Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight Launches People’s Choice Award

Directors’ Fortnight, the independent selection running alongside the Cannes Film Festival, has created a People’s Choice Award which will be voted on by audiences.

The prize is endowed by the Fondation Chantal Akerman and will be awarding the filmmaker of the winning feature a grant of €7,500 which will be presented at the closing ceremony.

Directors’ Fortnight organizers stated the new award will pay tribute to Chantal Akerman, “whose pioneering, eclectic and fiercely independent vision might serve as a compass for this new People’s Choice.”

Directors’ Fortnight said it “(shares) a long history” with Chantal Akerman dating back to 1975, when she presented there her film “Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce – 1080 Brussels.” Directors’ Fortnight went to premiere Akerman’s films, including Golden Eighties (1986), Sud (1999), La Captive (2000) and Tombée de Nuit sur Shanghaï (2007).

The sidebar said People’s Choice will celebrate a film that will be 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. It is in this spirit that we invite our audiences to take part,” stated Directors’ Fortnight.

Spearheaded by the SRF (Société des réalisateurs de films), Directors’ Fortnight is now being led by Julien Rejl who took over as artistic director in 2023, succeeding to Paolo Moretti.

The creation of the People’s Choice Award is part of Directors’ Fortnight’s ambition to revamp its image and bring it closer to its core DNA. The selection was created in 1968 amid a political upheaval led by filmmakers of the French New Wave who rebelled against the Cannes Film Festival. Directors’ Fortnight also changed its French name to Quinzaine des Cinéastes – from Quinzaine des Realisateurs — in order to be more inclusive and gender-neutral.


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