Jan Matthys to co-direct Our Girl for BBC One

Belgian director Jan Matthys will direct the first three episodes of the second season of Our Girl, a BBC1 drama series about a female medic on an African mission. Last year, Matthys worked on the third season of crime series Shetland, shooting episodes four, five and six.

Jan Matthys (c)Mark Mainz-ITV StudiosThe second series of Our Girl has been commissioned by Charlotte Moore, BBC One Controller, and Polly Hill, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, who was previously involved in producing series such as The White Queen, The Honourable Woman, The Missing and London Spy.

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Published on Sunday 7 February 2016

Black heads Southwest

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah’s second feature, Black, has been invited to SXSW (South by Southwest), Austin’s prime film, music and interactive media festival. The film is to have its American premiere as part of the Narrative Spotlight section. The festival programme also includes Bodkin Ras, a co-production with Flanders.

BlackBased on two young adult novels, Black is the story of 15-year-old Mavela who falls head-over-heels in love with Marwan, a boy from a rival gang. The two young people are forced to choose between loyalty to their gang and their love for each other.

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Published on Sunday 7 February 2016

Black duo to direct The Big Fix for Fox

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, directors of TIFF award-winner Black, are to direct American crime thriller The Big Fix (working title) for Fox and Chernin Entertainment. Based on an article in ‘ESPN The Magazine’, the story revolves around a game-fixing scandal that shocked the soccer world. Peter Chernin will be producing the film, having previously worked on Planet of the Apes and Michaël R. Roskam’s The Drop.

Adil & BilallMatch-fixing is a hot topic for Fox, whose owner Rupert Murdoch has made the Fox Soccer Channel the most prolific broadcaster of soccer games and has boosted awareness of the sport in the US.

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Published on Sunday 7 February 2016

The Land of the Enlightened impresses at Sundance

Pieter-Jan De Pue’s The Land of the Enlightened premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this week, where it received strong reviews from international and local press. Up next for De Pue’s debut feature is the Rotterdam International Film Festival.

Land of the EnlightenedThe Land of the Enlightened depicts a group of Kuchi children who wage their own mini-wars amid the daily madness of war-stricken Afghanistan. De Pue shot the film’s poetic images in various regions in Afghanistan, working for more than seven years on the project.

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Published on Wednesday 27 January 2016

First cast names announced for new feature by Loft-director Van Looy

On March 21, shooting starts on The Prime Minister (working title), a new feature by Erik Van Looy, director of Loft. Koen De Bouw takes the main role as the Belgian Prime Minister who is forced against his will to carry out a possibly world-threatening assignment.

Koen De BouwErik Van Looy wrote the film with Carl Joos (The Broken Circle BreakdownThe TreatmentIn Flanders Fields), having previously collaborated on the script of The Alzheimer Case (The Memory of a Killer). Koen De Bouw will play the Belgian Prime Minister who is kidnapped and released on one condition: he has to kill the person he is supposed to meet later that day. But that person happens to be the President of the United States.

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Published on Tuesday 26 January 2016

The Ardennes in the running for Glasgow’s Audience Award

Robin Pront’s debut feature The Ardennes is one of 10 contenders for the Audience Award at the Glasgow Film Festival (17-28 February). All the selected films are first and second features directed by “a range of exciting new talents”. In addition to The Ardennes, this year’s Glasgow line-up also contains five co-productions with Flanders.

The ArdennesRobin Pront’s grim tale about brotherly conflict is also part of the festival’s Pioneer programme, a collection of brand new films from directors who the Festival believes might just win an Oscar or a Palme d’Or one day. Alongside The Ardennes in the Pioneer programme are such top international films as France’s Oscar-nominated Mustang; and Josh Mond’s James White.

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Published on Tuesday 26 January 2016

Café Derby and Paradise Trips off to Aubagne

Lenny Van Wesemael’s Café Derby and Paradise Trips by Raf Reyntjens have been selected for the Features Competition at the International Film Festival in Aubagne, France (14-19 March). Both first-time directors are in the running to win one or more of the awards - for Best Film, Best Script, Best Director and Best Musical Score - annually handed out by the Festival, which focuses mainly on film music.

Paradise TripsDavid Van der Heijden arranged the original score of Raf Reyntjens’ Paradise Trips, which follows a grumpy bus driver who makes some unexpected discoveries about himself and his life during his final trip. The soundtrack of Café Derby was written by Belgian singer Lady Linn.

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Published on Tuesday 26 January 2016

First cast names announced for Gilles Coulier’s debut feature

Sam Louwyck, Wim Willaert and Sebastien Dewaele make up the main cast of Cargo, Gilles Coulier’s debut feature. The story revolves around three brothers 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.

CargoThe director teamed up with Tom Dupont to write the screenplay for Cargo, which they further developed during the Script&Pitch session organised by the Torino FilmLab. David Williamson returns as Coulier’s DOP after working with him on all three shorts as well as on The Natives.

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Published on Tuesday 19 January 2016

Jan Bijvoet stars in Colombia’s Oscar®-nominated Embrace of the Serpent

Flemish actor Jan Bijvoet plays one of the main roles in Ciro Guerra’s Embrace of the Serpent (El abrazo de la serpiente), which has been nominated for an Academy Award® in the category Best Foreign Film. The actor’s varied portfolio also includes roles in The ArdennesThe Broken Circle Breakdown and Alex van Warmerdam’s Borgman.

Embrace of the SerpentIn Embrace of the Serpent, Bijvoet plays Theodor Koch-Grünberg, a German ethnologist and explorer who made valuable contributions to the study of the indigenous peoples in the Amazon region.

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Published on Tuesday 19 January 2016

Swedish platform for Black and The Ardennes

Robin Pront’s feature debut The Ardennes and Black, the second feature by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, are both heading north for the Göteborg Film Festival at the end of January. The programme contains another five co-productions with Flanders, while local talents Matthias Schoenaerts and Jan Bijvoet appear in foreign films at the Festival.

The ArdennesThe Ardennes, Pront’s ‘Flemish thriller noir’ about two brothers on the wrong track, will be presented in the New Voices programme in Göteborg, a section of 30 films from up-and-coming international directors. El Arbi and Fallah’s contemporary Romeo & Juliet story Black is part of the Five Continents section.

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Published on Tuesday 19 January 2016

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