Portrait of a Lady on Fire by Céline Sciamma wins the Art Cinema Award at the Hamburg Film Festival
The International Confederation of Arthouse Cinemas is proud to announce that the Art Cinema Award at the Hamburg Film Festival goes to Portrait of a Lady on Fire by Céline Sciamma.
Portrait de la jeune fille en feu (Portrait of a Lady on Fire)
France, 2018, 120 minutes
Director: Céline Sciamma
Director of photography: Claire Mathon
Script: Céline Sciamma
Cast: Noémi Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Luàna Bajrami, Valeria Golino, Christel Baras, Armande Boulanger
Production: Lilies Films, Arte France Cinéma
International Sales: MK2 Diffusion
Céline Sciamma‘s new film is a sensitive love story and a powerful modern statement about the situation of women in the past and today. In the year 1770, an unusual commission leads the Parisian painter Marianne (Noémie Marchant) to a deserted island off the coast of Brittany: she is instructed to secretly paint a portrait of Héloïse (Adèle Haenel) who is soon to be married and who refuses to sit for a portrait out of protest against the arranged marriage that awaits her. Marianne observes Héloïse on her walks and paints from memory during the evening. Slowly, the looks that pass between the two women take on an irresistible attraction.
Sensitively, precisely and with great ease, Céline Sciamma takes us to a Breton island of the 18th century and tells of the creation of a painting and the love that develops between the painter and the person portrayed. The camerawoman Claire Mathon finds her very own pictorial language and creates each individual shot like her own painting. The themes of this perfectly designed romantic film are consistently and artistically interwoven on all levels, and the chemistry of the two leading actresses Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel is effortlessly transferred to the screen. Set in the past, Portrait of a Lady on Fire negotiates themes that still have universal significance today: Social constraints, role models, transience and memory or the power of the image. The film is not only a great love story, as we have not seen it in the cinema for a long time, but also an encouragement for another way of seeing that is marked by sincerity and the desire to recognize. Portrait of a Lady on Fire has fully convinced and enchanted us with its way of narrating, both in content and visually.
The jury was composed of:
Stefan Meßner, Moviemento & City-Kino, Linz, Autriche