Sean Baker’s “Red Rocket” won a pair of prizes at the 47th Deauville American Film Festival where “Blue Bayou,” “Down With the King,” “Pleasure” and “John and the Hole” also picked up awards during the closing ceremony. Michael Shannon, who was previously at Deauville with “99 Homes” and “Take Shelter,” received the honorary Talent Award from French helmer Bertrand Bonello, who sat on the jury, during the event.
“Red Rocket” stars Simon Rex as a retiring porn star who returns to his small Texas hometown where no one is eager to see him back. The movie, which world premiered in competition at Cannes, won the jury prize (shared with Ninja Thyberg’s “Pleasure”) and the critics awards. Both Baker and Rex were on hand in Deauville to receive the awards. Baker said there were fewer and fewer filmmakers directing indie films in the U.S. “Franchises and series will always be there but let’s keep making cinema,” said Baker on stage. He was joined by Rex, who said he was struggling to get an audition when Baker called him to offer him the part.
The jury prize was shared by Ninja Thyberg’s “Pleasure,” which stars Sofia Kappel as a Swedish girl who moves to Los Angeles to break into the adult film industry.
Diego Ongaro’s “Down With the King,” meanwhile, won the the grand prize. The film stars American rapper Freddie Gibbs as Money Merc, a famous, jet-jaded rapper who moves to a small-town farming community to find himself. Ongaro, who was there to receive his award, said he had almost given up on filmmaking after struggling to raise the financing for “Down With the King” and had lined up a few jobs in construction and gravestones before he managed to make the movie.
This year’s jury was presided by Charlotte Gainsbourg and included French actor Denis Podalydes, novelist Delphine Le Vigan, actors Fatou N’Diaye, Garance Marillier, director Mikhael Hers, musician Sebastian and screenwriter Marcia Romano.
Other awards went to Pascual Sisto’s coming-of-age psychological thriller “John and the Hole,” which won the Louis Roederer prize of the Révélation jury. The movie was previously part of Cannes 2020’s official selection. It follows a kid who holds his family captive underground. The Révélation jury was presided by French actor Clemence Poesy.
“Blue Bayou,” directed by Justin Chon who also stars alongside Alicia Vikander, won the prize of the City of Deauville. The film, which opened at Cannes in Un Certain Regard, follows a Korean-American man raised in the Louisiana bayou who discovers that he could be deported.
As previously announced, Vincent Maël Cardona’s feature debut “Les Magnetiques” won the d’Ornano-Valenti prize for best French film. The movie opened at Cannes’ Directors Fortnight.