Felix van Groeningen's The Broken Circle Breakdown, which received its international première as part of this year's Panorama Special programme at the Berlinale (7 - 17 February), has won the Europa Cinemas Label for Best European Film in that section. Through the Label, the film will now receive the support of the Europa Cinemas Network, with additional promotion and incentives for exhibitors to extend the film’s run on screen.
The jury issued the following statement: 'Felix van Groeningen is a real filmmaker. This is a beautiful and original way of looking at a mother and father’s relationship with their terminally sick daughter. We especially liked the cinematography, the non-linear structure of the story, and the fact that he avoids easy emotional manipulation while dealing with a tough subject. The music from the parents’ bluegrass band is not just the soundtrack but a source of energy and hope for everyone. The clear message is that we must invest in scientific research and not allow religion or politics to interfere.'
The Broken Circle Breakdown is Felix van Groeningen's fourth feature, and follows the highly successful The Misfortunates which premiered at Cannes' Directors' Fortnight in 2009. The film, starring acclaimed Belgium actress Veerle Baetens (Code 37) and Johan Heldenbergh (The Misfortunates), is an intense melodrama, a love story full of passion and music about how love can conquer fate – and sometimes not.
For The Broken Circle Breakdown, van Groeningen once again teamed up with producer Dirk Impens of Menuet as he has for each of his previous features (Steve + Sky, With Friends Like These, The Misfortunates). The film was scripted by Felix van Groeningen and Carl Joos. Ruben Impens was responsible for the photography, Nico Leunen was taken on board as editor. The Broken Circle Breakdown was made possible with the support of the VAF/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Joke Schauvliege.
Founded in 1992, the Europa Cinemas Network celebrated its twentieth anniversary last year and now consists of a remarkable 2,943 screens in 1,111 cinemas in 629 cities in 68 countries, including Mediterranean countries, Asia and Latin America. Europa Cinemas’ aim is to support the programming and visibility of European films outside their country of origin, and to foster initiatives aimed at encouraging younger audiences to develop their interest in European films and cultural diversity.