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Bad Hunter, a short film by Belgian-Kurdish director Sahim Omar Kalifa, is one of 10 films shortlisted for the upcoming Oscars in the category of Best Live Action Short. The five nominees will be announced on January 14, and the awards ceremony is scheduled for February 28.
Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences chose Bad Hunter out of 144 qualifying shorts. Sahim Omar Kalifa’s film tells the story of 19-year-old Bahoz. Every day, he goes to the mountains to hunt, although he catches very little. But one day, something happens that will change his life forever.
Black, The Ardennes and Cafard will be in official competition at the Gijón International Film Festival in Spain (20-28 November). The short film section additionally includes Copain by Jan and Raf Roosens, while Zurich and Phantom Boy, two co-productions with Flanders, have also been selected.
Black, the second feature by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah after their debut Image, competes in the festival’s official competition. It is a modern Brussels-based gang story about 15-year-old Mavela who falls in love with Marwan, a boy from a rival youth gang. The Caviar-produced film has won the Discovery Award in Toronto and the Audience Award at the Film Fest Ghent.
Robin Pront’s feature debut The Ardennes and Jan and Raf Roosens’s short film Copain will take part in the Official Competition at the European Film Festival in Les Arcs, France (12-19 December). The programme also includes Couple in a Hole by Tom Geens - a co-production with Flanders - and A Bigger Splash starring Matthias Schoenaerts.
Frederike Migom’s short film Nkosi Coiffure and Tank by animation pioneer Raoul Servais are among the prize-winners at this year’s Semana Internacional de Cine in Valladolid, Spain (24-31 October). Nkosi Coiffure won the Meeting Point Award for Best International Short while Tank shared the Silver Spike in the main competition with French short film Café froid.
Nkosi Coiffure received its world premiere at the Montreal World Film Festival, followed by a European premiere in Valladolid’s Meeting Point section, where the film was given the Award for Best International Short Film.
The Pond, a short horror film by Jeroen Dumoulein, continues its international career with a batch of invitations to genre film festivals in the US and Europe.
Starring Xenia Borremans, Sara Debosschere, Kirsten Pieters and Tibo Vandenborre, The Pond is a poetic horror story about a girl who tries to unravel the frightening mystery of the black pond behind the family house. Director Jeroen Dumoulein recently also co-directed Flemish TV series New Texas, Strikers and the upcoming Coppers.
Five shorts from Flanders have been invited to the Valladolid International Film Festival (24-31 October) in Spain, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. Three of them - Perdition County, Shadow and Tank - have been selected for Official Competition, while Billy the Bully and Nkosi Coiffure are competing in the Meeting Point section.
For its 60th edition, the Valladolid International Film Festival invited a record number of five shorts from Flanders. Three of them are selected for Official Competition, which makes them contenders for the EFA Short Film Competition.
Robin Pront's feature debut The Ardennes is the opening attraction at the 42nd Film Fest Ghent (13-24 October). The film, receiving its European première, is just one of the many indigenous titles Belgium's oldest and largest festival has in its programme this year. There are in total five Flemish features, one TV series, a dozen shorts, and two co-productions with Flanders.
Opening the Fest is The Ardennes starring Veerle Baetens (The Broken Circle Breakdown), Kevin Janssens and Jeroen Perceval, with the latter also co-writing the script with director Robin Pront. The film has already attracted attention at this year's Toronto International Film Festival where it had its world premiere and was picked up by distributors in such key territories as France (Diaphana) and Italy (Satine). Producer is Bart van Langendonck for Savage Film, the company behind Oscar-nominated Bullhead. International sales are handled by Montreal-based Attraction Distribution.
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.
Gust Van den Berghe's Lucifer and Kristof Hoornaert's short Empire are both invites to the 59th edition of the BFI London Film Festival (7 – 18 October). Four co-productions with Flanders - Couple in a Hole, Les cowboys, Schneider vs. Bax and The Brand New Testament (Le tout nouveau testament) - also made it to the final selection.
Lucifer is Gust Van den Berghe's third feature and the final installment to his tryptic to which Little Baby Jesus of Flandr and Blue bird also belong. On his downfall from Heaven to Hell, Lucifer passes through the earthly paradise, a village in Mexico, where elderly Lupita and her granddaughter Maria live. Lupita's brother Emanuel pretends he's paralyzed so he can drink and gamble while the two women tend to the sheep. Lucifer senses an opportunity and plays the miraculous healer. He forces Emanuel to walk again, seduces Maria and makes Lupita doubt about her faith. He didn't bring bad luck, he only illuminated the line between good and evil, where it didn't exist before.
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.