Roel Reiné’s historical drama Admiral: Michiel de Ruyter is to receive a gala presentation at this year’s fifth edition of the Beijing International Film Festival (17-20 April). Co-produced for Flanders by Ciné Cri de Coeur, the film was supported by the Screen Flanders Economic Fund.
Set in the mid-17th Century, Admiral: Michiel de Ruyter tells the story of the legendary Dutch admiral and takes us back to the time when the Netherlands was one of the world’s largest maritime nations. Politically, the Orangists and the republicans are locked in a battle for power. While republican Johan de Witt is the most powerful man in the the country, his opponents try to appoint the inexperienced but very ambitious young prince William III to the key position of ‘stadtholder’. The republicans are dedicated to winning the war against the English. When De Ruyter succeeds in defeating the English fleet he becomes incredibly popular, but conspiracies lead to a conflict with the supporters of the prince. The House of Orange sharpens its knives and De Ruyter is sucked into a political battle.
On April 17, Twilight of a Life by Sylvain Biegeleisen is to open the International Documentary Film Festival Visions du Réel in Nyon, Switzerland. The festival programme also includes Battles, The Rabbit and the Teasel and the short film On Difference As Such. A fifth documentary from Flanders, The Colour of the Chameleon, has been selected for the Pitching du Réel co-production platform. Visions du Réel runs from 17-25 April.
This year’s opening film, Twilight of a Life, is an upbeat portrait of a 94-year-old woman confronting the restrictions of her age, and the relationship she has with her son (and the film’s director), Sylvain Biegeleisen. Although doctors once gave her just weeks to live, she lived another two years. For her son, this became an opportunity to create a film about life, full of humou
Paradise Trips, the feature film debut by Flemish director Raf Reyntjens, is to be released in its home territory on August 19. Starring Jeroen Perceval (Bullhead) and Gene Bervoets (Borgman), the film will be distributed by Cinéart.
All his life, coach driver Mario has shuttled old age pensioners to the sunny south. Today, on the verge of his own retirement, he has to take a motley crew of partygoers to a music festival in Croatia. But what was to be Mario's final job soon turns into a life-changing road trip, confronting him not only with his own prejudices but also with his long-lost son.
The 42nd annual Athens International Film + Video Festival kicked off on April 3 with seven Flemish productions in its line-up. Selected films include Alidor Dolfing’s Wien for Life; A Handful by Katrien Vermeire; and Olivier Vanden Bussche’s animated short To Build a Fire.
An Vrombaut, author of the successful British animated series 64 Zoo Lane, will be in Athens with The Tie. The short animation film tells the story of the chance meeting between a small giraffe and a tall one. Despite their obvious difference in stature, they discover a kinship.
The Screen Flanders-supported drama series The Missing has been nominated for three BAFTA Television Awards. The eight-parter, co-produced with and mainly shot in Belgium, is nominated in the categories Best Leading Actor (James Nesbitt), Best Supporting Actor (Ken Stott) and Best Drama Series. The series is also nominated for the Radio Times Audience Award. Czar TV co-produced the series for Flanders with the support of the Screen Flanders economic fund and the Belgian federal tax shelter.
When five-year-old Oliver disappears on a family holiday in France, it sets off a manhunt that will last for years. The Missing explores the mind of a father, Tony, who is desperate to find his lost son. Exploring the emotional cost of a child's abduction, this gripping relationship thriller is told simultaneously over two time frames in two countries.
This year, Germany’s international art fair Art Cologne (16-19 April) shines a light on film and video work from Flanders and Brussels. Under the title ‘Flanders Moving Image’, work by artists such as Nicolas Provost, Johan Grimonprez and Dora García will be presented.
The curators are Professor Philippe Pirotte, rector of the University of Visual Arts, and Fabian Schöneich, curator at the Portikus exposition space in Frankfurt am Main; they offer a focused look into the artistic production of Belgium without emphasising a specific generation or theme.
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.