Belgium’s Oscar entry The Broken Circle Breakdown has won the Princess Dialta Alliata di Montereale Award for Best Film at the Hawaii International Film Festival in Honolulu (10-20 October). Felix van Groeningen’s feature film screened in the fest’s EuroCinema Hawai’i Competition alongside European entries by Richard Curtis, Stephen Frears and Arnaud des Pallières a.o.
The Hawaii International Film Festival, inaugurated in 1981, has two particular mandates concerning its programming: to be a festival of record for emerging films from Asia and the Pacific, and to present the top festival films from around the world, annually screening films from over 45 countries. Its EuroCinema Hawai’i Competition offers a place to films produced in the European Union. It also includes a separate jury that selects the Princess Dialta Alliata di Montereale Award in a number of categories, the one for Best Film being given to van Groeningen’s The Broken Circle Breakdown this year. Previous winners of the award involve Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s Caesar Must Die and Lynne Ramsay’s We Need To Talk About Kevin a.o.
With around 400,000 admissions in its home territory, The Broken Circle Breakdown was a local box office hit, but also stretched its success story across the border. It swooped the Panorama Audience Award as well as the Europa Cinemas Label at the Berlinale and was awarded Best Script and Best Actress at the Tribeca Film Festival. A real festival favourite, it also won several audience awards, at Copenhagen and Montreal among others.
Likewise, The Broken Circle Breakdown is one of three finalists still in the running for the LUX Prize awarded by European Parliament and is one of the 46 contenders for this year’s European Film Awards. Additionally, the film has a shot at winning EFA’s People's Choice Award, chosen by film audiences all over Europe.
Represented by The Match Factory, the film has been sold around the world by now. Late summer, The Broken Circle Breakdown was released as Alabama Monroe in French theatres where it took off strong with around 180,000 visitors so far. Furthermore, Tribeca Film has set the US release date on November 1st with screenings coming up in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle among others.
Felix van Groeningen and Carl Joos adapted the theatre play ‘The Broken Circle Breakdown featuring the Cover-Ups of Alabama’ by Johan Heldenbergh and Mieke Dobbels into a screenplay. Photography is done by DOP Ruben Impens, while Nico Leunen took on editing. The Broken Circle Breakdown Band, led by Bjorn Eriksson, composed the film’s bluegrass soundtrack. Dirk Impens of Ghent-based powerhouse Menuet (In Flanders Fields, The Misfortunates) produced the film with the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Joke Schauvliege.