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Talk will be top of the menu at October’s invitation-only Flemish event, but otherwise it will be business as usual - with one small exception. It’s no longer just NeXT: in 2017, it’s time to CONNeXT.
Following last autumn’s highly successful pilot held just before Film Fest Gent in the picturesque Flemish city, the platform bringing together international distributors, sales agents and festival directors with the cream of Flemish filmmaking talent will be back in October with a larger line-up but the same friendly focus.
The event, whose slogan is ‘Connect to what’s new and who’s next’, will run over an intense and hospitable three days of networking, screenings and keynote talks running from October 8-11.
Juanita Onzaga’s documentary short The Jungle Knows You Better Than You Do has been selected for the Generation 14plus Competition at the Berlin International Film Festival (9-19 February). The animated feature Richard the Stork, which was co-produced with Flanders, also premiers in the Generation section.
Juanita Onzaga’s film, a cross between documentary and fiction, is set in Colombia, a country portrayed as a land of ghosts. The filmmaker follows her brother Pablo deep into the jungle in search of the spirit of their dead father. There, they uncover truths and attract unexpected company.
Nothing Is Forgiven, the new documentary by Vincent Coen and Guillaume Vandenberghe, has been selected for the Official Competition at FIPA, the International Festival of Audiovisual Programmes in France. The programme also includes Jan Eelen’s comedy series Callboys.
Nothing Is Forgiven is the story of activist and journalist Zineb El Rhazoui, who leaves Morocco for Paris after the Arab Spring. She finds a new professional family at 'Charlie Hebdo'… until the terrorist attack. She becomes the most protected woman in France, but the birth of her baby girl drastically changes her outlook on the future. And her opponents haven’t forgiven her…
Belgian actor Eric Kabongo plays one of the main roles in the German comedy Willkommen bei den Hartmanns. The film has recently been topping the charts in Germany and has launched Kabongo’s international career.
In Willkommen bei den Hartmanns, Kabongo plays Diallo, a Nigerian refugee who is offered a home by a well-off Munich family. He soon makes friends with the family members, but they are tested when they have to face racism, bureaucracy and suspicions of terrorism because of him. The comedy passed the 500,000-admissions mark in its opening weekend and is currently at number one in the German charts.
Matthijs Vleugels’s documentary feature Silent Wilderness is to have its world premiere at Amsterdam’s International Documentary Film Festival, which runs until November 27. Also at IDFA, Ben Asamoah’s new project Sakawa has been selected for Forum, the festival’s co-production platform.
Screening as part of the Panorama section, Silent Wilderness explores the emotional pain of a couple whose adopted Korean son went missing in the woods of Hungary 13 years ago. Producer of the film is Peter Krüger of Inti Films, who is also attending IDFA’s Forum to present Sakawa.
Pieter-Jan De Pue’s hybrid documentary The Land of the Enlightened is one of the nominees for Best European Documentary at this year’s European Film Awards. Another of the five contenders is A Family Affair by Tom Fassaert, which was co-produced with Flanders. The winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on December 10.
The European Film Academy (EFA) unveiled this year’s nominees on Sunday November 6 at the Seville European Film Festival. The Documentary category includes Pieter-Jan De Pue’s debut feature The Land of the Enlightened, a cinematic journey into the beauty of war-torn Afghanistan where Kuchi children wage their own mini-wars.
Kenneth Mercken’s short film Feel Sad for the Bunny has been selected for the Guanajuato International Film Festival in Mexico, where it is to have its international premiere as part of the Oscar-qualifying Short Film Competition. The festival line-up also includes D: 729., an animated short by Levi Stoops; and Johan Grimonprez’s documentary Shadow World, which was co-produced with Flanders.
Feel Sad For the Bunny follows 12-year-old Remy who lives with his older brother Bruno and their au pair, Mihaela. Despite the age difference, Remy has a secret crush on Mihaela. But things threaten to explode between the brothers when Bruno also takes an interest in her.
In addition to Felix van Groeningen’s Belgica and the short film Flower of a Thousand Colours, the line-up of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (1-9 July) also includes Wim Vandekeybus’s Galloping Mind and The Land of the Enlightened by Pieter-Jan De Pue. Geoffrey Enthoven’s 2011 hit Come As You Are has also been picked for one the festival’s thematic sections.
Galloping Mind is part of ‘Another View’, a collection of notable contemporary films. In Vandekeybus’s feature, a twin brother and sister are separated at birth, neither knowing about the other’s existence. Pieter-Jan De Pue’s The Land of the Enlightened is scheduled to screen in the 'Horizons' section.
Pieter-Jan De Pue’s debut feature The Land of the Enlightened has won two awards at the Tarkovsky Film Festival in Russia. The hybrid documentary about Afghan children picked up both the Audience and the Professional Achievement awards.
In presenting the first-time director with the festival’s Professional Achievement Award, the jury cited the way in which De Pue’s experience as a photographer had influenced his work as a film director. In addition, The Land of the Enlightened was also the winner of the Audience Award.
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.