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Strikers, a new drama series from Flanders, has been selected for competition at the Séries Mania television festival in Paris. The festival’s International Showcase - reserved for TV professionals - also includes The Bunker and The Natives. The sixth edition of the Seriés Mania Festival runs from 17-26 April.
Screening in the festival’s competitive ‘World Series’ programme, Strikers tells the story of two brothers who share the dream of becoming professional football players. When one of them is selected to play for a top club, he encounters the glamorous yet deceitful world of world-class football, while the other brother has no choice but to find another way to make something of his life.
Flemish director Tim Mielants, known for his work on such local hit series as Cordon and Code 37, will direct two episodes of the second season of Anglo-French drama series The Tunnel. The eight-parter is a Sky Atlantic and Canal+ co-production scheduled for transmission in early 2016.
Tim Mielants came to prominence thanks to the international success of Cordon. This Flemish drama about the outbreak of a deadly virus, which he directed, has already aired on BBC Four and SBS Australia, with American channel CW ordering a pilot episode for a remake.
Kristof Bilsen’s documentary feature Elephant’s Dream has been selected for Hot Docs, the International Documentary Festival in Toronto. The film is to have its North American premiere in the World Showcase programme. Hot Docs is one of the world’s leading documentary film festivals and presents over 200 films from 44 countries between 28 April and 8 May.
The World Showcase section is a global survey of some of the year’s most striking films. The Festival describes Bilsen’s creative documentary as ‘a modern masterpiece that is not to be missed’. Elephant’s Dream, the story of public sector workers in three state-owned institutions, provides a poetic insight into a country in transition and into lives lived beyond chaos.
Simone van Dusseldorp's Dutch/Belgian co-production Life According to Nino has won the prize for best youth film at the International Children and Young People's Film Festival (9-14 March) in Malmö, Sweden. Earlier this year the film picked up the prize for best children’s film at the Cinekid Festival in Amsterdam.
When his mother dies, eight-year-old Nino no longer goes to school, stops bathing and eats crisps for breakfast. Nino isn’t the only one acting strangely in the family: his brother Lucas starts to raise hell in the city and even his father Bruno is no longer his usual self. At first this seems great fun, but Nino soon starts missing the affection of his father and brother. When Nino discovers he can talk to animals, he sets things to right with his rabbit Bobby.
CELLS, a documentary feature by Wil Mathijs, has been selected for the Official Competition of the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA). One of the leading art film festivals, FIFA takes place in Montreal, Canada, and runs from 19-29 March.
67-year-old Martin Uit den Bogaard, the main protagonist in CELLS, is one of the world’s most renowned bio-artists. He's a simple man with a far from simple plan: to get his hands on a new human body-part to use in his work, while he wrestles to obtain the rights to his own body for his ultimate and final piece, which will come only after his death.
Gust Van den Berghe’s third feature Lucifer has been selected for this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York (17-28 April). The film will be presented in the Viewpoints programme, showcasing 12 filmmakers experimenting with identity.
In the film Lucifer, on his fall from heaven to hell, unexpectedly lands in a Mexican village where old Lupita and her granddaughter Maria live, and senses an opportunity to make some mischief.
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.
Bas Devos’s debut feature film Violet has been invited to New Directors/New Films. The 44th edition of the prestigious event takes place in New York (March 18-25) and is jointly organised by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
The last time a Flemish project was selected for New Directors/New Films was in 2007, when the festival showed Geoffrey Enthoven’s The Only One. The event has a great history of discovering and launching filmmakers, with directors such as Pedro Almodóvar, Spike Lee, Richard Linklater and Wong Kar-wai among the guests.
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).
Belgian Rhapsody, the new feature film by Vincent Bal, has been sold to France, Japan, South Korea and Turkey. The film screened at the European Film Market (EFM) during the Berlin Film Festival. Negotiations with distributors for other countries are ongoing.
Belgian Rhapsody had its market premiere in Berlin. Distributor Paradis Films (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Soeur Sourire) acquired the rights to release the film in France, while Fine Films (Under the Skin, Dallas Buyers Club) acquired Japanese distribution rights. Seed will distribute the film in South Korea and Mor Film will handle its Turkish release.