Actor Nabhaan Rizwan In Camera by Naqqash Khalid which received new talent award. Photo: Dinard Film Festival
The big winner at the awards ceremony of the 34th Dinard Festival of British Cinema last night (Saturday 30 September) was the black comedy The Trouble With Jessica, which had opened the Festival four days earlier.
The Trouble With Jessica director Matt Winn and actress Shirley Henderson receive Dinard’s glittering prizes. Photo: Richard Mowe
Directed by Matt Winn, the film deals with interpersonal relationships in the balance, all precipitated by the untimely demise of one of the group during a fraught London dinner party. The French audiences appreciated what they considered to be typically British humour.
The film was accorded the Special Jury Prize and also received the Audience Award in a ceremony at the resort’s Palais des Arts. Winn described the accolade “as an immense honour.” He added that the subject had come out of a painful personal episode when a friend had committed suicide. He believed that humour had helped to assuage the dark emotions, and he was touched by the spontaneous approach of a member of the public who had recounted a similar episode - and found “the film really talked to them.”
The starry cast includes Rufus Sewell, Olivia Williams and Alan Tudyk. The only cast member present, Shirley Henderson, joined Winn and producer Sarah Sulick on stage to receive the awards.
The jury, presided over by legendary actress Catherine Frot, whose credits include Cédric Klapisch’s Un Air De Famille, unanimously named Silver Haze by Sacha Polak as Best Film - a Golden Hitchcock award after the master of suspense whose sensibility dominates Dinard. The film, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival earlier in the year, stars Vicky Knight and Esme Creed Miles.
The jury unanimously named Silver Haze by Sacha Polak as best film Photo: Dinard Film Festival
The narrative focuses on 23-year-old Franky, a nurse who lives with her large family in an East London borough. Obsessed with a thirst for revenge and a need to assign guilt for a traumatic event that happened 15 years before, she is unable to build any meaningful relationship until she falls in love with one of her patients. Polak, who was unable to attend the ceremony, thanked the public in Dinard and the jury for their enthusiastic support for the film.
The Best Acting gong went to French actress Décorah Lukumuena for her performance in Girl by Adura Onashile, a Glasgow based director who offers a coming of age drama in which 11 year old Ama and her mother, Grace, take solace in the gentle but isolated world they obsessively create. But Ama’s growing up threatens the boundaries of their tenderness, and forces Grace to reckon with a past that she struggles to forget.
Other prizes included an audience award for G Flat by Peter Darney in the Shortcuts selection and a new talent prize for In Camera by Naqqash Khalid. The director, who immediately bestowed the award on his lead actor Nabhaan Rizwan, explores the nature of being a young man of colour in today’s Britain.