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Robin Campillo’s ‘BPM (Beats Per Minute)’ Sweeps Lumieres Awards

Robin Campillo’s outstanding AIDS activist drama “BPM (Beats Per Minute)” swept the 23rd Lumieres Awards, France’s equivalent of the Golden Globes, winning six awards during a ceremony on Monday night in Paris.

“BPM,” a bold group portrait of Parisian AIDS activists at ACT UP in the early 1990s, won best film, director, actor (Nahuel Pérez Biscayart), male newcomer (Arnaud Valois), script (Campillo and Philippe Mangeot) and score (Arnaud Rebotini).

Since winning Cannes Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize, “BPM” has received a flurry of prizes around the world, notably the New York, Los Angeles and Washington critics’ awards for best foreign-language film, as well as prizes at Chicago and San Sebastian film festivals.

“(BPM) Beats Per Minute” was produced by Hugues Charbonneau and Marie-Ange Luciani at Les Films de Pierre. Playtime co-produced and sold the film worldwide. The movie will be competing for 13 Cesar awards on March 2. The Orchard released “(BPM) Beats Per Minute” in the U.S.

Upon receiving the prize for best director, Campillo paid homage to fellow director Laurent Cantet. “Laurent Cantet brought me back into filmmaking and I’m deeply grateful for his support,” said Campillo. The French director said he felt the urge to make this film after seeing a photo of a man dying of AIDS and his devoted lover in Paris Match, the popular French magazine.

“I saw the portrait of this couple in Paris Match and I asked myself immediately, ‘how can we make a film out of this event;’ shortly after (…) I enrolled into Act Up and we lived there some of the most powerful moments of our lives,” said Campillo while receiving the best script award with Philippe Mangeot.

“Barbara,” Mathieu Amalric’s tribute to beloved French singer Barbara, won two Lumieres awards: best actress for Jeanne Balibar and best cinematography for Christophe Beaucarne. “Barbara” opened Cannes’s Un Certain Regard and won a prize. Gaumont co-produced and represents the film in international markets.

Meanwhile, Laetitia Dosch won best female newcomer for her performance in Leonor Serraille’s “Jeune femme” which won Cannes’s Golden Camera for best first film.

Agnès Varda and JR’s “Visages Villages,” which is nominated for an Academy Award, won best documentary.

The award for best animated feature went to Benjamin Renner and Patrick Imbert’s “Big Bad Fox & Other Tales;” while the prize for best French-language film was given to Philippe Van Leeuw’s “In Syria,” a drama about a mother who struggles to keep her family safe in war-torn Damascus.

Karim Moussaoui’s “Until the Birds Return,” which opened at Cannes’s Un Certain Regard, won best first film.

The Lumieres Academie also paid tribute to Italian star Monica Bellucci and cult French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo for their contributions to making French cinema shine abroad.

Here is full list of Lumieres Awards:

Best Film

120 Beats Per Minute”

Best Director

Robin Campillo, “(BPM) Beats Per Minute”

Best Actress

Jeanne Balibar, “Barbara”

Best Actor

Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, “(BPM) Beats Per Minute”

Best Cinematography

Christophe Beaucarne, “Barbara”

Best Script

Robin Campillo, Philippe Mangeot, “(BPM) Beats Per Minute”

Best Music

Arnaud Rebotini, “(BPM) Beats Per Minute”

Best Female Newcomer

Laetitia Dosch, “Jeune Femme”

Best Male Newcomer

Arnaud Valois, “(BPM) Beats Per Minute)”

Best French-Language Film

“In Syria,” Philippe Van Leeuw

First Film

En attendant les hirondelles,” Karim Moussaoui

Best Documentary

“Visages Villages,” Agnès Varda and JR

Best Animated Film

“Le grand méchant Renard et autres contes,” Benjamin Renner and Patrick Imbert

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