UK: Gay miners’ strike film wins Queer Palm award at Cannes

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A British film about gay activists supporting the miners’ strike has been awarded the ‘Queer Palm’ award at Cannes Film Festival.

Pride is based on the true story of how a group of gay activists decided to raise money to support the families of striking miners in 1984, forming bonds between the two very different communities.

It stars Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Andrew Scott and Paddy Considine, and was directed by the Tony Award winning theatre director Matthew Warchus.

The Queer Palm award is an unofficial prize at Cannes, awarded to the best LGBT-related film, which promotes sexual diversity.

Commending the film, the jury said: “This film reminds us that all political, sexual or social struggles in opposition to reactionary and conservative forces are born out of a direct and dedicated activism.

“This film reminds us the gay movement has its roots in issues larger than itself: class consciousness, social equality and freedom of expression.

“This film presents all of these issues in a somewhat conventional form but without succumbing to obvious stereotypes or over-simplified scenario.

“This film represents its characters and situations with subtlety and compassion, while reminding us that our struggle continues.”

It is the first time a British film has taken home the prize, which debuted in 2010.

Organiser Franck Finance-Madur told AFP: “It’s important here in Cannes to think together about problems inherent to the production of queer films that promote sexual diversity.”

Pride, which is a joint project between Pathé, BBC Films, the BFI and Calamity Films, is due for release in the UK on September 12.