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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.
The 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.
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.
Based 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.
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.
Match-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.
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.
The 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.
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.
Erik Van Looy wrote the film with Carl Joos (The Broken Circle Breakdown, The Treatment, In 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.
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.
Robin 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.
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.
David 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.
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.
The 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.
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 Ardennes, The Broken Circle Breakdown and Alex van Warmerdam’s Borgman.
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 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.