Entering a Grand Hotel has always been a special occasion. In Beira, Mozambique, it was the case, and it still is, but not for the same reasons. In one of the grandest hotels in the world, born of and to luxury, today you enter ‘at own risk’. More than 3500 people live here without water and electricity. They have taken possession of the building and manipulated not only the stones but also the dreams. A journey through present and past of a city in a city, a story about colonial megalomania and revolutionary vanity.
Grande Hotel, Beira, Mozambique. Een van de ‘grandest’ hotels ter wereld, gebouwd door én voor luxe, betreed je vandaag slechts op eigen risico. Meer dan 2500 mensen leven er zonder water of elektriciteit. Zij hebben het hotel ingenomen en vervormden niet enkel zijn stenen, maar ook zijn dromen. Een reis doorheen het heden en verleden van een stad in een stad; een verhaal over koloniale megalomanie, revolutionaire ijdelheid en je thuis voelen.
|Original title||Grande Hotel|
|Original version||Portuguese, English|
|Year of production||2010|
|Editing||Dieter Diependaele, Katarina Türler|
|Music||Lula Pena, Red Gjeci, Tom Vanhecke|
|Running time film||70'|
Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), Netherlands Film Fund, Canvas
Lotte Stoops’ feature documentary, Grande Hotel, has won the Jury Award at the fifth This Human World Film Festival in Vienna (29 November – 9 December). With the Jury Award, the most important prize of the fest, Grande Hotel is assured of an Austrian release and an official screening in the Swiss city of Bern.
Grande Hotel had its world premiere last year at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam and went on to fests such as Hot Docs in Toronto, where it received an Honourable Mention, and the Margaret Mead fest in NY. At the start of 2012, director Stoops also won France Télévision’s Michel Mitrani Award at the 25th Festival International des Programmes Audiovisuels (FIPA) in Biarritz.
Nicolas Provost’s feature debut The Invader and Gust Van den Berghe’s Blue Bird have been nominated for The Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award at Sweden’s Göteborg International Film Festival (27 January-6 February). The festival also selected Lotte Stoops’ Grande Hotel and Tom Fassaert’s An Angel in Doel in the Dokumentärt and Visionärer sections respectively.
A total of eight films from around the world were nominated for the prestigious award. With two Flemish filmmakers nominated out of eight, Belgian cinema from Flanders clearly demonstrated its vibrancy and talent. The Ingmar Berman International Debut Award is awarded to “a debutant who in his film treats an existential theme with a dynamic or experimental approach to the cinematic means of expression.”
Steve Thielemans’s Desert Island took the FIPA d’Or for Creative Documentary at this year's 25th International Festival of Audiovisual Programs (FIPA, 23-29 January). Lotte Stoops’ Grande Hotel received the Michel Mitrani Prize. No less than eight Flemish productions screened at FIPA this year.
The Michel Mitrani Award, named after the late founder of the festival and worth €8,000, is traditionally awarded by France Télévision on the night prior to the closing ceremony. The jury of five selected Grande Hotel from a total of seven nominated films from different sections of the festival.
The Margaret Mead Film Festival (10-13 Nov) in New York has confirmed three Flemish documentaries for its line-up. Both Lotte Stoops’ Grande Hotel, which has the honour of opening the Fest, and Sofie Benoot’s Blue Meridian are selected for the ‘Filmmaker in Person’ programme. Kristof Bilsen’s White Elephant is screening in the shorts programme.
Earlier this year Grande Hotel had its international debut at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. From there it went on to be selected for the prestigious Hot Docs competition in Canada where it received an Honourable Mention. Months later, the film is still popular on the festival circuit as evidenced by the prestigious opening of the Margaret Mead Festival and selections for Silver Docs.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF, 3 - 19 June) presents a Belgian Focus containing seven Flemish and seven French-speaking Belgian films.
One of the titles, Hans Van Nuffel's feature debut Oxygen, also made it into competition. Artistic director of the festival, Mihaj Chirilov, describes the film as an 'intimate film that puts under the microscope individual destines in extreme circumstances'. Since its Montreal World Film Festival debut last year, where it won the Grand Prize of the Americas, Oxygen garnered an impressive number of festival selections and kudos.
Last edited on 12 December 2012