French Cultural Affairs Minister Fleur Pellerin has appointed Flemish actor Matthias Schoenaerts a chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres).
The Order of Arts and Letters was established in 1957 to recognise emerging artists and writers, as well as people who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world. The distinction is awarded three times a year, with two sessions for French citizens and one for foreigners, and is made up of three ranks: commander, officer and chevalier.
A second series of the highly successful drama series Cordon has begun shooting this week. Produced by Eyeworks for Flanders commercial broadcaster vtm, the series returns to the survivors in the sealed-off centre of Antwerp after the outbreak of a deadly virus. Earlier this month, an American remake of the series, Containment, was presented at Comic-Con.
Written by Carl Joos (The Broken Circle Breakdown), the first season of Cordon told how everyday life in the centre of Antwerp came to a sudden halt after the outbreak of a contagious and deadly virus. When the area is hermetically sealed off from the outside world to protect the health of the rest of the country, it brings out the very best – but also the very worst – in those who are shut in.
Douglas Boswell’s debut feature Labyrinthus won the Gryphon Award for Best Feature Film in the +10 section of the Giffoni Film Festival in Italy (17-26 July). The Amazing Wiplala, a Dutch-Flemish co-production, took the second prize in the +6 programme. Both films were backed by Screen Flanders.
Labyrinthus tells the story of 14-year-old Frikke who discovers a computer game in which the protagonists are real children. To play or not to play is the question, especially if the fate of loved ones is at stake.
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.
Short film director Wouter Bouvijn is one of eight filmmakers invited to take part in this year’s Angers Workshops. Organised in the framework of the Premiers Plans Film Festival in Angers (France), the Workshops’ aim is to guide and support filmmakers taking their first steps into features.
Together with seven other participants from six different countries, Wouter Bouvijn has been selected to take part in the Workshops, which were originally initiated by French actress Jeanne Moreau.
Berlin-based sales agency M-Appeal has picked up world sales rights to Paradise Trips. The film, starring Jeroen Perceval and Gene Bervoets, is the feature debut of director Raf Reyntjens, who previously shot video clips for various artists, including Belgian musician Stromae.
Schneider vs. Bax, the new feature film from Alex van Warmerdam, has been selected for the International Competition at the Locarno Film Festival (5-15 August). Starring Flemish actor Tom Dewispelaere, the film was co-produced with Flanders. Another co-production, Keeper, directed by Guillaume Senez, is to screen in the ‘first films’ competition.
Coming after Borgman, The Last Days of Emma Blank, Waiter and others, Schneider vs. Bax is van Warmerdam’s ninth feature and revolves around hit man Schneider. On the morning of his birthday he’s offered a rush job: to liquidate writer Ramon Bax. Schneider reluctantly accepts, only to discover that the apparently simple job is more complex than he expected.
The Treatment, a thriller by Hans Herbots based on Mo Hayder’s best-selling crime novel, has won the Audience Award at Fantastic Zagreb. The fifth edition of the genre festival took place in the Croatian capital from June 26 to July 4.
Adapted for the screen by scriptwriter Carl Joos (The Broken Circle Breakdown, The Alzheimer Case), Herbots’s thriller follows inspector Nick Cafmeyer, a successful, good-looking policeman who seems to have it all. But, since the age of nine, Nick has been haunted by the unsolved disappearance of his younger brother. When a disturbing kidnapping case comes to light, Nick heads the relentless manhunt that ensues.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (3-11 July) boasts a rich programme including the international premiere of Perdition County, the Czech premiere of Lucifer and with Flemish filmmakers Michaël R. Roskam and Teodora Ana Mihai in attendance.
Gust Van den Berghe’s Lucifer, produced by Minds Meet, is scheduled to have its Czech premiere at the Festival. Raphaël Crombez, meanwhile, was invited as part of Future Frames, a new programme curated by the Festival in collaboration with European Film Promotion (EFP) that highlights 10 filmmakers to watch.
Kebab Royal, a dramatic comedy by Venice Lion-winners Jessica Woodworth and Peter Brosens, had its last day of shooting on July 4. Shot in Brussels, Istanbul and Bulgaria, this Belgian-Dutch-Bulgarian coproduction is a comic road movie about the last King of the Belgians lost in the Balkans.
King Nicolas II, played in the film by Peter Van den Begin (The Fifth Season, Waste Land), is on a symbolic mission to Istanbul with his entourage. Back home, however, Wallonia (the southern half of Belgium) declares its independence. The Kingdom has collapsed and the King must return home at once to fulfil his only true royal duty. But the fates decide otherwise.