Toni Erdmann shines at the Spirit Awards, My Life as a Courgette at the Césars

Last weekend was a good one for 2016 LUX Prize winner Toni Erdmann and finalist My Life as a Courgette. Maren Ade’s acclaimed dramedy was chosen as the Best International Film at the United States’ Independent Spirit Awards, while Claude Barras’ animated gem received not one but two prizes at the César awards ceremony, France’s most important awards, held in Paris.
Toni Erdmann, an American remake of which is already being planned – tentatively starring Jack Nicholson and Kristen Wiig–, received the Best International Film award at the Los Angeles ceremony of the Independent Spirit Awards. Maren Ade won the prize over Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Aquarius, Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Chevalier, Arnaud Desplechin’s My Golden Days and Babak Anvari’s Under the Shadow. “It’s a very big honour. It’s so much fun here – much more than at the German Film Awards. I’m really happy and also proud to stand here as a female director, because it’s still not normal enough. It makes this award very special for me,” declared Ade on stage.
On this side of the pond, My Life as a Courgette managed to get two statuettes at the Césars. The film received the Best Animated Film award, beating competitors The Red Turtle by Michael Dudok de Wit and The Girl Without Hands by Sébastien Laudenbach, as well as the Best Adapted Screenplay, for which it was vying against Elle (written by David Birke), 150 Milligrams (Séverine Bosschem and Emmanuelle Bercot), Frantz (written by François Ozon), From the Land of the Moon (written by Nicole Garcia and Jacques Fieschi) and Heal the Living (Katell Quillévéré and Gilles Taurand). It is worth noting that Courgette’s screenplay was adapted from French writer Gilles Paris’ Autobiographie d’une courgette by screenwriter and filmmaker by Céline Sciamma, herself also a LUX Prize finalist with 2014’s Girlhood. “The Césars remind me of my childhood memories, watching the ceremony on TV, and enjoying French cinema, its diversity and richness. It’s still a bit surreal for me, but I’m very happy,” stated Barras after having received the award.
Congratulations, Courgette!