"Girl" given pride of place at the 2018 Cannes Festival
Twenty-seven years after the success of "Toto the Hero", the film "Girl", by the Belgian director Lukas Dhont, won the prestigious Caméra d’Or during the closing ceremony of this year's Cannes Film Festival. This prize is awarded to the best first film across all categories.
The Belgian film-maker, aged just 26, had a profound effect on Cannes with his first feature film, which was presented in the Un Certain Regard category; "Girl" tells the true story of a teenage girl who was born a boy but dreams of becoming a ballerina. Lara always felt that she was 100% a girl but grew up in the body of a boy. She then found herself facing a two-fold burden, as she took hugely demanding classes that her body was not trained for, whilst at the same time undergoing a hormone transition programme so she could try and experience puberty as a young girl.
This was a huge role for the other revelation of "Girl", namely the young Belgian actor Victor Polster, aged just 16. In his first film role, he delivers a magnificent performance as Lara, who embarks on both a gruelling gender reassignment programme and the demanding study of classical dance. During the festival, the film also won the "Queer Palm 2018", an independent prize awarded to a film from the Cannes selections that deals with gender-variant (homosexual, bisexual, transgender) themes. Incidentally, on Friday evening the organisers announced that the prize had been awarded unanimously.
"Girl" is scheduled for cinema release in Belgium on 17 October 2018.