This January four Flemish films will have their American premieres at the Palm Springs International Film Festival (3-14 January 2013). The four are Gert Embrecht’s Allez, Eddy!, Fien Troch’s Kid, Nic Balthazar’s Time of My Life and Peter Brosens & Jessica Woodworth’s The Fifth Season. Joachim Lafosse’s Our Children, a co-production with Flanders, is also screening at Palm Springs.
With 130,000 visitors Palm Springs International Film Festival is one of the biggest in North America. The fest has developed quite an appetite for Flemish cinema. Ever since Memory of a Killer, Palm Springs has invited one or two Flemish films each year. In 2011, the festival organised a Flanders Five mini-focus with amongst others Hans Van Nuffel’s Oxygen, Jan Verheyen’s Dossier K. and Kadir Balci’s Turquaze. Last year Geoffrey Enthoven’s Come As You Are, Bavo Defurne’s North Sea Texas and Michaël R Roskam’s Bullhead were invited.
In Kid, which is set for a January release in its home territory via distributor Cinéart, seven-year-old Kid and his older brother Billy live with their mum on a farm while the little family struggles to survive after the departure of the father, leaving them nothing but debts. When faith strikes and the boys end up with their aunt and uncle, Kid can’t come to terms with the absence of his mother and longs to be with her more than ever. Main roles are played by Bent Simons, Maarten Meeuwsen and Gabriella Carizzo while Peter Van den Eeden was on board as director of photography. Antonino Lombardo produced the film for Prime Time (Little Black Spiders, Someone Else’s Happiness). Prime Time is also the Flemish production partner in Joachim Lafosse’s Our Children which represented Belgium as an Oscar candidate this year.
Allez, Eddy! is a heartwarming comedy about 11-year-old cycling fan Freddy, son of a butcher in an idyllic village. Freddy's isolated life is disrupted when the first supermarket opens its doors in the village. As their opening event the supermarket organises a bike race, and the winner of the race will meet legendary cyclist Eddy Merckx. Freddy's father, a fierce opponent of the supermarket, doesn't want to hear anything about the race but Freddy takes part anyway. The film is produced by Jacqueline de Goeij for Ciné Cri de Coeur.
After a successful theatrical release in its home territory, Time of My Life 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.
Finally, 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 kids in a village deep in the Ardennes forest, struggle to make sense of a world that is collapsing around them. Flemish co-producer of the film is Bo Films. International sales are handled by Berlin based Films Boutique.
All films in this article were made with the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF).