The Verdict by Jan Verheyen, which recently grabbed Best Direction at the Montreal World Film Fest, is selected for Official Competition at the Chicago International Film Festival (10-24 October). Also Toon Aerts’ short Perfect Drug and Alex van Warmerdam’s Borgman, co-produced with Flanders, were added to the line-up.
Receiving its world premiere at the Montreal World Film Festival end of August, The Verdict was well received by press and audiences. In its review, Variety lauded Verheyen’s film as an ‘accomplished drama’ while Screen International described The Verdict as ‘moody and atmospheric, favouring an edgy colour palette’.
The film took home Montreal’s Best Direction award and now continues its introduction on the international festival scene with the selection for the Chicago film fest. A courtroom thriller, The Verdict sees Koen De Bouw (Loft, Dossier K.) as Luc Segers, a man who engages in a fight with the constitutional state. When his wife’s murderer is released due to a procedural error, Segers takes justice into his own hands and will then compete with the system that let him down. Other main roles are portrayed by Veerle Baetens (The Broken Circle Breakdown, Code 37), Johan Leysen (The American, Young and Beautiful, The Spiral) and Jappe Claes (Dossier K., Daens).
While The Verdict plays in Chicago’s main competition, Alex van Warmerdam’s Cannes-entry Borgman was added to the After Dark Competition. Co-produced with Flanders, Borgman stars Flemish acting talent as Jan Bijvoet, Jeroen Perceval (Bullhead), Tom Dewispelaere and Gene Bervoets. Also Perfect Drug, a short film by Toon Aerts made the fest’s selection. Both films are (co-)produced by Brussels-based production company Epidemic. Also set for a Chicago screening is Bill Condon’s WikiLeaks-drama The Fifth Estate, coproduced with Flanders via Hilde De Laere for FBO. Some Flemish traces can also be found in Chopper, a Dutch animation short realised by Flemish directors Frederik Palmaers and Lars Damoiseaux and Marcel, King of Tervuren by American animator Tom Schroeder with Ann Berckmoes as narrator.
Jan Verheyen wrote the screenplay of The Verdict, a production by Peter Bouckaert for Eyeworks (Marina, Time of My Life). Frank Van den Eeden was taken on board as DoP, Philippe Ravoet took care of editing. Wim Willaert composed the film’s original score. Both The Verdict, Perfect Drug and Borgman received support through the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Joke Schauvliege.