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News in brief

13 May 2018 à 16:40

Speak Up wins the 2018 International Students Award

For the third year, UniFrance has joined forces with France Culture for the presentation of the International Students Award, held as part of the France Culture Cinema Prizes. This year, the elected winner was Speak Up, directed by Stéphane de Freitas in collaboration with Ladj Ly. The awards ceremony was held on Sunday, May 13, at 11:30 a.m. at the Terrasse UniFrance during the Cannes Film Festival.

Over the past three years, the number of international film schools taking part in the voting for the International Students Award has increased significantly: 7 film schools were involved in 2016, 16 in 2017, and 22 for this year's edition. This award has enabled students around the world at the most prestigious film schools and universities to discover a selection of five French films released in the same year, and to vote for their favorite title.

The films in competition in 2018

The selection was composed of five films chosen by UniFrance and France Culture. Thanks to the International Students Award, many foreign students have had the chance to explore the work of renowned French filmmakers, as well as new-generation directors:

Students were able to watch the films, vote, and submit their reviews online courtesy of the FestivalScope platform, which has been a partner of the International Students Award for two years. Thanks to this platform's streaming server, participating students voted from all over the globe, notably in Asia (Cambodia, Bangladesh, and India).

The 22 participating film school and universities

  • University of Chicago (Chicago, USA)
  • Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada)
  • École Supérieure des Arts Visuels (Marrakesh, Morocco)
  • Deutsche Film-und Fernsehakademie Berlin (DFFB) (Berlin, Germany)
  • The Barbican Young Programmers of the Barbican Centre (London, UK)
  • Russian State University of Cinematography (VGIK) (Moscow, Russia)
  • National University of Theater and Film (UNATC) (Bucharest, Romania)
  • École Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (ECAL) (Renens, Switzerland)
  • Centro Universitario des Estudios Cinematograficas (Mexico City, Mexico)
  • Civica Scuola di Cinema Luchino Visconti (Milan, Italy)
  • Universidad del Cine (UCINE) (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  • Transforming Arts Institute (TAI) (Madrid, Spain)
  • Institut National de l’Image et du Son (INIS) (Montreal, Canada)
  • Université McGill (Montreal, Canada)
  • Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica (Mexico, Mexique)
  • Dhaka International Academy of Film and Media (Dhaka, Bangladesh)
  • École des Métiers de l’Image et du Son (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
  • Pune Film and TV Institute of India (Pune, India)
  • Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.,USA)
  • University of Pristina (Pristina, Kosovo)
  • Hong Kong University (Hong Kong)
  • Universidad de Sevilla (Seville, Spain)
  • University Saint Joseph (Beyrouth, Liban)
  • Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA) (Beyrouth, Liban)

The verdict...

The winners were announced during the Cannes Film Festival, on May 13 at the Terrasse UniFrance. Students from 17 countries elected the documentary Speak Up as their winner, a film that “takes us into the world of words," while "reflecting the diversity that exists in France today." These students—the filmmakers of tomorrow—were particularly struck by the determination and courage of students participating in the Eloquentia Competition that is featured in the film.
Our congratulations go out to the production company My Box Productions (Harry and Anita Tordjman), the film's sales company Upside Distribution, as well as Stéphane de Freitas and his co-director Ladj Ly!

We would also like to congratulate Thomas Messner from the Queen Mary University of London for his review of Lost in Paris, which you can read here. A special mention can also be made of three other students who put great effort into their high-standard reviews: Mercedes Sánchez Rodríguez and Almudena Mata Núñez from the University of Seville, and Alena Ianushko from the VGIK in Moscow.

UniFrance would like to thank all of the film schools and universities that took part in this program, as well as France Culture and FestivalScope. We look forward to next year's 4th edition of the award!

France Culture also presented two other awards at this ceremony:

The France Culture Cinema "Consecration" Award, which was created in 2011, honors an outstanding figure in the movie industry for the high quality of his or her work and their strong commitment to the industry. Similar to a Lifetime Achievement Award, this honor was bestowed on Claire Denis this year. Ms. Denis follows in the footsteps of previous winners Costa-Gavras (2017), Frederick Wiseman (2016), Abderrahmane Sissako (2015), Margarethe Von Trotta (2014), Pascale Ferran (2013), Cédric Kahn (2012), and Alexandre Astruc (2011).

The France Culture Students Cinema Prize is presented to an emerging director whose films have received support from France Culture during the previous year. This year's award went to Les Garçons sauvages by Bertrand Mandico. In past years, film students have chosen as their winners Sébastien Laudenbach for The Girl Without Hands (2017), Alexandre Nanau for Toto et ses sœurs (2016), and Jean-Charles Hue for Mange tes morts (2015).

Author : Communications

Latest update : 25 October 2018 à 16:40 CEST

Linked to this news article

Linked films (5)

Linked individuals (9)

Related companies (2)


My Box Productions

Activities :  Executive Producer

Recent filmography : Last Dance, Rosy, the Forbidden Journey, Speak Up


Upside Distribution

Activities :  Film exports/foreign sales, Executive Producer

Recent filmography : Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Out, A Modern Shepherdess, ...

Linked events (1)


Cannes International Film Festival - 2018

Type : Feature film and short film festival

Theme : International festival