When Georgie Bean was announced the winner of the 'Critiques de Film French Student Film Critic Prize' she was stunned.
“I had my doubts if I’m honest,” she confessed.
After spending her summer break, “reading all the other reviews” from the five rounds of entries, she thought, “everyone else did such an amazing job and I kind of came to terms with the fact that I wasn't going to win. So when they called my name I was like oh my god, what's going on?”
Georgie was awarded the prize for her thought-provoking review of the French coming-of-age film, Tomboy (Céline Sciamma, 2011). In Georgie’s words, the piece, “chronicles the summer experiences of 10-year-old Laure (played by Zoé Héran), as they navigate identity on the cusp of adolescence. Laure is given the chance to redefine their self-hood after moving into a new building and introducing themselves as a boy, Mikäel, despite maintaining their identity as a girl at home.”
Judge and student commissioning editor, Sophie Tallis commended Georgie for her fresh perspective on the film.
“She writes such a beautiful critique of the film Tomboy that really demonstrates a balance of Australian and French cultural knowledge and commentary. Her writing about how gender exists in the French language and her thoughts on the film from a 2020s perspective while considering its early 2010s context was wonderful.”
Writing the critique came naturally to Georgie, “there's a lot in the film – it’s very beautiful and has a lot to say about gender and the use of French language. So it’s really awesome that we're kind of moving into these newer and more interesting places in French.”
Thanks to the generosity of the French Embassy, Georgie was awarded a $2,000 prize to fund a French experience of choice.
“To have that sort of money to spend on French is such an amazing opportunity and is a real weight off my shoulders.”
And Georgie has already got something in mind.
“I was fortunate enough to be accepted to the Global Paris course that's running at the end of the year. So I'm thinking of putting the money towards that” she revealed.
Following her win, Georgie had the opportunity to speak at the Embassy during Francophonie week. She attended with Sophie, who escorted all of the finalists to the Embassy, where they met with Ambassador Jean-Pierre Thébault, diplomats and many others connected to the French community in Canberra.
Georgie encourages other students to apply for the prize, even if they think their writing isn’t “political” or “focused enough on French culture.” As Georgie learned, writing from the heart and sharing your unique perspective is what can set you apart.
She insists, “Give it a go. The worst that can happen is you get to watch a pretty good movie.”