The short documentary film Flower of a Thousand Colours by Karen Vázquez Guadarrama has been selected for the Future Frames programme (4-5 July) at the International Film Festival of Karlovy Vary. The annual initiative, in collaboration with European Film Promotion (EFP), shines the spotlight on 10 upcoming film talents. Flower of a Thousand Colours is the second Flemish short in a row to be selected for Future Frames.
Karen Vázquez Guadarrama graduated from the School of Arts in Ghent with her short film Flower of a Thousand Colours which tells the story of Emiliana, a single mother trying to survive in a remote Bolivian mining camp 4,897 metres above sea level.
Last weekend, Frederike Migom’s short film Nkosi Coiffure took home the award for Best Short at the Filmfest DC, the International Film Festival of the US capital. Washington is the latest stopover on the film’s successful festival career
“This film captures the moment when diversity and the universality of being human intersect, and does so with originality and insight,” said the jury citation. “We are very happy to have the opportunity to support this young filmmaker and we look forward to seeing what's next for her.”
New Flemish fiction series Beau Séjour has won the Audience Award at the seventh edition of Séries Mania (15-24 April), the international television festival in Paris. The series was presented in person by directors Nathalie Basteyns and Kaat Beels; scriptwriters Bert Van Dael and Sanne Nuyens; and lead actress Lynn Van Royen. The audience at Séries Mania named the 10-part series joint winner of the Audience Award out of more than 50 series from all over the world. Beau Séjour is also set to air on Arte in France and Germany next year, a first for a Flemish series.
The Séries Mania festival received over 250 submissions from around the world. Beau Séjour was selected as the only Belgian series for the International Competition, together with seven other titles from Norway, Argentina, France, Australia, the UK, Sweden and Israel.
Last weekend The Natives took home three prizes at the awards ceremony of the Flemish Television Stars. The series from production company De Wereldvrede was voted Best Comedy Series. In addition, scriptwriters Bart Vanneste, Dries Heyneman, Wannes Cappelle and Gilles Coulier were awarded the prize for Best Script in Fiction, while Flemish actress Ann Tuts was presented with the award for Best Actress.
The eight-part series depicts the eccentric inhabitants of a picturesque village who are driven by misplaced ambition and vanity. When stand-up comedian Freddy De Vadder comes to town, everything changes.
From 29 April-7 May at Docville in Leuven, Belgian documentaries will be in the spotlight once again. This year’s National Competition has a distinctly Flemish tinge, with screenings including The Land of the Enlightened, Samuel in the Clouds, No Man Is an Island and The Invisible City [Kakuma]. Two Flemish documentaries - Wim and Truth or Consequence - will also receive their world premieres at Docville.
In Wim, filmmaker Lut Vandekeybus dives into the complex poetic universe of her brother, acclaimed choreographer and director Wim Vandekeybus, while Truth or Consequence by Sam Ostyn is a captivating and poetic portrait of a tiny town in the New Mexico desert that changed its name to the title of a radio show.
The Natives, the absurdist fiction series directed by Gilles Coulier, has been nominated for a Rockie Award in the category Comedy Series. Also nominated in the Reality section is Flemish comedy show The Idiots. The prizes are awarded at the Banff World Media Festival in Canada each year as part of one of the most prestigious competitions for television and digital content. The winners will be announced on June 14.
The Natives competes in the category Comedy Series against five other international titles, including The Big Bang Theory and HBO’s Sillicon Valley. In the eight-part series, Gilles Coulier depicts the deranged inhabitants of a picturesque small village who are driven by misplaced ambition and vanity.
Shooting on Speechless, the adaptation of Tom Lanoye’s well-reviewed novel of the same name, will start this summer. Actress and director Hilde Van Mieghem is to direct; Viviane De Muynck and Stany Crets will play the main roles.
Speechless (working title) is about successful writer Jan Meersman whose life is turned upside down when his mother has a stroke. Having lost the ability to speak, the once vibrant and flamboyant woman turns into a shade of her former self. Meanwhile Jan is struggling with the deadline for his new novel.
Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah’s feature film Black will be simultaneously released in Spain, Italy and Portugal at the end of July. The film will be made available via VOD and in cinemas. It is also set for a theatrical release in the UK.
The Spanish rights for Black have been acquired by Karma Films, a Madrid-based distributor whose slate includes international successes such as Rams, Song of the Sea and the documentary Tomorrow. Karma previously distributed Flemish films Come As You Are and Ben X.
The short film Allegory of the Jam Jar, directed by Boris Kuijpers and Ruth Mellaerts, received its international premiere at the Athens International Film + Video Festival (4-10 April) in the American state of Ohio, where it won the prize for Best Narrative Short. The short film has also been invited to a variety of film festivals across Europe and the US.
Boris Kuijpers and Ruth Mellaerts’ Allegory of the Jam Jar was presented in the Short Film Competition of the International Film + Video Festival in Ohio, launching its international festival career on US soil. The short won the Festival’s main prize for Best Narrative Short, its second Oscar-qualifying award to date.
After The Natives and Clinch, Flemish public channel Canvas is working on a new fiction series, The 16, which recently started shooting. Created by Willem Wallyn, it tells the behind-the-scenes story of a man in search of political power. The main roles are played by Michael De Cock and Jan Hammenecker.
Winning power in ‘Wetstraat 16’, the Prime Minister’s residence and the political heart of Belgium, is the ultimate goal for vice-premier Steven Kennis. But before he can become Prime Minister, he still has a lot of work to do.