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The Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) has announced this year’s Wildcard winners: six promising young filmmakers who will each receive a grant of between €25,000 and €60,000 to develop their first professional film. Raphaël Crombez and Miwako Van Weyenberg were winners in the fiction section, with Ruben Desiere and Kwinten Gernay each receiving a documentary Wildcard. The animation grant went to Laura Vandewynckel, with Christina Stuhlberger getting the Wildcard in the filmlab section.
Since it was introduced in 2005, the Fund’s competition has established itself as Belgium’s prime awards programme when it comes to launching new talent. Six grants are handed out: three worth €60,000 go to one animation project and two fiction shorts; the two documentary winners each get €40,000; and the Wildcard in the filmlab section comes with a prize of €25,000.
Elephant’s Dream, a documentary feature by Kristof Bilsen, is to have its world premiere at DOK Leipzig, the International Film Festival for Documentary and Animation Film (27 October – 2 November). Joining it in competition is Sofie Benoot with Desert Haze; three of Wendy Morris’s animation shorts have also been selected. Completing the Flemish line-up this year are the animation short films Diamond, Cash Register 9 and Vol au vent.
Kristof Bilsen’s new documentary film Elephant’s Dream has been confirmed for Leipzig’s Young Cinema Competition, a collection of first, second or third documentaries. Bilsen focuses on a group of public sector workers at a railway station, a post office and the only fire station in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Through the microcosm of these three state-owned institutions, Bilsen provides a poetic and compassionate insight into a country in transition.
Kadir Balci’s Marry Me and Lucifer, directed by Gust Van den Berghe have been selected for Valladolid’s upcoming International Film Festival (18 - 25 October). Two shorts, Bad Hunter, directed by Sahim Omar Kalifa, and Deben Van Dam’s The Way of All Flesh, are also in competition, while the animation film collection 12 Minutes About Peace will be shown out of competition. The Valladolid Film Festival opens with Two Days, One Night by the brothers Dardenne, a co-production with Flanders.
After making his debut in 2009 with the hit film Turquaze, Kadir Balci returns with Marry Me, a film about a gym teacher who wants to marry his Turkish colleague following a brief affair. But they reckoned without their families…
Mathias Malzieu and Stéphane Berla’s French-Belgian co-production Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart has been nominated for the European Film Awards in the category ‘Best European Animated Feature’. Brussels-based animation studio Walking The Dog co-produced the film for Flanders and played an important role in the animation, lighting and rendering of the film. The feature was one of the first to receive support from Screen Flanders last year.
A committee consisting of EFA Board Members announced the shortlist of animated features, which also includes Minuscule – Valley of the Lost Ants, directed by Thomas Szabo & Hélène Giraud (France/Belgium) and the Italian The Art of Happiness, directed by Alessandro Rak.
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.
Eight Flemish animation projects and two co-productions with Flanders are to be presented at next month’s Cartoon Forum, Europe’s prime TV pitching event. Taking place from 23 till 26 September in Toulouse, Cartoon Forum brings together some 850 participants from 30 countries.
Over 80 TV projects were selected for Cartoon Forum’s upcoming edition, where animation producers can find cross-border partners and speed up financial arrangements. At the core of the event are the pitching sessions: each project is presented in 30 minutes to all potential partners.
This September, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York will screen three short films from Flanders: Tom Van Avermaet’sDeath of a Shadow; Tunnelrat, directed by Raf Reyntjens; and Peace, directed by Roman Klochkov. The films are part of ‘The Great War: A Cinematic Legacy’, a film exposition in commemoration of WWI curated by Charles Silver and Dave Kehr.
‘The Great War: A Cinematic Legacy’ opened on 4 August, the 100th anniversary of the day World War I began, and runs till 21 September, highlighting some 60 feature films and thematic programmes aimed at providing a comprehensive view of the war as portrayed in film. The programme has just one short film section, with three out of the four entries coming from Flanders.
Belgian films made in Flanders corner the market and bring home the prizes.
‘Talent Matters’ is the familiar slogan for promoting Belgian films made in Flanders. And talent certainly matters for Belgian audiences, who turned out in impressive numbers for local films in 2013.
At home, almost two million moviegoers bought tickets to Flemish films in 2013 – a 17% increase on 2012. More impressively still, over three quarters of the national admissions for Belgian films were for movies made in Flanders.
To mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I – much of whose catastrophic trench warfare was waged across Flanders fields – a new collection of a dozen ultra-short films, 12 Minutes About Peace, is released theatrically by Belgium’s Kinepolis cinema chain and will be broadcast on Flemish TV channel VRT. Six of the films, meanwhile, will receive their international premiere at the Annecy International Animation Festival (9-14 June) in France.
The six selected for Annecy are A Battle for Peace by Joost Jansen; Daddy Went. Daddy Did by Joost Jansen and Thomas Ceulemans; Marc James Roels and Emma De Swaef’s Otto; FYI by Wendy Morris; Silvia Defrance’s Letter from a Soldier and Where The Poppies Blow by Michael Palmaers.
Animated series Plankton Invasion by Joeri Christiaen, Tim Van Aelst’s sitcom Safety First, The Perfect Couple by Flemish production company deMENSEN and the BBC drama series The Fall, directed by Flemish helmer Jakob Verbruggen, are amongst the nominees for this year’s Rockie Awards, presented at the Banff World Media Festival (8-11 June).
Plankton Invasion zooms in on a team of miniscule marine creatures, plankton, who are in need of more space – or water – and therefore concoct a plan to take over the world.