Jonathan Cohen, Enormous
  • Albert Dupontel, Bye Bye Morons
  • Nicolas Maury, My Best Part
  • Jérémie Rénier, Slalom

Best new actress

  • Noée Abita, Slalom
  • Najla Ben Abdallah, A Son
  • Nisrin Erradi, Adam
  • Mélissa Guers, The Girl With The Bracelet
  • Fathia Youssouf, Cuties

Best new actor

  • Guang Huo, Night Ride
  • Félix Lefebvre and Benjamin Voisin, Summer Of 85
  • Djibril Vancoppenolle, Small Country, An African Childhood
  • Alexandre Wetter, Miss
  • Jean-Pascal Zadi, Tout Simplement Noir

Best first film

  • Two, Filippo Meneghetti
  • Arab Blues, Manele Labidi
  • Cuties, Maïmouna Doucouré
  • Slalom, Charlène Favier
  • Tout Simplement Noir, Jean-Pascal Zadi, John Wax

Best international co-production

  • Abou Leila, Amin Sidi-Boumédiène
  • Adam, Maryam Touzani
  • A Son, Mehdi M. Barsaoui
  • The Man Who Sold His Skin, Kaouther Ben Hania
  • La Llorona, Jayro Bustamante
  • You Will Die At 20, Amjad Abu Alala
  • Yalda, A Night For Forgiveness, Massoud Bakhshi

Best cinematography

  • Hichame Alaouie, Summer Of 85
  • Renato Berta, The Salt Of Tears
  • Laurent Desmet, Love Affair(s)
  • Yann Maritaud, Slalom
  • Aurélien Marra, Two Of Us

Best soundtrack