Cannes Critics’ Week Winners: ‘Simon Of The Mountain’ & ‘Blue Sun Palace’ Take Top Prizes

Argentinian director Federico Luis’s first film Simon of the Mountain has won the Grand Prize at the 63rd edition of Cannes Critics’ Week.

The coming-of-age tale stars rising Argentinian actor, singer and song writer Lorenzo Ferro as a young man grappling with the challenges of a mental disorder.

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It is produced by Patricio Alvarez Casado at Argentinian production house 20/20 in coproduction with Fernando Bascuñan at Chilean company Planta, Ignacio Cucucovich’s Uruguayan company Mother Superior and L.A. and Mexico City based producer Carlos Rincones at Twelve Thirty Media, with Luxbox handling international sales.

In other key prizes, U.S.-Chinese filmmaker Constance Tsang’s won the French Touch Prize of the Jury for first feature Blue Sun Palace, a bittersweet chronicle of the tumultuous destiny of Chinese immigrants living in Queens.

It is produced by Sally Sujin Oh and Eli Raskin at Field Trip Media and Tony Yang at Big Buddha Pictures, with Charades handling international sales and WME representing North America.

The acting prize – Louis Roederer Foundation Rising Star Award – went to Ricardo Teodoro for his performance in Brazilian director Marcelo Caetano’s drama Baby, a romantic Queer drama about an outsider trying to survive in São Paolo.

The Leitz Cine Discovery Prize for short film went to Montsouris Park by Guil Sela.

This year’s jury was led by French producer Sylvie Pialat, who stepped into the role at the 11th hour Spanish director Rodrigo Sorogoyen had to cancel his attendance due to personal reasons. She was joined by French director Iris Kaltenbäck, Rwandan actress Eliane Umuhire, Belgian cinematographer Virginie Surdej and Canadian film critic and journalist Ben Croll.

In other prizes, the Gan Foundation Award for Distribution went to Jour2Fête to support its French distribution campaign for Julie Keeps Quiet by Belgian director Leonardo Van Dijl.

The drama revolves around about a promising young tennis player who is forced to speak out by her club when her coach comes under investigation.

Emma Benestan’s revenge horror Animale, starring Oulaya Amamra (Divines) as a young woman making her way in the male-dominated, bull racing scene in France’s Camargue region, is the closing film of the selection on Wednesday.

Thursday’s program will comprise screenings of the winning films.

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