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Cannes Directors’ Fortnight Introduces Inaugural Audience Award in Honor of Chantal Akerman

The Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, renowned for its innovative programming and dedication to showcasing independent cinema, is set to make history at the upcoming 2024 edition of the Cannes Film Festival. In a move that underscores its commitment to audience engagement and celebrates the legacy of pioneering filmmaker Chantal Akerman, the Directors’ Fortnight will introduce its first-ever Audience Award.

Founded in 1969 as an independent section of the Cannes Film Festival, the Directors’ Fortnight has long been recognized for its audience-friendly approach and willingness to embrace unconventional storytelling. Unlike other sections of the festival, the Directors’ Fortnight has consistently welcomed members of the public, providing cinephiles from around the world with access to a diverse selection of films.

As part of the 2024 edition, audiences attending the Directors’ Fortnight screenings will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite film, culminating in the presentation of the inaugural People’s Choice Award. This landmark award, supported by the Fondation Chantal Akerman, aims to recognize outstanding cinematic achievement while honoring the memory of the esteemed Belgian filmmaker.

The People’s Choice Award will carry a prize of €7,500 (approximately $8,100 USD), which will be awarded to the filmmaker of the winning feature during the closing ceremony of the Directors’ Fortnight. This monetary award not only serves as a token of appreciation for the recipient's artistic contributions but also provides support for future creative endeavors.

In addition to fostering audience participation, the introduction of the Audience Award aligns with the Directors’ Fortnight's mission to create a welcoming environment for filmmakers and audiences alike. By empowering audiences to actively engage with the films on display and participate in the selection process, the Directors’ Fortnight reaffirms its commitment to democratizing the cinematic experience.

"Each year, the Fortnight opens its doors to thousands of cinephiles from around the world, in order to share its selection in a welcoming setting, giving filmmakers the opportunity to meet the first audience for their films, and the audiences a chance to take part in Q&As with film teams," the announcement to media reads. Now, with the introduction of the Audience Award, audiences will play an even more integral role in shaping the festival's narrative and honoring exceptional filmmaking talent.

The People’s Choice Award stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Chantal Akerman, whose groundbreaking work continues to inspire and resonate with audiences worldwide. As the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight embarks on this new chapter in its history, it reaffirms its commitment to championing diverse voices and celebrating the power of cinema to unite and inspire audiences across the globe.


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