Director Gregg Araki's KABOOM has
taken the inaugural Queer Palm at the Cannes Film Festival.
The award recognizes one film for its
contribution to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender issues.
In a statement released Tuesday, Araki
said winning the first Queer Palm was “almost beyond belief.”
The movie was the 50-year-old
filmmaker's first inclusion in Cannes' official selection. Reviewers
have hailed the film as Araki's return to themes he made relevant in
his early successes such as The Living End and The Doom
“KABOOM follows the exploits
of a young man named Smith (played by Thomas Dekker), who after
eating some hallucinogenic cookies, finds himself embroiled in the
gruesome murder of an enigmatic red-haired-girl from his dreams,”
wrote Anthony Kaufman on the blog IndieWire.com.
Dekker and his college friends also
travel on a journey of sexual awakening throughout the movie.
Cannes, whose 63rd edition
ran for 10 days in a town along the French Riviera, was the largest
European film festival to lack a gay prize. 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 sponsored by the
French directing team of Oliver Ducastel and Jacques Martineau. The
included transgender activist-actress Pascale
Ourbih. Ourbih is the subject of Italian Director Alessandro
Avellis' 2008 documentary Transseizieme.
The award was
handed out Saturday at Zanzibar, the oldest gay bar in Europe.