EN - Belgica is the story of two brothers: charismatic and temperamental Frank - a husband, father, and incurable womaniser - and his ambitious-but-green younger brother Jo, who owns a bar called Belgica. They become business partners and quickly Belgica becomes the place to be for great music, beautiful people, and debauched fun - until they learn that running a business on this scale is more complicated than they realised, and their relationship and personal lives suffer. Belgica is an immersive experience of the excess and euphoria of being in the hottest nightclub in town. Set to the eclectic sounds of acclaimed Belgian band Soulwax, the film shows the brothers’ intoxicating ascent to success - and the crash and burn that follows. Belgica is about living in the moment and realising that moving forward is not only inevitable but necessary.
NL - Twee broers, Frank en Jo, zijn elkaar uit het oog verloren… tot Frank begint te werken in het café van Jo. Een gouden zet, want binnen de kortste keren wordt Belgica dé hotspot van het nachtleven. Een zelfverklaard oord van verderf, waar de rock-'n-roll van de bezwete muren spat. The sky lijkt the limit, voor even toch, want het nachtleven is een verslavende trip en de wereld staat nooit stil.
FR - Frank et Jo, deux frères, se sont progressivement éloignés. Ils se rapprochent lorsque Frank s’implique dans la gestion du café de Jo. A deux, ils en font rapidement le lieu incontournable de la vie nocturne: un antre de la débauche qui transpire le rock-‘n-roll et où tout semble possible. Pendant un temps du moins… car la fête ne s’arrête jamais et se transforme vite en trip addictif.
|World première / first public presentation||2016-01-21|
|Cast||Tom Vermeir, Stef Aerts, Hélène Devos, Charlotte Vandermeersch, Boris Van Severen, Sara De Bosschere, Dominique Van Malder, Sam Louwyck, Stefaan De Winter, Silvanus Saow, Ben Benaouisse|
|Art director||Kurt Rigolle|
|Running time film||126'|
|Release format||2:35 scope|
|Aspect ratio||2:35 scope|
|Supported by||the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), Screen Flanders|
|Production partners||Topkapi (NL), Pyramide Productions (FR)|
2016: World Cinema Dramatic Competition - Sundance Film Festival (US), FEST/Belgrade International Film Festival (RS)
- France: Pyramide Films (theatrical)
- the Netherlands: September Film (theatrical)
- ROW: Netflix (SVOD)
Director Felix van Groeningen will be this year’s Master for Future Frames, the initiative hosted by the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and European Film Promotion to promote upcoming film talents. The 10 Future Frames participants – among them Flemish filmmaker Karen Vázquez Guadarrama – will be able to attend a masterclass given by van Groeningen. His latest film Belgica is part of the Official Selection at the Festival.
The director of The Broken Circle Breakdown and The Misfortunates will not only give a masterclass but will also share his wide-ranging experience in filmmaking with the young filmmakers selected for Future Frames’ second edition. During an intensive two-day programme, the 10 emerging professionals will be introduced to the media and film industry, while their short films will be presented to the festival audience.
Following their world premieres at the Sundance Film Festival (21-31 January) in Park City, both Belgica and The Land of the Enlightened return home with an award. Felix Van Groeningen’s Belgica won the Directing Award of the World Cinema Dramatic competition, while Pieter-Jan De Pue’s The Land of the Enlightened was awarded Best Cinematography.
Belgica had the privilege of opening the Sundance Film Festival this year, screening in the World Dramatic Competition. Felix Van Groeningen’s follow-up to the Oscar-nominated The Broken Circle Breakdown is the story of two brothers who become business partners.
There was another strong presence from Flanders at this year’s International Film Festival in Berlin (11-21 February). Actress Martha Canga Antonio took the stage as one of 10 European Shooting Stars; foreign films starring Veerle Baetens and Jan Bijvoet were in the line-up; four film professionals from Flanders were picked for the Berlinale Talents initiative; and a variety of Flemish (co-)productions screened in the European Film Market.
Martha Canga Antonio was one of 10 European Shooting Stars in the spotlight during the Berlinale. The actress made an international impact with her debut role as Mavela in Black, a contemporary Romeo & Juliet story directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. Previous Shooting Stars have included Matthias Schoenaerts, Alicia Vikander, Carey Mulligan and Daniel Brühl.
Belgica, the new film by Broken Circle Breakdown director Felix van Groeningen, is set to have its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival (21-31 January) in Utah. A second film from Flanders, Pieter-Jan De Pue’s debut film The Land of the Enlightened, premiers in the Festival’s Documentary Competition.
Scripted by van Groeningen and Arne Sierens, Belgica is the story of two brothers who start a bar in the midst of Belgium’s nightlife scene but get carried away by its success. Stef Aerts (Oxygen, Cub) and A Band-frontman Tom Vermeir take the lead. Belgian electronic/rock band Soulwax is responsible for the film’s original score.
Autumn 2015 is set to become the busiest season ever for Flemish cinema. 10 Flemish filmmakers will present their first or second feature in the days, weeks and months to come. To celebrate their success, Flanders Image brought the 10 directors together for a photo shoot at Vilvoorde-based camera and lighting rental company Lites.
The photo of the 10 filmmakers - available HERE (PSD) or HERE (JPEG) - is free of rights in HR/300dpi. (credit: Johan Jacobs/Flanders Image)
Last edited on 18 October 2016