Director-writer Xavier Dolan's Laurence Anyways has taken the third annual Queer Palm at the Cannes Film Festival.

The award recognizes one film playing at the festival for its contributions to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender issues.

In Dolan's film, Laurence Alia (played by Melvil Poupaud), an accomplished writer and teacher, tells his fiancee Fred Belair (Suzanne Clement), who works in the film industry, that he has always been a woman, even if he was born a man, and that he's ready to begin transitioning to a woman.

Is their love doomed?

The film is as much about finding oneself as it is about modern love. (A trailer for the film is embedded in the right panel of this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

The feature is the third effort from 23-year-old French-Canadian wunderkind Dolan, whose previous credits include I Killed My Mother and Heartbeats. It competed in Cannes' Un Certain Regard sidebar.

“This entire film is candy for the cinephile and Dolan had me eating out of his hands,” wrote Brad Brevet in reviewing the motion picture at

Cannes, whose 65th edition ran for 10 days in a town along the French Riviera, was the largest European film festival to lack a gay prize before the French directing team of Oliver Ducastel and Jacques Martineau introduced the Queer Palm two years ago. The Berlin Film Festival's annual Teddy Award first debuted in 1987, while the Queer Lion has been recognizing gay-themed films screened at the Venice Film Festival since 2007. The Queer Palm is an unofficial prize not connected to the festival.