Alt Film Guide
Classic movies. Gay movies. International cinema. Socially conscious & political cinema.
Home Movie AwardsCannes Winners Cannes Festival Awards: How to Have Sex Tops Un Certain Regard

Cannes Festival Awards: How to Have Sex Tops Un Certain Regard

How to Have Sex Mia McKenna-Bruce CannesHow to Have Sex with Mia McKenna-Bruce: Un Certain Regard Prize winner at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.
  • 2023 Cannes Film Festival winners: Molly Manning Walker’s directorial feature debut How to Have Sex – about three British teenagers spending a rowdy summer in Crete – was named Best Film at the Un Certain Regard sidebar.

Cannes Film Festival 2023 awards: First-time feature director Molly Manning Walker’s British drama How to Have Sex tops Un Certain Regard sidebar

Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

The picture remains fuzzy when it comes to the 2023 Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or. (We’ll be posting this year’s winners once they’re announced at the awards ceremony on May 27.)

Favorites include Justine Triet’s mystery drama Anatomy of a Fall (did writer Sandra Hüller really murder her husband?), Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest (Sandra Hüller again, now as the wife of Auschwitz commander Rudolf Höss), and Alice Rohrwacher’s The Chimera (obsessed with his lost love, an Italian-speaking Josh O’Connor takes to raiding tombs – with a purpose).

On the other hand, the suspense is already over for Cannes’ Un Certain Regard titles. Headed by U.S. actor John C. Reilly (Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee for Chicago, 2002), the five-person jury has made its selections, with screenwriter-director Molly Manning Walker’s How to Have Sex named Best Film. (See further below the full list of this year’s Un Certain Regard winners.)

The filmmaker’s directorial debut, How to Have Sex chronicles the emotional ups and downs of three British teenagers (Mia McKenna-Bruce, Lara Peake, Enva Lewis) spending a (potentially) virginity-busting summer in Crete – one with potentially lasting consequences. The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw praised the drama for its “full-on energy, likable performances and uncompromisingly daft jokes” and Mia McKenna Bruce for her “intriguingly sympathetic, complex and even mysterious performance.”

Moroccan cinema ascendancy

The Jury Prize was given to Kamal Lazraq’s Moroccan drama Hounds / Les meutes, about father and son (Abdellatif Masstouri and Ayoub Elaid) eking out a living in the suburbs of Casablanca by committing petty crimes for the local mafia.

Another Casablanca-set feature, The Mother of All Lies / Kadib Abyad, earned Asmae El Moudir the Best Director prize. Using figurines to represent her old neighbors, friends, and family members – several of whom are interviewed – El Moudir delves into long-buried family secrets with a sociopolitical angle.

Jury President John C. Reilly

Twenty features were in competition in the Un Certain Regard sidebar, among them eight titles directed by newcomers that are also in contention for the Caméra d’Or.

The opening night film was Thomas Cailley’s The Animal Kingdom / Le règne animal, a dystopian adventure drama starring Romain Duris, Adèle Exarchopoulos, and Paul Kircher. Alex Lutz’s romantic drama Strangers by Night / Une nuit, starring Lutz and Karin Viard, was the closing night film.

Besides John C. Reilly, the Un Certain Regard jury consisted of German actress Paula Beer (Berlin Film Festival winner for Undine, 2020), French-Cambodian director-producer Davy Chou (Best Director Asian Film Award nominee for Return to Seoul, 2022), Belgian actress Émilie Dequenne (César winner for Love Affair(s) / The Things We Say, the Things We Do, 2020), and French screenwriter-director Alice Winocour (Best Original Screenplay César co-winner for Mustang, 2015).

Un Certain Regard winners

Best Film: How to Have Sex (United Kingdom | Greece)

Jury Prize: Hounds (Morocco | France | Belgium | Qatar | Saudi Arabia)

Directing Prize: Asmae El Moudir for The Mother of All Lies (Morocco | Egypt | Saudi Arabia | Qatar)

Ensemble Prize: The Buriti Flower / Crowrã, dir.: João Salaviza & Renée Nader Messora (Portugal | Brazil)

New Voice Prize: Omen / Augure, dir.: Baloji (Democratic Republic of Congo | Belgium | The Netherlands | Germany | South Africa)

Freedom Prize: Goodbye Julia / Wadaean Julia, dir.: Mohamed Kordofani (Sudan | Sweden | Germany | Saudi Arabia | France | Egypt)

“Cannes Festival Awards: How to Have Sex Tops Un Certain Regard” notes

Cannes Film Festival website.

See also: U.S. actor Michael Douglas receives Honorary Palme d’Or.

Mia McKenna-Bruce How to Have Sex movie image: Nikos Nikolopoulos | MUBI.

“Cannes Festival Awards: How to Have Sex Tops Un Certain Regard” last updated in May 2023.

Recommended for You

Leave a Comment

*IMPORTANT*: By using this form you agree with Alt Film Guide's storage and handling of your data (e.g., your IP address). Make sure your comment adds something relevant to the discussion: Feel free to disagree with us and write your own movie commentaries, but *thoughtfulness* and *at least a modicum of sanity* are imperative. Abusive, inflammatory, spammy/self-promotional, baseless (spreading mis- or disinformation), and just plain deranged comments will be zapped. Lastly, links found in submitted comments will generally be deleted.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. If you continue browsing, that means you've accepted our Terms of Use/use of cookies. You may also click on the Accept button on the right to make this notice disappear. Accept Read More