Director-writer Oliver Hermanus'
Skoonheid (Beauty) has taken the second annual Queer
Palm at the Cannes Film Festival.
The award recognizes one film for its
contributions to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender issues.
In Hermanus' film, Francois (played by
Deon Lotz), a forty-something South African married man with two
daughters, is forced to confront his attraction to men when he
becomes obsessed with 23-year-old Christian (Charlie Keegan), the son
of a friend. (A trailer for the film is embedded in the right panel
of this page.)
“It's the story of a man who is of a
different time and feels left out of the new South Africa,”
The feature is the sophomore effort of
27-year-old Hermanus. It competed in Cannes' Un Certain Regard
sidebar and made history as the first Afrikaans-language film to be
included in the festival.
Cannes, whose 64th 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 last year. 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