And the Awards Go To...

BY Advocate Contributors

February 13 2012 4:00 AM ET

JONSI X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COM

 Céline Sciamma
Director of Tomboy

 French lesbian screenwriter and director Céline Sciamma teased out one of the year's most evocative performances from a young actress, much as she did with her previous film, Water Lilies. In Tomboy, Zoé Héran plays Laure, a 10-year-old who moves to a new neighborhood and introduces herself to the local kids as Michaël, and spends the summer as a boy. It's a brilliant portrayal of gender ambivalence, and Héran's exuberant swagger as she's accepted as a boy — and later develops a crush on a girl — is magnificent. "It's such a great movie," says author and filmmaker Jenni Olson. "I feel like it manages to speak simultaneously to lesbian and trans viewers in a really special way."

That indeed is Sciamma's gift with Tomboy — that she can explore the divide between gender and sex, the question of nature versus nurture, and what Sciamma calls "the sensuality of childhood." The film, its director, and its star have already won a slew of awards on the festival circuit, including the Jury Prize at the 2011 Teddy Awards, which honor films with LGBT themes, at the Berlin International Film Festival.

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