Cannes' first 'Queer Palm' to US director Gregg Araki

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The Independent Culture

US director Gregg Araki on Saturday scooped the first Queer Palm ever handed out at the Cannes film festival.

Awarded to a film for "its contribution to lesbian, gay, bi or trans" issues, the jury looked at a dozen movies before handing it to Araki for his university campus tale about a bi-sexual student convinced he is the witness of a gruesome murder.

The Berlin film festival pioneered LGBT prizes, creating the Teddy Awards in 1987. It was followed by the Venice festival in 2007 which hands out a Queer Lion.

"I thought that the world's biggest film festival coulod no longer ignore this sector," the founder of the award, Franck Finance-Madureira, told AFP.

"The festival gave us its non-official blessing," he added. "We hope next to have a corner in the Cannes Market to attract producers and distributors."

The movie by Araki, 51, was selected by the festival to screen out of competition.

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