Peter Brosens & Jessica Woodworth’s The Fifth Season, Nic Balthazar’s Time of My Life, and short Death of a Shadow by Tom Van Avermaet all picked up awards at the 57th Valladolid International Film Festival (20-27 October). Actor Matthias Sschoenaerts was also among the spoils in the award bonanza, taking home the award for Best Actor for his part in Jacques Audiard’s Rust and Bone.
The Fifth Season can now celebrate no fewer than three awards in total: the Special Jury Prize of the international jury, the International Critics' Prize and the Young Jury Award. Directing duo Brosens & Woodworth won two awards earlier this year in Venice, where their third feature premiered internationally. The Fifth Season is a haunting tale of mysterious calamity as spring refuses to come as the cycle of nature is derailed. Alice, Thomas and Octave, three children who live in a village deep in the Ardennes forest, struggle to make sense of a world that is collapsing around them. Flemish co-producer for The Fifth Season is Bo Films. International sales are handled by the Berlin-based Films Boutique.
Nic Balthazar’s Time of My Life also received two awards: the Audience Award and Best Feature Award of the Meeting Point section. After a successful theatrical release in its home territory, Time of My Life recently launched internationally with sales agent Films Distribution. The film has already been sold to over ten territories, including France (Bodega Films) and the US (Strand Releasing). Time of My Life is based on the true story of Mario Verstraete, an MS patient who advocated the legalisation of euthanasia for years and who would eventually become the first person to make use of that new law in 2002. The film is produced by Peter Bouckaert for Eyeworks Film & TV Drama.
The Valladolid/European Film Award went to Tom Van Avermaet’s Death of a Shadow, which automatically ensures the film's nomination for the Short Film competition of the 2013 European Film Awards. In Death of a Shadow, deceased soldier Nathan Rijckx collects the shadows of dying men and women to buy back his own second chance at life. Obsessed by a girl he met the moment before he died, the thought of seeing his beloved again drives the soldier to regain access to the world of the living. The film is a production of Ellen De Waele for Serendipity Films and was made with the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) through a Wildcard which the director won for his RITS Film Academy graduation film, Dreamtime.
Finally, Matthias Schoenaerts was also named Best Actor for his role in Jacques Audiard’s Rust and Bone, in which he plays alongside Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard. Audiard’s film, co-produced by Annemie Degryse for Lunanime, also won Best Screenplay and Best Director in Valladolid.
Flemish films grabbed a good share of the Valladolid gold for the second year in a row. Last year, Geoffrey Enthoven’s Come As You Are was named Best Feature in the International Competition (Golden Spike Award) and Kevin Meul’s The Extraordinary Life of Rocky received the Meeting Point Award for Best Short Film.
All films in this article were supported by the Flanders Audiovisual Fund.