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Buddy (Copain), the new short film by Jan and Raf Roosens, has been selected for the Official Competition of the Cannes Film Festival (13-24 May). Paradise, an animated short film by Laura Vandewynckel, has also been invited to join the Cinéfondation programme of the Festival.
The Roosens brothers’ 15-minute short Buddy follows Fré, a teenager trapped between his conservative, wealthy family and his working-class friends. He manages to keep both worlds separate - until he falls in love.
On April 17, Twilight of a Life by Sylvain Biegeleisen is to open the International Documentary Film Festival Visions du Réel in Nyon, Switzerland. The festival programme also includes Battles, The Rabbit and the Teasel and the short film On Difference As Such. A fifth documentary from Flanders, The Colour of the Chameleon, has been selected for the Pitching du Réel co-production platform. Visions du Réel runs from 17-25 April.
Twilight of a Life is an upbeat portrait of a 94-year-old woman confronting the restrictions of her age, and the relationship she has with her son and the film’s director. Although doctors once gave her just weeks to live, she lived another two years. For her son, this became an opportunity to create a film about life, full of humour and emotion.
The 42nd annual Athens International Film + Video Festival kicked off on April 3 with seven Flemish productions in its line-up. Selected films include Alidor Dolfing’s Wien for Life; A Handful by Katrien Vermeire; and Olivier Vanden Bussche’s animated short To Build a Fire.
An Vrombaut, author of the successful British animated series 64 Zoo Lane, will be in Athens with The Tie. The short animation film tells the story of the chance meeting between a small giraffe and a tall one. Despite their obvious difference in stature, they discover a kinship.
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.
Sahim Omar Kalifa’s short film Bad Hunter has won the award for the Best International Short Film at the 31st International Love Film Festival in Mons, Belgium (20-27 February). The award marks the fifth international acknowledgement for Bad Hunter.
Since its release in August, Bad Hunter has picked up five awards. It premiered at the Montreal World Film Festival, where it won the Jury Award for Best Short Film. At the Valladolid International Film Festival it went on to pick up the Silver Spike, followed by the Jury Prize in Dubai and the Special Jury Award for best International Short at Australia’s Flickerfest.
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).
Home, the new film from arthouse auteur Fien Troch, is among five Flemish features to receive support in the 2.85 million euro winter funding round announced by the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF). Also receiving production funding is Zagros, the feature debut of acclaimed short filmmaker Sahim Omar Kalifa.T
Troch, a fiercely personal filmmaker noted for such titles as Someone Else’s Happiness, Unspoken and Kid, breaks with tradition by sharing the writing credit on Home with her husband, acclaimed film editor Nico Leunen, whose cutting credits include Oscar nominee The Broken Circle Breakdown and Ryan Gosling’s 2014 Cannes entry, Lost River. The film, whose screenplay last autumn won the Arte International Award at the TorinoFilmLab, tells the story of a 16-year-old boy trying to find his place in the world against a background of intergenerational conflict. Producer is Antonino Lombardo of Prime Time.
Baghdad Messi, the short film by Kurdish-Flemish director Sahim Omar Kalifa, has won the prize for Best Short Film at the Irvine International Film Festival in the US. This award marks the 50th international acknowledgment for Baghdad Messi since the filmstarted its awards career in 2013.
Baghdad Messi tells the story of10-year-old Hamoudi, who is obsessed with football andworships Lionel Messi, as do all his friends. But on the eve of the long-awaited Champions League final between FC Barcelona and Manchester United, Hamoudi’s television set breaks down. Afraid of being shunned by his mates, the boy urges his father to make the dangerous trip to Baghdad to have the TV repaired.
Sahim Omar Kalifa’s latest short film Bad Hunter has won the Special Jury Award for Best International Short at the Flickerfest International Short Film Festival in Sydney, Australia (9-18 January). Since its international premiere, Bad Hunter has screened at five international festivals and won awards at four of them.
The film tells the story of 19-year-old Bahoz, who regularly goes into the mountains to hunt but catches very little. Today, however, will change his life for ever.
Several films and co-productions from Flanders were programmed at this year’s Rotterdam International Film Festival (IFFR, 21 January – 1 February). Isabelle Tollenaere’s Battles, Sarah Vanagt’s In Waking Hours and Thierry Knauff’s Vita Brevis, a co-production with Flanders, premiered at the festival. Black, Sequenza and Kosmos were also part of the programme, while student shorts The Visitor, The Second of August and Hotel Red Shoes were shown in the Signals: 24/7 section. Finally, the Screen Flanders-supported feature Between 10 and 12 was part of the line-up in the Limelight section.
Isabelle Tollenaere presented her latest documentary Battles, Sarah Vanagt presented In Waking Hours, and also Thierry Knauff's Vita Brevis premiered at the festival. Black Sequenza, Kosmos were also part of the programme, while student shorts The Visitor, The Second of August and Hotel Red Shoes were shown in the Signals: 24/7 section. Finally, Between 10 and 12 was part of the line-up in the Limelight section.