Sahim Omar Kalifa’s award-winning Baghdad Messi has been shortlisted for the upcoming Oscars in the category of Best Live-Action Short. In total, 10 shorts are left in the voting process, with the nominees due to be announced on January 15.
Out of 141 qualifying short films, members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences selected 10 live-action shorts, Kalifa’s Baghdad Messi among them. In the next couple of weeks, Short Films and Feature Animation Branch members will narrow the list down to between three and five nominees, who will be announced on January 15. The Oscar ceremony will be held on February 22 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Violet by Bas Devos and Teodora Ana Mihai’s Waiting for August have both been selected for competition at this year’s Torino Film Festival (21-29 November). Emilie Verhamme’s feature film debut Eau Zoo will have its international premiere at the Festival, while In Your Name, co-produced with Flanders, and Michaël R. Roskam’s The Drop are also part of the line-up.
After stops in Berlin, Karlovy Vary, Montreal and Los Angeles, Violet now heads for Turin, where it is to screen in the Torino 32 competition programme. Screening in the TFFDOC documentary competition, meanwhile, is Teodora Ana Mihai’s Waiting for August. Emilie Verhamme’s Eau Zoo receives its international premiere at the Torino Film Festival.
Flemish drama series Cordon has been awarded the prize for Best Photography at the first edition of Telas, the São Paulo International TV Festival, in Brazil (7-14 November). DOP of Cordon was Christophe Nuyens, who previously worked on series such as Deadline 14/10, Deadline 25/5 and Code 37. In addition to Cordon, the festival also presented two other Eyeworks productions: Home Grown and De Ridder.
Cordon was shown as part of the Festival’s International Spectrum, presenting a range of fiction and documentary series from 16 countries, also including Eyeworks’s Home Grown, a tragicomic series about a dysfunctional family looking for solutions to their problems in unexpected places.
Bas Devos’s Violet has received a special jury mention for its cinematography at the AFI Fest in Los Angeles (6-13 November). Devos’s feature debut was shot by Nicolas Karakatsanis, also known for his work on The Drop, The Loft and Bullhead.
In its report, the jury praised Karakatsanis for his collection of powerful images, presented through a variety of camera sources. His “long, graceful takes that underscore the powerful silences of the film’s haunting storytelling” prompted the jury to present the DOP with a special citation.
Waste Land by Pieter Van Hees and Bas Devos’s feature debut Violet have been selected for the sixth edition of the European Film Festival of Les Arcs (December 13-20). Alice Rohrwacher’s The Wonders, in which local actor Sam Louwyck plays the male lead, adds further flavour from Flanders to the programme.
Teodora Ana Mihai’s documentary Waiting for August is one of six nominees for this year’s European Film Award for Best Documentary. Mihai’s debut film about a Romanian teenager in charge of the family household has been receiving critical acclaim worldwide since its premiere in Toronto this year.
Shot in a direct, fly-on-the-wall style, Mihai’s documentary focuses on the life of 15-year-old Georgiana Halmac who lives with her six siblings in a social housing block on the outskirts of Bacau, Romania. While their mother is away earning money in Italy, Georgiana is catapulted into the role of head of family and finds her adolescence cut brutally short.
Douglas Boswell’s feature film debut Labyrinthus has won the Youth Award for Best International Film at the São Paulo International Film Festival in Brazil (16-29 October), with Brazilian media giant Globo picking up the rights for the film.
The International Film Festival of São Paulo screened Labyrinthus as part of its Youth Festival, a five-day event showcasing films for a younger audience. Boswell’s debut took the Festival’s top prize as Best International Film.
The new drama series The Missing, written by Harry and Jack Williams and directed by Tom Shankland, starts this week (Tuesday 28 October) on BBC One. The eight-part series was mainly shot in Belgium and stars James Nesbitt and Frances O’Connor alongside local talent like Titus De Voogdt, Emilie Dequenne, Johan Leysen and Hilde Heijnen. 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 the 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.
Sahim Omar Kalifa’s short film Bad Hunter has won the Silver Spike for Best Short Film at the Valladolid International Film Festival in Spain (18-25 October). Having recently also won the Jury Award at the Montreal World Film Festival, the film has made a good start to its international festival career.
In his latest short, Kalifa tells the story of 19-year-old Bahoz, who lives surrounded by nature and beautiful landscapes. Every day he goes to the mountains to hunt, although he catches very little. But today will be the day that changes his life forever.
Simone van Dusseldorp's Dutch-Belgian co-production Life According to Nino has won Best International Children’s Film at this year’s Cinekid in Amsterdam. Starring Koen De Graeve, Rifka Lodeizen and introducing Rohan Timmermans, the film received support from both Screen Flanders and the VAF/Film Fund. Flemish co-producer is Brussels-based production company Savage Film (Labyrinthus, Bullhead).
Life According to Nino follows the everyday life of eight-year-old Nino. After his mother's death, Nino skips school, stops washing and eats crisps for breakfast. At first it seems great fun, but the boy comes to miss his dad’s and brother's attention and affection. When he discovers he can talk to animals, his pet rabbit Bobby proves invaluable.