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Kechiche’s ‘Secret of the Grain’ wins FIPRESCI’s Euro Film Academy Critics’ Award

Since its premiere at the 2007 Venice Film Festival where it won the Critics’ Award and Special Jury Prize, Abdellatif Kechiche’s The Secret of the grain has followed a yellow brick road of acclaim, festival awards and French Césars.

Since its premiere at the 2007 Venice Film Festival where it won the Critics’ Award and Special Jury Prize, Abdellatif Kechiche‘s The Secret of the grain has followed a yellow brick road of acclaim, festival awards and French Césars. Today the film adds one more honor from the FIPRESCI folks. The film has won the 2008 European Film Academy Critics’ Award 2008. The award ceremony takes place on the 6th of next month.
 
In a communiqué, FIPRESCI’s Hassouna Mansouri said, “the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) recognizes an author in the purest and simplest meaning of the word. The award not only pays tribute to all those filmmakers who are often marginalized because of their origins, but above all recognizes the talent of those who are committed to a different and independent cinema; those who stand against the war machines and their grip on the industry of the image. With low-budget films – which are nonetheless difficult to finance – Kechiche is involved in a struggle which brings together classic texts like those of Marivaux with the young ‘beurs’ of Nice, the city where he grew up.”

IFC Films just confirmed that the picture will receive a December 24th theatrical release. This follows the story of a Tunisian immigrant, Slimane Beiji. One day, he is suddenly dismissed after 35 years as a shipyard worker. Ashamed that he can no longer provide for his family, he buys an old boat and opens up a restaurant that features his ex-wife`s couscous recipe as the signature dish. Along the way he faces contemptuous bankers, disapproving government workers and relentless urgings from his sons to return to his home country. His only supporter is from Rym, played by award-winning newcomer Hafsia Herzi, a loving daughter with a relentless drive. She is the catalyst that helps her father pursue his dreams. This touching and beautifully composed film plunges into the heart of a changing culture, focusing on the trials and tribulations of a man and his family, and the dreams that inspire individuals to fight for their cause.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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