Michaël R. Roskam’s Bullhead and Christophe Van Rompaey’s Lena are selected for Official Competition at the 3rd edition of the European Film Festival of Les Arcs, France (10-17 December). Also playing at the Fest's European Panorama is Hotel Swooni by Kaat Beels while the animated The Monster of Nix by Rosto is shown in the school programme.
A total of 12 features compete for the Crystal Arrow for Best Film awarded by the International Jury headed by Italian helmer Michele Placido. The prestigious Award comes with financial distribution support for the winning film in Europe and the rest of the world. Artistic director of les Arcs is Frédéric Boyer, who recently also got appointed as artistic director of the Tribeca Film Fest.
Bullhead has already enjoyed a remarkably successful 2011. The film kicked off internationally in the Panorama section of the Berlinale and has not left the festival circuit since. The film is also Belgium’s Official entry for the Oscar for Best Foreign-language film. In Bullhead, a police murder and the subsequent investigation create panic in the so-called Belgian cattle hormone mafia. But then a dark and unsettling story about loyalty and friendship unfolds. Bullhead is produced by Bart Van Langendonck (Monkey Sandwich) for Savage Film, in coproduction with Eyeworks, Artemis and Waterland Film. International sales are handled by Celluloid Dreams.
Lena, Christophe Van Rompaey’s second feature after Moscow, Belgium, recently had its world première at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film follows Lena, an overweight 16-year-old who lives with her unstable Polish mother. She feels uncomfortable at home, however, since she never seems to do be able to do anything right. Then Lena meets Daan… Bavaria Media International, which also represented Moscow, Belgium, is handling international sales. Lena is a Dutch-Belgian co-production with Dries Phlypo and Jean-Claude Van Rijckeghem of A Private View as Flemish co-producers.
The seven feature films in the European Panorama section are a selection of ‘award-winning films’ that emphasize ‘European cultural diversity’ according to the les Arc fest. Hotel Swooni by Kaat Beels, which also screened at TIFF, is a perfect addition to the line-up. In Hotel Swooni the lives of six people intertwine over the course of 24 hours in a hotel. As the city sweats through a sweltering heatwave, emotions start to run high… The film is produced by Peter Bouckaert for Eyeworks Film & TV Drama, with Delphis Films handling international sales.
Finally, Rosto’s The Monster of Nix, which runs in the fest’s school programme, is a dark fairy tale. Willy, a troubled boy fights the destructive force of Virgil, an all-devouring monster in the village of Nix.
Besides the festival line-up, 22 projects have been selected to be pitched at this year’s Arc 1950 Coproduction Village. Caroline Strubbe’s Deep In a Dream of You, her highly anticipated follow-up to her feature debut, the Cannes Critic’s Week hit Lost Persons Area is one of them. The film is produced by Tomas Leyers for Brussels-based Minds Meet. Kadija Leclere’s The Bag of Flour will also pitch at les Arcs, the film is a minority co-production with Eyeworks.
All titles mentioned here were made with the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund a.o.