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Pieter Van Hees’s crime thriller Waste Land and Peter Krüger’s poetic docu-drama N – The Madness of Reason were the main winners at this year’s Ensors, the awards celebrating Belgian cinema from Flanders, taking home four and three Ensors respectively.
Waste Land won Best Script, Best Supporting Actor (Peter Van den Begin) and Best Supporting Actress (Babetida Sadjo). Waste Land’s success was not a huge surprise, as the film also had the highest number of nominations. But it was the docu-drama N: The Madness of Reason that grabbed the top honour: Best Film.
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).
Hans Herbots’s The Treatment, Waste Land, directed by Pieter Van Hees, and Jonas Govaerts’s debut feature Cub are invited to Austin for the city’s Fantastic Fest (18-25 September). They are joined by three co-productions with Flanders: Fabrice du Welz’s Alleluia, Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac and the animation special A Town Called Panic – The Christmas Log.
The Treatment tells the story of Nick Cafmeyer, an intelligent but troubled police inspector who’s still haunted by the unsolved disappearance of his younger brother. When a nine-year-old boy goes missing, he takes the lead in the relentless manhunt that follows. Directed by Hans Herbots, the film is based on Mo Hayder’s crime novel.
The Busan International Film Festival (October 2-11) has invited Pieter Van Hees’s Waste Land. Van Hees will himself present the psychological thriller – which is premiering in Toronto this week – at the South Korean fest. Also part of the Busan bill are Alleluia,Two Days, One Night and Nymphomaniac, which were co-produced with Flanders, as well as Flemish director Michaël R. Roskam’sThe Drop and Le meraviglie, starring local actor Sam Louwyck.
Pieter Van Hees’s Waste Land and Jonas Govaerts’s debut feature Cub have been invited to the Toronto International Film Festival (4-14 September) where they will receive their world premieres. Fabrice du Welz’s Alleluia, a co-production with Flanders, also joins the line-up. And, as previously announced, The Drop by Bullhead-director Michaël R. Roskam will also screen in Toronto, as will Alan Rickman’s A Little Chaos, both of them starring Flemish actor Matthias Schoenaerts.
Toronto will screen Waste Land in its Vanguard programme, which showcases ‘provocative, sexy… and possibly dangerous’ films. It is Van Hees’s third feature after Left Bank (2008) and Dirty Mind (2009).
Alleluia, the new film by Belgian director Fabrice du Welz, has been selected for this year’s Directors’ Fortnight (15-25 May), the independent section of the Cannes Film Festival, revealed artistic director Edouard Waintrop, announcing 19 features and 11 short films. Bart Van Langendonck of production hub Savage Film co-produced the film for Flanders.
Alleluia is du Welz’s fourth film after Calvaire, Vinyan and Colt 45. Although situated once more in the Belgian Ardennes, the story is loosely based on real events that shook the United States between 1947 and 1949.
Savage Film producer Bart Van Langendonck is in Cannes to present his Brussels-based production outfit’s new three-year slate. In addition to brand new projects from the directors the company started with five years ago (Michaël R Roskam and Bram Van Paesschen), young filmmakers such as Hans Van Nuffel, Matthias Schoenaerts and Robin Pront are now joining the producer's growing talent pool to develop their own feature-length projects.
Equator is the second feature by Hans Van Nuffel, the 2011 European Film Award Discovery of the Year winner (for Oxygen). The Faithful (Le fidèle) is the second feature film project from Oscar-nominated director Michaël R Roskam (Bullhead), while Franky will be the directorial debut of critically acclaimed Flemish actor Matthias Schoenaerts.
The Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) recently approved funding for 26 feature-length fiction projects. The list includes much anticipated projects, such as Stijn Coninx’s Marina and Pieter Van Hees’s Waste Land, that can start production. Dominique Deruddere’s Flying Home and Jessica Woodworth and Peter Brosens’ Kebab Royal also received development support, while Lucifer by two-time Cannes selected director Gust Van den Berghe and Marry Me by Kadir Balci got script funding for their next projects.
Epidemic, the production company behind Koen Mortier’s 22nd of May and Ex Drummer, received production support for both Bruno Forzani and Hélène Cattet’s The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears and Waste Land, a new film by Pieter Van Hees (Dirty Mind, Left Bank). Brussels-based production outfit Savage Film (Bullhead) can start production on Fabrice Du Welz’s Alleluia, while A Private View (Oxygen) is set to shoot Joël Vanhoebrouck’s Brasserie Romantique, which was written by Jean-Claude van Rijckeghem and Pat Van Beirs (who both scripted Moscow, Belgium).