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Black, The Ardennes and Cafard will be in official competition at the Gijón International Film Festival in Spain (20-28 November). The short film section additionally includes Copain by Jan and Raf Roosens, while Zurich and Phantom Boy, two co-productions with Flanders, have also been selected.
Black, the second feature by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah after their debut Image, competes in the festival’s official competition. It is a modern Brussels-based gang story about 15-year-old Mavela who falls in love with Marwan, a boy from a rival youth gang. The Caviar-produced film has won the Discovery Award in Toronto and the Audience Award at the Film Fest Ghent.
Frederike Migom’s short film Nkosi Coiffure and Tank by animation pioneer Raoul Servais are among the prize-winners at this year’s Semana Internacional de Cine in Valladolid, Spain (24-31 October). Nkosi Coiffure won the Meeting Point Award for Best International Short while Tank shared the Silver Spike in the main competition with French short film Café froid.
Nkosi Coiffure received its world premiere at the Montreal World Film Festival, followed by a European premiere in Valladolid’s Meeting Point section, where the film was given the Award for Best International Short Film.
Belgian Rhapsody, Vincent Bal’s romantic musical comedy about two rival Belgian brass bands, is to close this year’s Arras Film Festival in France (6-15 November). The line-up also includes Jan Bultheel’s animated feature Cafard. Both films are to have a French theatrical release later this year.
In the summer, the Montreal World Film Festival created a precedent by offering Vincent Bal’s Belgian Rhapsody the festival’s closing slot. The Arras Film Festival will end on an equally cheerful note in choosing the musical comedy as this year’s closing film.
Five shorts from Flanders have been invited to the Valladolid International Film Festival (24-31 October) in Spain, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. Three of them - Perdition County, Shadow and Tank - have been selected for Official Competition, while Billy the Bully and Nkosi Coiffure are competing in the Meeting Point section.
For its 60th edition, the Valladolid International Film Festival invited a record number of five shorts from Flanders. Three of them are selected for Official Competition, which makes them contenders for the EFA Short Film Competition.
Robin Pront's feature debut The Ardennes is the opening attraction at the 42nd Film Fest Ghent (13-24 October). The film, receiving its European première, is just one of the many indigenous titles Belgium's oldest and largest festival has in its programme this year. There are in total five Flemish features, one TV series, a dozen shorts, and two co-productions with Flanders.
Opening the Fest is The Ardennes starring Veerle Baetens (The Broken Circle Breakdown), Kevin Janssens and Jeroen Perceval, with the latter also co-writing the script with director Robin Pront. The film has already attracted attention at this year's Toronto International Film Festival where it had its world premiere and was picked up by distributors in such key territories as France (Diaphana) and Italy (Satine). Producer is Bart van Langendonck for Savage Film, the company behind Oscar-nominated Bullhead. International sales are handled by Montreal-based Attraction Distribution.
Jan Bultheel’s debut feature Cafard is to have its North American premiere at the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma (7-18 October) in Montreal. An animated feature inspired by true events, the film will screen in the Festival’s Panorama programme. Rights have already been sold to France, where Eurozoom will release Cafard in theatres on 18 November.
Following its world premiere at the Ostend Film Festival, Cafard is set for its international premiere at the Busan International Film Festival (1-10 October). The Festival du Nouveau Cinema will now be the film’s North American premiere, with Cafard screening in the Panorama section.
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.
Belgian animator and filmmaker Raoul Servais has received the Chrystal Pegasus Award at ‘Animator’, the Polish International Animation Film Festival, in recognition of his entire career. The festival presented a retrospective with nine of his Servais’s short films, alongside his feature Taxandria.
Internationally recognised as the founding father of Belgian animation, Raoul Servais was guest of honour at the Animator film festival in Poland. The filmmaker was presented with the Chrystal Pegasus Award honouring his entire career, which spans more than five decades.
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.