Cannes Awards Best Actress To First Trans Woman

Cannes Awards Best Actress To First Trans Woman
Image: Source: @karsiagascon on Instagram

The Cannes Film Festival has awarded Best Actress to the ensemble cast of “trans gangster musical” Emilia Pérez, making actress Karla Sofía Gascón the first trans woman to win the award. 

Alongside Selena Gomez, Zoe Saldaña and Adriana Paz, Sofía Gascón won the award for the Spanish-language musical about a lawyer (Saldaña) who’s hired to help a cartel leader (Sofía Gascón) escape Mexico to seek gender reassignment surgery.

Sofía Gascón accepted the award on behalf of the four women with an emotional speech, which she dedicated to “all trans people who suffer so much and must keep faith that changing is possible. We all have the opportunity to change for the better, to be better people. If you have made us suffer, it is time for you also to change.” 

Cannes 2024 jury president and Barbie director Greta Gerwig spoke to The Hollywood Reporter on the decision to split the award four ways, saying: “Women together – that’s something we wanted to honour when we made this award. Each of them is a standout, but together transcendent.” 

Alongside the Best Actress award, Emilia Pérez also received the Cannes Jury Prize, which in previous years has been won by films like American Honey, Persepolis and Mommy

Emilia Pérez currently has no release date in Australia, but is set to release in France on August 28th. 

Other news from Cannes

This year’s Queer Palm award went to Emanuel Parvu’s Three Kilometers to the End of the World, a Romanian film about a gay man who is ostracised from his small village. Emilia Pérez was in competition for this award, as well as Viet and Nam and My Sunshine; both of which are playing at the Sydney Film Festival in June. 

Meanwhile, Sean Baker’s sex worker dramedy film Anora walked away with the Palme d’Or this year, while Jesse Plemons won Best Actor for his work in Kinds of Kindness, the latest from Poor Things director Yorgos Lanthimos.

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