Quentin Dupieux’s ‘Yannick’ Wins Locarno Best European Film Prize

Quentin Dupieux’s ‘Yannick’ Wins Locarno Best European Film Prize

Quentin Dupieux’s Yannick, a French satire about high culture, low-brow critics and the intersection between art and entertainment, has won the Europa Cinemas Label prize for best European film at the 76th Locarno Film Festival.

The crowd-pleasing but very dark comedy stars Raphaël Quenard as the titular Yannick, a theater-goer who has the audacity to stand up in the middle of a (frankly horrible) play and tell the actors just what he thinks of their work. “This show isn’t entertaining in the slightest! I’ve paid for a seat to cheer myself up, but all it’s doing is adding to my problems…I feel worse than I did before. And I’ve already got a shitty life.”

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A debate with the actors ensues and things take a frightening turn when Yannick decides he wants to rewrite the evening’s script.

Yannick premiered in Locarno on Aug. 3 and was well-received by both festival audiences and critics.

“We took the decision to award the Label to a film that presented a particular potential for European cinemas to attract a broad audience,” the Europa Cinemas jury said in a statement. “This comedy benefits from an original plot that is questioning the position of an elitist society but also the untouchability of art in general. It’s well-written, clever and funny. The main actor’s performance is outstanding, keeping us on the edge of our seats, always asking ourselves who is in control in this game of power.”

As a Europa Cinema Label winner, Yannick will now get promotional support from the group’s network of art house cinemas, representing more than 3,000 screens across more than 700 European cities, to encourage exhibitors to extend the film’s theatrical run.

Yannick co-stars Pio Marmaï, Blanche Gardin and Sébastien Chassagne. It was produced by Atelier de Production and Chi-Fou-Mi Productions. Kinology is handling international sales.