Four Flemish productions entered the official competition at the Newport Beach Film Festival in Orange County, California (26 April-3 May). The Spring of CesarLand of the Heroes and Swimsuit 46 screen in the shorts section, while A Cat in Paris will be showcased as part of a limited collection of animation features.

The Spring of CesarThe Spring of Cesar, a 20-minute short film by Oscar Spierenburg and Minske van Wijk, stars Jan Decleir, Robbe De Hert and Pjeroo Roobjee, and portrays Cesar, the owner of an old-fashioned toyshop. When his shop closes its doors, he starts to lose his grip on reality.

Before its Newport Beach outing, the film screened at the International Short Film Festival Leuven where it received an honourable mention. ‘The Spring of Cesar is a highly poetic film that tells a strong and meaningful story in which animation, well integrated with live action, infuses a magical, surrealist quality into the storytelling,’ said the jury report.

Sahim Omar Kalifa’s Land of the Heroes and Wannes Destoop’s Swimsuit 46 are no strangers to the international festival circuit either. Kalifa’s story about two Iraqi children keeps adding festival visits and awards to its record after a successful launch at the 2011 Berlinale. Wannes Destoop recently reached his 30th festival selection after his graduation film Swimsuit 46 last year landed him a ticket to the Cannes Film Festival, where he scooped the International Jury Award.

With the Newport Beach fest screening only five or so feature-length animation films each year, the 2012 Oscar-nominated A Cat in Paris will be part of a unique collection of animated features. Directed by Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli, the film was co-produced by Annemie Degryse for Lunanime (Beyond The Steppes).

Published on Wednesday 11 April 2012

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