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New Flemish drama series Tytgat Chocolate is part of the line-up at Série Series, the French TV Series Summit (29 June – 1 July). The seven-parter, which is currently in post-production, will be part of the ‘In the Pipeline’ programme. In addition, Generation B will be in ‘What’s Next?’, a selection of programmes designed to reveal the series of tomorrow. Both series are produced by deMENSEN.
A road trip-cum-love story, Tytgat Chocolate follows Jasper and his mentally challenged co-workers at a chocolate manufacturing company as they embark on a road trip to find Tina, Jasper’s sweetheart, who has been deported back to her native Kosovo.
Animation projects from Flanders will take centre stage during the first edition of the Flanders Animation Focus at this year’s International Animation Film Festival in Annecy. On 17 June, 11 Flemish producers will pitch their upcoming animation features and series to potential co-producers and buyers. The initiative reflects the ambition of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) to stimulate the production and international promotion of animation from Flanders.
The Flanders region boasts a wide variety of high-end animation studios and creative talent, resulting over the past few years in various nominations and prizes abroad. During the Flanders Animation Focus, 11 projects, both animation features and series, will be presented to potential co-producers, co-financers, buyers and distributors.
New Flemish fiction series Beau Séjour has won the Audience Award at the seventh edition of Séries Mania (15-24 April), the international television festival in Paris. The series was presented in person by directors Nathalie Basteyns and Kaat Beels; scriptwriters Bert Van Dael and Sanne Nuyens; and lead actress Lynn Van Royen. The audience at Séries Mania named the 10-part series joint winner of the Audience Award out of more than 50 series from all over the world. Beau Séjour is also set to air on Arte in France and Germany next year, a first for a Flemish series.
The Séries Mania festival received over 250 submissions from around the world. Beau Séjour was selected as the only Belgian series for the International Competition, together with seven other titles from Norway, Argentina, France, Australia, the UK, Sweden and Israel.
Last weekend The Natives took home three prizes at the awards ceremony of the Flemish Television Stars. The series from production company De Wereldvrede was voted Best Comedy Series. In addition, scriptwriters Bart Vanneste, Dries Heyneman, Wannes Cappelle and Gilles Coulier were awarded the prize for Best Script in Fiction, while Flemish actress Ann Tuts was presented with the award for Best Actress.
The eight-part series depicts the eccentric inhabitants of a picturesque village who are driven by misplaced ambition and vanity. When stand-up comedian Freddy De Vadder comes to town, everything changes.
From 29 April-7 May at Docville in Leuven, Belgian documentaries will be in the spotlight once again. This year’s National Competition has a distinctly Flemish tinge, with screenings including The Land of the Enlightened, Samuel in the Clouds, No Man Is an Island and The Invisible City [Kakuma]. Two Flemish documentaries - Wim and Truth or Consequence - will also receive their world premieres at Docville.
In Wim, filmmaker Lut Vandekeybus dives into the complex poetic universe of her brother, acclaimed choreographer and director Wim Vandekeybus, while Truth or Consequence by Sam Ostyn is a captivating and poetic portrait of a tiny town in the New Mexico desert that changed its name to the title of a radio show.
The Natives, the absurdist fiction series directed by Gilles Coulier, has been nominated for a Rockie Award in the category Comedy Series. Also nominated in the Reality section is Flemish comedy show The Idiots. The prizes are awarded at the Banff World Media Festival in Canada each year as part of one of the most prestigious competitions for television and digital content. The winners will be announced on June 14.
The Natives competes in the category Comedy Series against five other international titles, including The Big Bang Theory and HBO’s Sillicon Valley. In the eight-part series, Gilles Coulier depicts the deranged inhabitants of a picturesque small village who are driven by misplaced ambition and vanity.
After The Natives and Clinch, Flemish public channel Canvas is working on a new fiction series, The 16, which recently started shooting. Created by Willem Wallyn, it tells the behind-the-scenes story of a man in search of political power. The main roles are played by Michael De Cock and Jan Hammenecker.
Winning power in ‘Wetstraat 16’, the Prime Minister’s residence and the political heart of Belgium, is the ultimate goal for vice-premier Steven Kennis. But before he can become Prime Minister, he still has a lot of work to do.
Flanders’ brand-new drama series Beau Séjour has been selected for the seventh edition of Séries Mania (15-24 April), the international television festival in Paris. The series will compete against seven others as part of the International Competition.
Beau Séjour will be presented as part of the International Competition at Séries Mania, where David Chase, the creator and showrunner of The Sopranos, is jury president this year. The series’ story is set in the hotel of the title where Kato wakes up covered in blood and with no recollection of what happened the night before.
Belgian actor Koen De Bouw (The Team, Loft, Salamander) is to make his US debut in the pilot episode of The Last Tycoon, a production by Sony Pictures Television and Amazon Studios. Based on the unfinished novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the story is based on the rise to power of legendary Hollywood producer Irving Thalberg in the 1930s. Billy Ray is set to direct the pilot of what will become a 10-part series to be distributed exclusively via streaming service Amazon Prime.
The Last Tycoon focuses on the sex, violence and driving ambitions during the early years of Hollywood. Matt Bomer takes the role of the ambitious Monroe Stahr (based on real-life mogul Irving Thalberg), a man of simple origins who becomes one of the most powerful producers Hollywood has ever known.
Shooting on Gilles Coulier’s debut feature, Cargo, has started on the Belgian coast. Following the success of The Natives, which was directed and part-written by Coulier, Cargo is the third project on the slate of his production company De Wereldvrede. Coulier’s short films Iceland and Mont Blanc screened in Cannes in 2010 and 2013 respectively.
Cargo is the story of three brothers who are desperately trying to save the family’s fishing business. But their passion for their loved ones and their determination to stay in business drive them to desperate measures.