A debut feature from a Quebec director has won big at the 24th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), one of Asia’s leading film fests, which took place October 3 to 12, 2019.

That’s right, Mélanie Charbonneau’s first feature, Fabuleuses (Fabulous) competed in BIFF’s Flash Forward section, where it also made its international premiere. Out of Flash Forward’s 13 contenders, Fabulous took home the Busan Bank Award! This exciting audience award has two components: funds to support the winning film’s Korean distribution, as well as a cash prize.

Filmed in Montreal, this tale of three young women growing up in our modern world of social media and influencers explores such authentic themes as friendship, value, and identity. Fabulous had a theatrical release in Quebec this past August.

Charbonneau is known for the 2014-2015 webseries Les stagiaires, and her short films include 2016’s Seule, which hit the festival circuit from Cannes (Not Short on Talent) to Fantasia. She also made 2018’s Lunar-Orbit Rendezvous, which premiered at the 71st Locarno International Film Festival and — newsflash — just snagged the 2019 Grand Prix, as well as Best Director and Best Screenplay awards at the Sapporo International Short Film Festival in Japan!

Interestingly, the filmmaker, who co-wrote the Fabulous screenplay with Geneviève Pettersen, knows a little something about Internet celebrity from personal experience! In 2006, her early claim to fame before becoming a director was as a “YouTuber” when her L’anti-kamasutra comedic clip generated a million online visits.

Fabulous stars Juliette Gosselin, Noémie O’Farrell, and Mounia Zahzam.