Art and Experience: Philippe Faucon’s “Fatima,” a tender portrait of a devoted Moroccan single mother living in France, won the Louis Delluc Prize for best French film.

The film, which world premiered at Cannes’ Directors Fortnight, raises contemporary issues, such as the economic and social situation of immigrants living in France through the tale of a middle-age woman (Soria Zeroual) working as a maid, struggling to make ends meet while raising her two teenage daughters the best she can.

Faucon is a critically-acclaimed French auteur who often addresses current sociological issues through intimate stories as he previously did with “La desintegration,” one of the first and only movies dealing with the indoctrination and radicalization of French youths from underprivileged backgrounds who drift into terrorism.

“Fatima,” which is repped by Pyramide, won over Arnaud Desplechin’s “My Golden Years,” Stephane Brize’s “The Measure of a Man,” Xavier Giannoli’s “Marguerite,” Bruno Podalydes’s “The Sweet Escape,” Antoine Barraud’s “Portrait of an Artist” and Rithy Panh’s “Missing Picture.”

Nicolas Pariser’s “The Great Game,” meanwhile, won for the Louis Delluc prize for best directorial debut. “The Great Game” won over Deniz Gamze Erguven’s “Mustang” which is the French candidate in the foreign-language Oscar race. Clement Cogitore’s “The Wakhan Front,” Thomas Salvador’s “Vincent” and Cyprien Vial’s “Young Tiger” also competed for the first film award.

The Louis Delluc prize kicks off the French awards season, which culminates with the Cesar Awards in February. The Louis Delluc jury is presided by former Cannes Film Festival president Gilles Jacob and comprised of film critics.

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