Thomas Dekker in Kaboom

Bisexual American director Gregg Araki’s new film Kaboom has won the first ever ‘Queer Palm’ award at the Cannes Film Festival.

The unofficial award is given to films that offer a “contribution to lesbian, gay, bi or trans” issues.

Kaboom is described as a comedy sci-fi film about the sexual awakening of a group of students after a bisexual college student (Thomas Dekker) witnesses a murder while on a powerful hallucinogenic.

The film has received very mixed reviews, with The Hollywood Reporter describing it as “…a sophomoric exercise in black comedy, supernatural excess and apocalyptic silliness mixed in with straight/gay/bi soft-core porn.”

Araki (51) is best known for directing the acclaimed Mysterious Skin (2005) but has a background of low-budget independent films, often with an anarchic slant.

The Queer Palm follows in the tradition of the Berlin Film Festival’s gay Teddy Award, which was first presented in 1987. The Venice Film Festival also has its Queer Lion.

“I thought that the world’s biggest film festival could no longer ignore this sector,” Queer Palm founder Franck Finance-Madureira told Agence France Presse.

“The festival gave us its non-official blessing. We hope next to have a corner in the Cannes Market to attract producers and distributors,” he said.

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