Hot under the collar

'And the weener ees... Weeneee Eeenie.' David Patterson sees the tops come off at Cannes's Hot D'Or Porn Awards, while Peter Guttridge (right) reports on a brewing censorship row at the British Board of Film Classification

The porn people are touchy here in Cannes. "X-rated movies are definitely part of the cinematic art," begins their brochure, "but yet the International Film Festival at Cannes never gave us any award." To most, this decision is understandable, even fair. Up and Cummers and Anal Obsession (both of which are up for Best Gang-Bang Award at the 1995 Hot D'Or Porn Awards) are undoubtedly fine examples of their genre, but would almost certainly fare poorly in the running for the Palme D'Or, bearing in mind the European cultural haughtiness of Jeanne Moreau's jury this year.

But the porn people are genuinely affronted by their exclusion, and this year's Hot D'Or (or Golden Hot) has been designed - in a veritable frenzy of euphemism - as a "bona fide alternative to the mainstream festival, celebrating those recognised for their nakedness".

"Take Andrea Mae," says Jean Vieddly, the French organiser of this year's awards. "Andrea has taken part in some of the most incredible sperm baths ever filmed. Few have been able to match her, yet where are her accolades?"

"You're right," I reply. "What are sperm baths?"

Jean tells me.

"Oh," I say.

The Royal Casino Hotel looks like a plush five-star comprehensive school, and is situated five miles along the coast from the Croisette. Security here is extraordinary - guards with ravenous dogs patrol the swimming- pool area ("we are expecting fans to swim across") and tickets are like gold dust. The Great British hope, Hampshire ex-pat Sarah Young (Sex Party with Sarah Young - Best European Film nominee) sits by the pool and ponders her position at the very apex of her craft.

"I'm thrilled to be here, of course. Thrilled to be recognised for my nudity, but I hope not to win."

"Why?"

"Well, I'm very shy, and don't want to make a speech."

"Shyness isn't the first quality one would associate with a hard-core porn star," I suggest.

"You'd be surprised," she replies. "The erotic art is just like any other creative profession."

"And what about the future?" I ask, swept away myself in the ocean of euphemism. "Do you hope to branch out into more... clothed roles?"

"Oh no," she says. "Well, if the right script came along... I'm in Hamlet next. An erotic Hamlet. I'm playing Ophelia, and I designed the video cover too."

"Why did you choose Hamlet?"

"We're doing our bit for British culture," explains her middle-aged husband, the German porn king Hans Moser. "It's how nature intended it."

The awards are taking place tomorrow night, but first there are two luncheons and one press conference on the beach, sandwiched between the BFI party and the Barbet Schroeder party. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, it is the hot ticket in town. Photographers swarm to glimpse such luminaries as John Wayne Bobbit (who has been awarded a Hot D'Or D'Honneur, the highest accolade the academy can bestow) and Misty Rain, who possesses - I'm informed confidently by Jean Vieddly - "the greatest breasts in America, and I should know".

The party is a remarkably sombre affair - the only drinks available are orange juice and mineral water, and a Brazilian samba band entertain us with subdued renditions of "The Girl from Ipanema" and "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face".

"Are there any questions?" asks the press officer, as we are gathered by the hastily erected stage.

Silence.

"Does anyone want to ask the girls anything?"

Silence.

"Would anyone like to photograph the girls?"

Everyone nods. And they pose, topless, giggling. When Tami Ann attempts to remove her bikini bottoms, however, a security guard rushes over to forcibly dissuade her. On the way out, we are each given a brown paper doggy-bag full of hard-core porn, one of which immediately splits open on the Croisette, spewing copies of Dirty Debutants on the pavement in front of a crowd of elderly tuxedoed couples on the way to the Terence Davies screening.

The award ceremony itself takes place at 11.00pm the next night, just as the nominees are finishing off their coffee and after-dinner mints. It is, I'm sorry to report, a remarkably inept affair, primarily because the starlet picked to announce the winners has a diction and high-pitched tonal quality entirely unequal to the job of making anyone understand a word of what she's saying.

"And the weener ees..." she squeaks, time after time, "Weeneee Eeenie..."

The band plays a rousing fanfare, and then has to repeat it several times while we work out who, in fact, has been victorious.

"You'd think they'd know how to organise a climax," mutters the man next to me, who turns out to be Randy West - the American star of The Masseur 2.

I am joined at my table by Nicholas Summer, the editor of Copenhagen's Adult Love magazine, who cheers and applauds when we eventually discover that Buttgirls 3 has won the "Best All Girl Award".

"It really is excellent," he tells me.

When John Wayne Bobbit picks up his Hot D'Or D'Honneur, he makes an impassioned - tearful - speech, thanking by name the doctors who saved his life by sewing his penis back on.

"Without them I wouldn't be alive today to pick up this wonderful award," he sobs, clutching his statuette - a topless golden angel ascending towards heaven - to his chest.

"Thank you, fellas."

"Doesn't this remind you of John Barry's Oscar acceptance speech for the Dances with Wolves score?" says Nicholas soberly. "He thanked his doctors too."

Unfortunately, Sarah Young - Britain's only nominee - fails to win her award, the prize going instead to Draghixa for Le Parfum de Mathilde. She is not disappointed. "All this is to do with ego," she says, gazing round the room. "I don't do this for ego, I do it for pride. I do it because I'm an artiste."

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry in the band's new video 'Leave a Trace'

music
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Home on the raunch: George Bisset (Aneurin Barnard), Lady Seymour Worsley (Natalie Dormer) and Richard Worsley (Shaun Evans)

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton

film
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
New book 'The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep' by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin

books
Arts and Entertainment
Calvi is not afraid of exploring the deep stuff: loneliness, anxiety, identity, reinvention
music
Arts and Entertainment
Edinburgh solo performers Neil James and Jessica Sherr
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
If a deal to buy tBeats, founded by hip-hop star Dr Dre (pictured) and music producer Jimmy Iovine went through, it would be Apple’s biggest ever acquisition

album review
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith is joining The Voice as a new coach

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Dowton Abbey has been pulling in 'telly tourists', who are visiting Highclere House in Berkshire

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Patriot games: Vic Reeves featured in ‘Very British Problems’
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Summer nights: ‘Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp’
TVBut what do we Brits really know about them?
Arts and Entertainment
Dr Michael Mosley is a game presenter

TV review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
    Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
    Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

    Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

    Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
    Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

    Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

    The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
    Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

    Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

    His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

    Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future