In the second prize announcement by a Directors’ Fortnight partner, “A Prince,” the fifth feature from singular French auteur Pierre Creton, has won the SACD Prize, awarded by France’s Writers’ Guild for the best French-language movie in the section.
Written by Mathilde Girard, Cyril Neyrat and Vincent Barré, and directed by Creton, who combines his film career with work as an agricultural labourer, “A Prince” has weighed in at this year’s Directors Fortnight as one of the most singular of titles, whose central narrative turns on a horticultural student, Pierre-Joseph. His mentors, botany teacher Alberto and plant nursery owner Adrien, soon become his lovers.
A left-of-field ode to nature and horticulture, sporting narrative voice-overs by celebrated actors – Mathieu Amalric, Françoise Lebrun and Grégory Gadebois – the film is shot in 16:9 ratio, featuring scenes of nudity, and a spirited soundtrack – part Baroque, part instrumental – by Dutch composer Jozef van Wissem who scored “Only Lovers Left Alive.”
The Directors’ Fortnight slot is the first international festival berth for Creton, the prize suddenly thrusting him from his deep Normandy base to fame.
“Winning the SACD Prize is the recognition of a special way of writing and doing films, which I have been practicing for years, mixing life and fiction, friendship and love,” Creton told Variety.
“The film is rare and precious, giving a sense of having been adopted by the director’s territory, becoming part of his terrain,” said SACD’s Delphine Gleize, a writer-director. Adding that “We were touched by the strength of expression and force of life” of the film.
Film is produced for Andolfi by Arnaud Dommerc, who produced “Rewind & Play” by Alain Gomis, released in the U.S. by Grasshopper this year. Andolfi also handles international sales.