Directors’ Fortnight, a selection that runs alongside the Cannes Film Festival, has recently announced the creation of a People’s Choice Award to be voted on by audiences. This new award is intended to honor the late filmmaker Chantal Akerman, known for her groundbreaking, diverse, and fiercely independent work, which has influenced many filmmakers today. The award is sponsored by the Fondation Chantal Akerman and will grant €7,500 to the winning filmmaker, to be presented at the closing ceremony.

The Directors’ Fortnight organizers stated that their relationship with Chantal Akerman dates back to 1975 when she screened her film “Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce – 1080 Brussels” at the festival. Throughout the years, Directors’ Fortnight has showcased several of Akerman’s films, including “Golden Eighties” (1986), “Sud” (1999), “La Captive” (2000), and “Tombée de Nuit sur Shanghaï” (2007), highlighting the long history and deep connection between the festival and the filmmaker.

This announcement of the People’s Choice Award and tribute to Chantal Akerman serves as a way to acknowledge and celebrate independent, groundbreaking filmmakers who push boundaries and create unique visions through their work. By giving audiences the power to vote on the winner, the award reflects a commitment to recognizing and supporting filmmakers whose work resonates with the public and captures their imagination.

The Fondation Chantal Akerman’s sponsorship of the award further cements the legacy of the influential filmmaker, ensuring that her impact and contributions to the film industry continue to be remembered and celebrated. With the grant provided to the winning filmmaker, the award also aims to support and encourage emerging talents to continue pushing boundaries and challenging norms in filmmaking.

As the Directors’ Fortnight prepares for its upcoming edition, the introduction of the People’s Choice Award adds a new dimension to the festival, allowing audiences to have a voice and a say in recognizing and honoring exceptional filmmaking. This initiative not only highlights the importance of audience engagement in the festival experience but also underscores the festival’s commitment to showcasing diverse voices and perspectives in cinema.

Overall, the creation of the People’s Choice Award at Directors’ Fortnight represents a fitting tribute to the visionary filmmaker Chantal Akerman and a testament to the festival’s dedication to celebrating independent, innovative cinema. With a focus on honoring filmmakers who embody Akerman’s spirit of independence and creativity, the award symbolizes a commitment to supporting and uplifting diverse voices in the film industry. By empowering audiences to participate in the selection process, the award reflects a democratic and inclusive approach to recognizing excellence in filmmaking.

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