The Busan International Film Festival (October 2-11) has invited Pieter Van Hees’s Waste Land. Van Hees will himself present the psychological thriller – which is premiering in Toronto this week – at the South Korean fest. Also part of the Busan bill are Alleluia, Two Days, One Night and Nymphomaniac, which were co-produced with Flanders, as well as Flemish director Michaël R. Roskam’s The Drop and Le meraviglie, starring local actor Sam Louwyck.

Waste LandWaste Land will be part of Busan’s World Cinema programme, which presents a panorama of 53 non-Asian films by global directors, many of them previously introduced at prestige film festivals.

Third-time director Pieter Van Hees previously directed Left Bank and Dirty Mind, with Waste Land the final chapter in his trilogy ‘Anatomy of Love and Pain’. Jérémie Renier plays the main protagonist, a taciturn homicide detective dealing with the grim underbelly of Belgium’s capital. His convictions start to crumble when his girlfriend unexpectedly becomes pregnant, while his very last homicide case set in Brussels’ Congolese quarter slowly drags him into the wasteland.

World Cinema also welcomes Fabrice du Welz’ genre film Alleluia, which had its premiere at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes earlier this year and was co-produced by Bart Van Langendonck of Flanders’ production company Savage Film (Labyrinthus, Bullhead). The Dardennes’ Two Days, One Night will also screen; Flemish co-producer was Peter Bouckaert of Eyeworks Belgium (The Treatment, The Verdict).

Indeed, Busan is not short on talent from Flanders this year, with Bullhead-director Michaël R. Roskam’s The Drop also screening. His first American feature brings together stars such as the late James Gandolfini, Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and Matthias Schoenaerts. In addition to The Drop, Alice Rohrwacher’s Cannes Grand Prix-winner Le meraviglie (The Wonders) is selected as well, with Flemish actor Sam Louwyck (Any Way The Wind Blows, 22nd of May) playing the male lead.

Finally, Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac Vol. 1 & 2 is to have a marathon screening in the Midnight Passion section. Bert Hamelinck of Brussels-based Caviar Films was Flemish co-producer.

Van Hees wrote the screenplay for Waste Land, while Nico Leunen (Lost River, The Broken Circle Breakdown) took care of editing. Eurydice Gysel and Koen Mortier of production outfit Epidemic produced the film, in co-production with Versus Production and Mollywood. International sales are handled by Be For Films.

Waste Land, Alleluia, Two Days, One Night and Nymphomaniac received support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Cultural Affairs Minister Sven Gatz.

Published on Thursday 4 September 2014