EN - A documentary following a group of ageing drag artists who set out, one last time, to relive their once glamorous lives by touring their play ‘Gardenia’ around Europe and Southeast Asia. Time has left its physical traces: their hair has grown a little thinner, their bellies a little bigger and their butts a little slacker. But when the spotlights are on all of that is forgotten and the glittery stage life of make-up, silk stockings and feather boas begins, transforming them from ordinary humans into stage divas.
|Title||Before The Last Curtain Falls|
|Original title||Before The Last Curtain Falls|
|Running time film||90'|
|Supported by||Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), Film- und Medienstiftung NRW|
|Production partners||Gebrueder Beetz (D), Polar Star Films (ES), ZDF/arte, SRF, ORF|
2014: Hot Docs - Canadian International Documentary Festival (CA), Docville (BE), DOK.Fest (DE), Vancouver International Film Festival (CA), Rejkjavik International Film Festival (IS), Mix Copenhagen LGTB Festival (DK), Prix Europa, IDFA - International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (NL)
2014: Special Jury Award - Hot Docs (CA)
Pieter Van Hees’s crime thriller Waste Land and Peter Krüger’s poetic docu-drama N – The Madness of Reason were the main winners at this year’s Ensors, the awards celebrating Belgian cinema from Flanders, taking home four and three Ensors respectively.
Waste Land won Best Script, Best Supporting Actor (Peter Van den Begin) and Best Supporting Actress (Babetida Sadjo). Waste Land’s success was not a huge surprise, as the film also had the highest number of nominations. But it was the docu-drama N: The Madness of Reason that grabbed the top honour: Best Film.
Before the Last Curtain Falls, Twilight of a Life and Waiting for August are nominated for this year's Best Documentary Ensor Award. Nominations in the Best Short category went to Homeful Bliss, L'infini, The Pond, Oma, Paradise and Mechanical Waltz. The winners will be announced on at a gala closing the Ostend Film Festival on 19 September.
Before the Last Curtain Falls (Gardenia), Thomas Wallner portrays a group of ageing drag artists who set out, one last time, to relive their once glamorous lives by touring their play ‘Gardenia’ around Europe and Southeast Asia. Sylvain Biegeleisen's Twilight of a Life follows the final week's of his 94-year-old mother's life. It's a film about life, full of humour and emotion… In Waiting For August, Teodora Ana Mihai follows 15-year-old Georgiana Halmac who lives with her six siblings in a social housing block on the outskirts of Bacau, Romania. While their mother is away earning a living in Italy, Georgiana is catapulted into the role of head of the family and finds her adolescence cut brutally short.
The German-Belgian documentary Before The Last Curtain Falls received its American premiere at the Atlanta Film Festival where it won the Best Pink Peach Feature Award. Recently, the film also claimed the Grand Prize at the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) in Montreal, one of the world’s most prestigious art film festivals.
In the documentary, German-Canadian director Thomas Wallner follows a group of Flemish transsexual actresses and drag queens, all in their sixties and seventies, as they prepare to shine on stage one last time. Their stories became the foundation of the theatre piece Gardenia, directed by Alain Platel and Frank Van Laecke, which took them on tour around the world.
TV series Marsman, directed by Mathias Sercu and Eshref Reybrouck, has been selected for Official Competition at this year’s FIPA, the Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels held in Biarritz, France, from 20-25 January. Also showing is top European crime series The Team, which is a co-production with Flanders. Lieven Corthouts’s cross-media documentary project Emergency Exit has been selected for Smart FIP@, while Before The Last Curtain Falls – a co-production with Flanders – is also part of the programme. Finally, the Screen Flanders-supported BBC series The Missing is to receive a special screening.
Eleven international series are competing in FIPA’s Fiction Competition this year, including Flemish series Marsman, which won a Prix Italia at the end of 2014. A tragicomedy, it follows 40-year-old Nico Marsman who struggles to find a way to get his life back on track.
Waiting for August, the documentary feature by Romanian-Flemish director Teodora Ana Mihai, has won the Best International Feature Award at Hot Docs, Toronto’s world-renowned documentary film festival (24 April – 4 May). Meanwhile, the film was also given a Special Mention at the Visions du Réel festival in Switzerland, as was Ellen Vermeulen’s documentary 9999. Finally, Before The Last Curtain Falls, a co-production with Flanders, was also awarded at Hot Docs.
Teodora Ana Mihai’s documentary debut Waiting for August screened in Hot Docs’ international competition, alongside 12 other documentary features.
Last edited on 5 August 2015