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The Brand New Testament, the new feature film by Jaco Van Dormael, has been invited to the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes (14-24 May). A co-production between Belgium, France and Luxembourg, the film boasts on-camera talent from Flanders including Laura Verlinden, Johan Leysen, Viviane De Muynck and Johan Heldenbergh, plus An Pierlé in the music department.
Van Dormael’s surreal comedy The Brand New Testament stars Belgian actor Benoît Poelvoorde as God. Living in Brussels, he is a despicable coward with pathetic morals who is mean to his wife (Yolande Moreau) and his daughter, played by young Pili Groyne (Two Days, One Night, Alleluia). Frustrated by her father’s unacceptable behaviour, the girl takes revenge by posting the dates of death of the entire world population on the Internet.
Roel Reiné’s historical drama Admiral: Michiel de Ruyter is to receive a gala presentation at this year’s fifth edition of the Beijing International Film Festival (17-20 April). Co-produced for Flanders by Ciné Cri de Coeur, the film was supported by the Screen Flanders Economic Fund.
Set in the mid-17th Century, Admiral: Michiel de Ruyter tells the story of the legendary Dutch admiral and takes us back to the time when the Netherlands was one of the world’s largest maritime nations.
Paradise Trips, the feature film debut by Flemish director Raf Reyntjens, is to be released in its home territory on August 19. Starring Jeroen Perceval (Bullhead) and Gene Bervoets (Borgman), the film will be distributed by Cinéart.
All his life, coach driver Mario has shuttled old age pensioners to the sunny south. Today, on the verge of his own retirement, he has to take a motley crew of partygoers to a music festival in Croatia. But what was to be Mario's final job soon turns into a life-changing road trip, confronting him not only with his own prejudices but also with his long-lost son.
This year, Germany’s international art fair Art Cologne (16-19 April) shines a light on film and video work from Flanders and Brussels. Under the title ‘Flanders Moving Image’, work by artists such as Nicolas Provost, Johan Grimonprez and Dora García will be presented.
The curators are Professor Philippe Pirotte, rector of the University of Visual Arts, and Fabian Schöneich, curator at the Portikus exposition space in Frankfurt am Main; they offer a focused look into the artistic production of Belgium without emphasising a specific generation or theme.
Simone van Dusseldorp's Dutch/Belgian co-production Life According to Nino has won the prize for best youth film at the International Children and Young People's Film Festival (9-14 March) in Malmö, Sweden. Earlier this year the film picked up the prize for best children’s film at the Cinekid Festival in Amsterdam.
When his mother dies, eight-year-old Nino no longer goes to school, stops bathing and eats crisps for breakfast. Nino isn’t the only one acting strangely in the family: his brother Lucas starts to raise hell in the city and even his father Bruno is no longer his usual self. At first this seems great fun, but Nino soon starts missing the affection of his father and brother. When Nino discovers he can talk to animals, he sets things to right with his rabbit Bobby.
Gust Van den Berghe’s third feature Lucifer has been selected for this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York (17-28 April). The film will be presented in the Viewpoints programme, showcasing 12 filmmakers experimenting with identity.
In the film Lucifer, on his fall from heaven to hell, unexpectedly lands in a Mexican village where old Lupita and her granddaughter Maria live, and senses an opportunity to make some mischief.
Halfway, Waste Land, Labyrinthus and Violet have all been selected for the Cleveland International Film Festival (18-29 March). Also in the line-up are short film Wien for Life, together with Alleluia, Ne me quitte pas and Above Us All, three co-productions with Flanders.
Halfway, the sixth feature of Come As You Are director Geoffrey Enthoven and scripted by Pierre De Clercq, will be presented in Cleveland’s After Hours programme. In Halfway, Stephen moves into the luxury home he managed to buy at a rock-bottom price. But his peace is soon disturbed by Theo, who claims to be the rightful owner. But Theo, it turns out, died two years ago.
Waste Land and Alleluia are part of the same section. Previously presented in Toronto, Les Arcs and Austin, Pieter Van Hees’s Waste Land is about taciturn homicide detective Leo Woeste, whose very last homicide case slowly drags him deeper into the grim underbelly of Brussels. Eurydice Gysel and Koen Mortier produced the film for Epidemic (Borgman, Rivers Return).
Belgian Rhapsody, the new feature film by Vincent Bal, has been sold to France, Japan, South Korea and Turkey. The film screened at the European Film Market (EFM) during the Berlin Film Festival. Negotiations with distributors for other countries are ongoing.
Belgian Rhapsody had its market premiere in Berlin. Distributor Paradis Films (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Soeur Sourire) acquired the rights to release the film in France, while Fine Films (Under the Skin, Dallas Buyers Club) acquired Japanese distribution rights. Seed will distribute the film in South Korea and Mor Film will handle its Turkish release.
Flemish actor Filip Peeters starts shooting his directorial debut Wat mannen willen (What Men Want) on February 16, bringing together a team of established Flemish actors including Tom Audenaert (Come As You Are), Gene Bervoets (Borgman) and Evelien Bosmans (Marina).
Wat mannen willen is about six men who have one thing in common: they’re all looking for the perfect love - a quest that is far from easy these days, since men (and women too) don’t seem to know what women want any more.
Cub, Jonas Govaerts’s feature film debut, has been sold to the US. Sales agent Kinology has announced that Artsploitation Film will be releasing the film next summer, with video-on-demand and DVD release scheduled for the autumn.
Cub is about 12-year-old Sam, who heads off to camp with his fellow cub scouts. He soon stumbles upon a masked, feral-looking child, who turns out to be the assistant to the Poacher, an evil psychopath who is intent on slaughtering the scouts one by one.