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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.
Belgian director Wouter Bouvijn has been invited to the Arc 1950 Co-Production Village in Les Arcs where he will pitch his upcoming debut feature Escape. The festival has also announced its full line-up, which includes the animated short Catherine as well as some co-productions with Flanders. As previously announced, Fien Troch’s Home and Brosens and Woodworths’ King of the Belgians will also screen in Les Arcs.
Over three days, the Co-Production Village presents a selection of 20 European feature films in development to professionals interested in a financial or production participation. Among those invited this year is Wouter Bouvijn (Crossroads), who is currently preparing his debut feature Escape (fka (F)light).
Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth’s King of the Belgians has been invited to the Busan International Film Festival (6-15 October) in South Korea, as has Boris Sverlow’s short film Gerontophobia, which is to receive its world premiere there.
In early September, King of the Belgians premiered in the Orizzonti Competition of the Venice Film Festival, where Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth’s mockumentary road movie was well received. In Busan, the film will screen as part of the World Cinema programme.
Manu Riche’s feature film debut Problemski Hotel, based on a novel by best-selling Belgian author Dimitri Verhulst, is the opening film of this year’s Raindance Film Festival (21 September-2 October) in London. The festival closes with Dominik Moll’s News from Planet Mars, which stars Flemish actress Veerle Baetens. Raindance previously announced its slate of shorts, including Nkosi Coiffure and Feel Sad for the Bunny.
Manu Riche’s Problemski Hotel was chosen to open this year’s edition for its “creativity and ability to captivate audiences”. The film is to have its UK premiere at Raindance and reveals the changes that occur in the lives of several people born in areas affected by war and armed conflict.
Peter Monsaert’s Le Ciel Flamand and Souvenir, directed by Bavo Defurne, have both been invited to the BFI London Film Festival (5-16 October). The programme also includes a documentary and several shorts from Flanders as well as various co-productions.
Le Ciel Flamand premiered in Toronto on 11 September, followed by a European premiere at the San Sebastian Film Festival. In London, Peter Monsaert’s drama about three generations of women is set to appear in the ‘Thrill’ programme of the Festival’s official selection.
Vincent, the new feature by Moscow, Belgium director Christophe Van Rompaey, is to have its world premiere at the Locarno International Film Festival (3-13 August). Starring Spencer Bogaert, Barbara Sarafian and French actress Alexandra Lamy, the film will have an open-air screening in the Piazza Grande. In addition to Vincent, Leonardo Van Dijl’s short film Umpire has been invited for the Pardi di Domani Competition.
Vincent is an ecologically obsessed 17-year-old who drives his family crazy with his attempts to reduce their carbon footprint. His giddy French aunt Nikki takes him on a trip to France, convinced that the boy’s obsession is caused by his suffocating mother. But on their road trip, Vincent proves to be much more than Nikki can handle.
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.
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.
The short documentary film Flower of a Thousand Colours by Karen Vázquez Guadarrama has been selected for the Future Frames programme (4-5 July) at the International Film Festival of Karlovy Vary. The annual initiative, in collaboration with European Film Promotion (EFP), shines the spotlight on 10 upcoming film talents. Flower of a Thousand Colours is the second Flemish short in a row to be selected for Future Frames.
Karen Vázquez Guadarrama graduated from the School of Arts in Ghent with her short film Flower of a Thousand Colours which tells the story of Emiliana, a single mother trying to survive in a remote Bolivian mining camp 4,897 metres above sea level.
Last weekend, Frederike Migom’s short film Nkosi Coiffure took home the award for Best Short at the Filmfest DC, the International Film Festival of the US capital. Washington is the latest stopover on the film’s successful festival career
“This film captures the moment when diversity and the universality of being human intersect, and does so with originality and insight,” said the jury citation. “We are very happy to have the opportunity to support this young filmmaker and we look forward to seeing what's next for her.”